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 SymptomsWhat testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease ScreeningInterpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test ResultsCan 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-FreeIs celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic TestingIs there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and DisordersIs 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 BeveragesDistilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free?Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free DietFree recipes: Gluten-Free RecipesWhere 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
I agree with the people who said having a diagnosis helps. I ended up registering with the school's disability services and while professors can ignore students who say, "I've been really sick," it's a little difficult to do the same when they have a nice letter from the dean of students saying the same thing.
Out of personal experience, though, every instructor is different. Some are going to say it's okay for you to miss classes and others are going to expect you to show up no matter what (even if you do have documentation). It's just something I've gotten used to, and when I can haul myself up to campus --I live off-campus-- when I'm sick, I do it. So one of the best things to do is to ask around and try to find out which instructors are more lenient (or understanding) about absences and which should be avoided.
If you'll be in the downtown area (or near the Woodlands), Chuy's is a GREAT place to go to. Here's the e-mail they sent me a few months ago (the same response is on their site):
Their rice is safe (for me, and I'm really sensitive to gluten). I'd stay away from their salsa, it's given me problems in the past. The deluxe tomatillo, ranchero, and regular tomatillo sauces are all okay. They didn't mention this, but you can request the Chile Rellenos (my personal favorite) to be grilled instead of battered and fried; the grilled version is perfectly safe. They really DO handle specialty orders really well and the managers are pretty nice and knowledgeable.
Also, there's Buffalo Wild Wings; I've heard all but two of their sauces are safe. I can't remember for the life of me which ones, though.
And there should be a few Carabba's in Houston as well; they have a gluten free menu also.
I'm not sure if they've changed the ingredients for the fruity dyno-bites, but I do know that I've had some issues with them as of late (non-gluten-free cereals popping up in the bag). So if you're worried about cross contamination, I'd avoid them.
Last time I checked (about a month ago), Post Cocoa Pebbles were gluten-free.
Eating out makes me very anxious. I've had a lot of unsympathetic waiters who don't take the time to listen to any special instructions about how my food needs to be prepared. I almost always send something back, even at places that have gluten-free menus, such as Outback and Carrabba's (I got horribly sick after going to Carrabba's once). It's a real shame because going out to eat used to be a treat for my family and I, and it's made vacations pretty stressful as well.
I'm actually choosing to live off campus as a freshman next year (since living in the dorms is not a requirement) because the school's housing contract specifically said that they won't accomodate any special diets whatsoever (and this is a pretty large school, mind you). The dietician said the best they could do would be to provide ingredients for what they use, and even those wouldn't be reliable because they sometimes switch providers.
The only places I know of are P.F. Changs (the one by my house has been absolutely fabulous. I haven't had a problem, and I'm pretty sensitive at this point), Outback Steakhouse (which vary by location in this area...the one closest to me is really good, but the second closets is really bad--waitress thought picking croutons off the salad and leaving the crumbs would be acceptable, along with some other problems-- so make sure that you speak to the manager or make sure your waiter/waitress is really understanding), and Carrabba's.
There's also the typical fast food places, but it's been my experience that the only really reliable place down here is Chick-fil-a. Wendys and McDonalds have both given me problems.
I have not had good experiences with the Chili's down here, so you might be careful if you need to visit one.
Sorry I couldn't be really helpful, but I've avoided eating out as much as humanely possible since being diagnosed.
I was happy to hear from a friend with celiac that both McDonalds (and a few other fast food places) have gluten-free fries since I'm a complete french fries addict. She told me that apparently Burger King, on the other hand, is *not* a great place to get fries because they do coat their fries in flour before frying them-- and their site doesn't even mention that in the special diets section.
Of course, I'm just taking her word for it since I'm just going into week 2 (I think) of being on a gluten-free diet...
I'm 17 as well and was just diagnosed on Friday when I went to visit my allergist. I'd never heard of celiac disease-- although my mother had-- before then, and my primary care physician had always attributed my reactions to allergies rather than celiac disease.
As it's only been a few days since the diagnosis, it hasn't really sunk in that I'm going to have a major lifestyle change. However, it's been a little difficult to keep myself away from the regular cookies and such that my sisters are snacking on. Does anyone else have siblings who don't have celiac?