I would like to give a good explanation here so people can always come here to figure out what it is. I hope to give you several links to read and explain in my own words as well. Please feel free to post any comments of your own.
Gluten, in its most simplest definition, is a kind of protein that tends to exist in wheat, barley, and rye among other carbohydrates. Gluten comes from the Latin word Gluten meaning "glue" . It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture.
It is important to know that Food is not the only place that Gluten is found. Gluten can be in: Soaps, Shampoo, Alcohol, Pet food, Pet Shampoos, Make up, and many more If you plan to have someone in your life regularly and want close contact with them don't be offended if they ask what make up or any other items listed you use. Some Celiacs suffer from more severe or different sensitivity then others. So they may not be bothered at all. Mine daughter is bothered by skin products though so it is something I do have to ask or I send soaps and shampoos with her. I have even brought our own laundry and dish soaps with us while traveling to keep this to a minimum.
Some helpful sites to understanding more about gluten
Some helpful sites if you are having someone with Celiac disease or anyone eating GF over and want to know what they can and can not have
Understanding Celiac disease better
All fruits are gluten-free (unless they have been combined with or are packaged with gluten containing ingredients)
water, water, water, 100% juices, milk, tea, coffee, and water :)
All vegetables are gluten-free (Be cautious of floured or breaded vegetables, or those in sauces)
Please note that you can buy all the expensive food you want for when your friends come over but if you put the GF bread into your toaster that you use for your bread It has now been contaminated and can NOT be eaten. If you are wanting to use p-nut butter buy a small new jar for them to use so that the crumbs from your bread are not in it causing the food you cooked to be contaminated.
It really is not that hard once you know what you are looking for. Many items can be bought at your local store that are GF. Many people that have Celiac disease bring food that they can eat and that others will like as well when they go to public functions. Just keep in mind to use the utensil for their food only and not mix and match. I never show up somewhere expecting people to cater to my child's needs. I am always grateful if they do but I think it is rude of me to EXPECT that of people. I also bring enough of what I bring for my child for the others that will be there and I try to explain the handling procedures of the food so no cross contamination will take place.
There are more GF link listed on my Links page. Feel free to contact me with any information or questions that you have. I am not a doctor and can not diagnose you sorry. I am a mom with a blog trying to share her knowledge and make life a little easier for someone else.