Good Day Alabama for December 17, 2012 - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Good Day Alabama for December 17, 2012

Here is what you saw on Good Day Alabama for December 17, 2012:

BBB - David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau joined us with advice on how to make sure your holiday giving is wise giving.... December is a critical fundraising month for charities. Many people make year-end gifts for tax reasons, or to extend the spirit of thanksgiving and generosity to those less fortunate. BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers a few DOs and DON'Ts when it comes to charity giving, both at holiday time and year-round.
DON'T succumb to high-pressure, emotional pitches.
DO check out the charity carefully.
DON'T assume that only "low overhead" matters.
DO be sure it's the right charity.
DON'T assume that the charity wants any item you donate.
DO consider easy text-to-give options.

Donors can check out BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluations on nationally soliciting charities for free at Many BBBs also rate local and regional charities at

JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joined us live from Lakeshore Foundation with help from Carol Kutik on Exercise Monday. For more information, call (205) 313-7400.

BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin joins us with a look at gluten and why so many foods and people are going gluten free these days. You may have noticed a small explosion of "gluten-free" foods in the grocery store and you've maybe even heard people talking about being on a "gluten -free" diet.  What's it all about? For years, doctors have diagnosed something called "celiac disease" - sometimes called "celiac sprue" or simply "sprue". What happens is that the body's intestines react to a protein in wheat called gluten. Over time, the intestines become damaged and cannot absorb nutrients as well. People with celiac disease are more likely to suffer from malnutrition, intestinal cancers, osteoporosis, miscarriage, and in children, short height.  Some people with celiac disease have symptoms while others have no symptoms at all. Many people with celiac disease don't know they have it and could be damaging their intestines without knowing it. In the United States, about 2 million people have celiac disease - that's about 1 in 133 people. Your chances of having are higher if you have a close relative who has it. Here's a big problem with diagnosing celiac disease: there are lots of symptoms that many people just don't know about.  Common symptoms include gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and unexplained weight loss. Lesser known symptoms include fatigue, anemia, bone or join pain, seizures, missed menstrual cycles, numerous miscarriages, and muscle cramps. Some people with the disease don't have any symptoms at all.  But even when people don't have any symptoms, it's really important to treat the disease because damage to the intestines is still happening - increasing the risk of intestinal cancers, osteoporosis, poor growth in children, and increased miscarriages in women. Luckily, there are blood tests that your doctor can order for you that can tell you if you've got celiac disease. So if you have some of these unexplained symptoms or if you have a close relative with the disease, you may want to ask your doctor about getting tested. The good news is that you can treat celiac disease - and you don't have to take drugs - you just have to cut gluten out of your diet. And, while cutting gluten out of your diet can be a challenge, there are a lot of resources to help you. Many people with celiac disease feel much better shortly after starting the gluten-free eating plan that means cutting out anything with wheat, barley, and rye. Sometimes, a food product may not obviously have wheat, rye, or barley in it but it still contains gluten as an additive - so careful label reading is crucial. Safe Celiac foods include meat, fish, poultry, fruit, vegetables, rice, corn, potatoes, nuts & seeds, soy , starchy beans & peas.

     Should everyone cut out the gluten? Probably not.  First of all, if you don't have celiac disease, you won't get any health benefits from cutting out gluten. In fact, you might actually miss out on some important nutrients and hurt your health. Also, a gluten-free diet can be expensive. Many people with celiac disease rely on special gluten free food products - and they're not cheap. For more help with finding out more about celiac disease and a gluten free diet, visit and

ASK THE GARDENER - Our expert, Sallie Lee joined us today with Ask the Gardener.  Sallie is an Extention Agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extention System.  

CHRISTMAS MUSIC - The Fultondale High school choir performed Silent Night. Enjoy more music from local artists, school choirs, and bands on Christmas morning right here on Good Day Alabama.

Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, want to set a beautiful table for your family for the holidays? We check in with our interior design expert for some pointers! We check out an amazing new coffee table book and talk with the man who put it together.... famed sports photographer Howard Schatz gives us ringside seats and takes us inside the world of boxing! We discuss hunting with our wildlife expert! And we bring you more holiday tunes to enjoy ... That and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!

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