This Celiac.com 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 Celiac.com 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 Celiac.com Store. For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity
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The number one thing I can suggest and wish I would have done was to join a support group. I thought I could figure it out on my own and did, but it took several years of trial and error. Had I joined a support group I believe it would have really shortened the learning curve.
If your all ways on the go you have to plan your meals out at least 1-2 days in advance and have a small cooler bag/cooler so that you can bring your meals with. The biggest reason for me getting accidental gluten, is when I havn't brought enough food, then I get hungry and risk going to a restaurant that I wouldn't normally go to, that is when I get sick.
The main thing that kept me motivated in the begining is that I have a family history of esophageal cancer and other cancers, and I know that if I don't stay gluten free I'll be next.
By asking the questions that you are asking, you are on the right path!
Many people attempt to identify what they are sensitive to by eliminating one thing (or one group) of foods at a time. My own experience is that it is better to start with a week (possibly longer) of just one or two basic proteins and lots of green leafy veggies (oil, vinegar & fresh herbs okay, but no prepared dressings), followed by the addition of only one new ingredient at a time, every three-five days, to see how you respond to it. No processed foods are used, since they have way too many ingredients to track easily.
What worked well for me (since I knew I could tolerate these ingredients) was nothing but oatmeal, cinnamon, yogurt & peaches, plus two eggs for breakfast, followed by beef or bison and a mixed green salad for dinner. Lots of lemon/water, too. Nothing else. I felt so, so much better after a week of this that I continued for a second week before slowly adding additional foods to my diet.
Adding back other foods, very, very slowly allowed me to learn that I was sensitive to gluten, corn starch, apples, grapes, cauliflower and a few other things.
It is so common to be sensitive to multiple foods, which is why eliminating one thing at a time works so poorly, and eliminating almost everything at first, before adding things back works much better.
The Glutino crackers that look like Ritz can be improved by lightly brushing them with butter, sprinkling with a little salt and running in the oven for a few minutes. By the way, why don't gluten free crackers have salt? Most don't and are greatly improved by adding it.
Having multiple food sensitivities can be frustrating (and downright painful), but finally identifying one that has been creating havoc in your life is like winning back some of your life. My biggest battle won was discovering the link between my bi-weekly migraines (not good when you are trying to work as a surgeon) and corn-starch (which, as most here know, is in almost everything, including most gluten-free foods). In my case, it was also in the powered gloves and toothpaste I used, plus the medication I took for the migraines!
Corn starch also triggered Sjogren's Syndrome (an immune-mediated situation in which I have no tear production, no nasal mucus and no saliva production - painful!!) Anyone with chronic dry eye, dry mouth or dry nostrils should research this. Sjogrens, for me, is a mixed blessing/curse. Because it starts very, very quickly when I ingest or get exposed to an intolerable ingredient, I have learned that I can't tolerate some pretty weird things that I wouldn't have suspected would cause trouble.
Short and sweet, the following triggers my migraines and/or Sjogren's Syndrome: corn starch, wheat/barley gluten, apples*, shrimp, cauliflower*, grapes*, plus exposure to artificial fragrances, cedar or pine chips, cat litter, molds & mildews, dog fennel and dust mites. (*even home-grown organic)
Problematic, but dose-dependent: rice, raisins, cats.
A godsend for me, to deal with fibromyalgia and neck/torso pain secondary to a very bad horseback-riding accident, is dry-needling done by my physical therapist. That and deep muscle work have given me a huge chunk of my life back.
For those of you with similar corn-starch sensitivities, BC Powders (aspirin and caffeine) contain no corn starch, and they work well.
My best to all.