Gluten-free options growing: not just food any more

Items such as lipstick, toothpaste and toys now marketed to families

By Allison McGinley - News Director

ORLANDO, Fla. - For the millions Americans who suffer from celiac disease or are choosing to make "gluten free" a way of life avoiding foods with wheat, rye, or barley is a daily struggle.

It's not just ingredients in foods. Gluten can be found in a lot of things we use every day. It's used as a binder in products like medication, cosmetics, oral care, skin care, and even children's toys.

That can be risky for patients who have celiac disease in particular must avoid any source of gluten where the gluten can get into their bodies.

The amount of gluten it takes to cause harmful side effects varies from person to person, and little is known about the levels found in individual products.

That's why experts recommend patients choose lipstick, mouthwash, and toothpaste that are now being made gluten-free.

It is also extremely important for those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity to make sure that the medications they're taking are indeed gluten-free.

That's because when gluten is absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, symptoms can be triggered, like diarrhea, bloating, headache, abdominal pain, and fatigue.

For children with celiac, doctors say parents should make a point to choose body lotions, toys, even arts and crafts, that are gluten-free.

Right now, gluten-free products are not regulated, so it's still important to read labels.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.