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    • Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Store. For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity
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About this blog

My Journey through Celiac in the Caribbean

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It has been a while since my last post. I came home from medical school to think things over, but it has been the best decision for me. My head is screwed on straight and I am really focused. It has been an interesting few weeks. I came home to stay with a family member with Celiac, who was diagnosed 1 year ago. It is mind boggling just how little she knew about her condition and the danger in her everyday eating habits. It really saddens my heart that doctors do not educate patients more on this condition and refer Celiac patients to Celiac nutrition specialist. I have had only a couple of days where my stomach symptoms have resurfaced, but all and all I am doing fantastic. My ankles have not swollen. It is an everyday victory when I look down and they are normal, well what I am slowing getting used to as normal.

The hardest struggle has been not following along with others. As mentioned before I am living with a family member with Celiac. Her daughter is also very contentious as well, but still I have to think twice when they hand me things or when we cook. The other battle has been that of the rest of the family constantly saying "oh I doubt this has gluten in it." I remember one afternoon when one tried to hand me gummy vitamins. I said "no thank you I can't those have gluten." The response, "no way" as he proceeded to read the ingredients low and behold the 7th on the list "WHEAT." So word to the wise be courageous, cautious, and careful for yourself. Doubt everyone and trust nothing, because at the end of the day your the one that gets sick while they complain and moan about you not feeling 100% up to par. Be Brave! I know we can do it!
Celebrating the small stuff again today. My ankles look normal for the first time since coming to the Caribbean. So excited!!!! Now I just have to keep them this way. My biggest tell tell when I get into gluten is my ankles instantly swell like crazy. Which is followed by fatigue and depending how much I got into what feels like the flu. Today is day three out of the fog of my last reaction. I know it is bound to happen again...but enjoying for the moment the energy and feeling of being almost normal.
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[b][color="#800080"][font="Comic Sans MS"]It has been a long road to this season of my life. The journey thus far has been wrought with what seemed like bad luck, but really just a string of now explainable events. Gluten has been, behind the scenes, controlling my life. Now it is my turn to take charge, and this blog is how I am going to do it.

I recently moved to the Caribbean for medical school, three week prior I solved the puzzle, and my doctor confirmed it. I have Celiac Disease. At first it was oh I can do this no bread or wheat, got it. Very quickly now I have discovered it is much more than that, so much more than that.

Currently I am fighting the acceptance that I have this and will always have it. In addition, I feel like I have hit a brick wall. I don't know how to feel about it. I feel like it is a life long sentence like some serious disease that most people recoil at the sound of, yet those around me, more so my family, seems to think oh simple just change your diet. To me it is so much more than just changing my diet. Being a huge foodie, that pleasure in life is now severely retarded. Fast food is pretty much out of the question, and I grew up on the stuff being that my mom works for a major chain. Every social gathering and family event is like a field of mines when it comes to gluten. Not to mention it is constantly being brought up when I have to politely turn down food, is another hard aspects of all of this. Food has always been my weak point, the guilty pleasure I could not control, and now that has to be extremely controlled.

I have so much more to share but for today I will leave you with this...victory number 1. the grocery store here has gluten-free bread, pasta, oatmeal, pancake mix, and a Kraft products. Victory number 2. I called the company that makes Zegerid and was told it is Gluten free, and thank God because it is the last acid reflux medication that works for me.

I hope to find support in others on this site and use this blog as a healthy way to vent and share my victories.[/font][/color][/b]