Gluten-Free Getting More Mainstream

I had the stomachaches and headaches for years. I attributed them to my nervous personality. I was the kid who bit her nails while fidgeting with her glasses and twirling her hair, sending adults into spasms of annoyance.

When I discovered I had celiac disease, an intolerance for gluten, a couple of years ago, I had never heard of it and knew no one else who had it. Now, I meet someone with celiac around every corner. Turns out the disease is a lot more common than once thought. Recent research estimates that as many as 1 in 133 people has the disorder, and that it may remain undiagnosed in 90 percent of patients. Also, researchers are discovering a link between type 1 diabetes and celiac, although it’s not clear what the cause and effect is. About 1 in 20 people with type 1 diabetes has celiac disease.

Fortunately, a spate of gluten-free cookbooks and products is making it easier to live with the condition, and a whole network of bloggers is there to support us. There’s the Gluten Free Post, I Am Gluten Free, Gluten-Free Fun, Gluten-Free by the Bay, Gluten-Free Girl, and Book of Yum, just for a start.

The website Celiac Handbook is putting together a list of restaurants that will accommodate a gluten-free diet.

Whole Foods does a good job of catering to gluten-free needs—it even has a dedicated baking facility. And Trader Joe’s carries some good gluten-free products, including some new gluten-free pancakes I discovered a few weeks back that made me very happy.

Gluten-free bakeries seem to be springing up, including Deby’s in Denver, Mr. Ritt’s in New Jersey and Philly, and Babycakes in New York.

And, of course, the Chowhound boards have tons of great resources for gluten-free eating. If you’re in the Bay Area, check out this post.

What are your resources for gluten-free goodness?