When we abruptly went on a no starch diet at the beginning of this year, it seemed so daunting. Starch is in everything...or at least it seemed. I was frustrated when I started searching the internet because the diagnosis we got from the GI was "glucoamylase deficiency" but when you google glucoamylase deficiency, there isn't much information to be had that isn't highly technical. I am attempting to get some resources together and provide a little better information on my blog for those that may find themselves in a similar place.
I still have lots of unanswered questions and honestly do not know if there is even anyone out there that can answer them. Questions such as, will my child always have trouble with starch? Are there digestive enzymes that could help? So far, it appears that all of the digestive enzymes come in a capsule...that contains starch.
Well, one thing I discovered very early on is that there is a simple way to test for starch. A $2 bottle of iodine is all it takes. Please note, the colorless version sold at Walmart will not work. I found my bottle at CVS.
I carry a bottle in my purse (in a baggie just in case it leaks!) and we have one at home. We don't eat out all that often, but it has saved us by being able to easily check when we eat in new places.
The process is simple. Take a small piece of the food in question and separate from the rest of the meal as the iodine will contaminate the food. Put a drop of iodine on the food. If it turns black, the food contains starch. If it remains the same yellow/orange color, than the food is starch free.
Here is a plate with two starches and a non-reactive drop as a reference for the color change. We thought that we had found a great new snack in fried plantain chips. It completely slipped my mind that they may contain starch. After all, bananas contain starch and of this I am well aware, so I really was not thinking. Sure enough the iodine very immediately turned black. Also pictured is a tums tablet which turned black. It pains me to think of all of the Tums my sweet girl has taken in hopes of finding relief from the reflux and heartburn that has plagued her most of her life. The very "help" we were giving her was actually making her worse!