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I've been to Japan, Korea, and China. And out of these three, personally, I think Japan and China would be he hardest because they seem to add soy sauce to so many different things. However, wheat can sneak in a lot of foods. A lot of foreigners go to Japan and I'm sure there has been at least one with Celiacs, so just do some research. I lived in Korea for one year, and I'm not pretty familiar with the cuisine and what I can eat and what I can't. If you just eat traditional Korean food, I think it wouldn't be too bad because they don't add soy sauce to nearly as many things as they do in Japan or China. Don't eat the Korean hot pepper paste though, called gochujang 고추장. If you go to Japan, make sure you go to Korea too. It's just one ferry ride away and it's amazing!
I think it depends on where you're traveling to. If you're traveling to more developed countries, then I don't see that as a problem. I would bring essentials but try to then stay in hostels where they have kitchens you can use, or stay anywhere where you could buy food there and cook. However, in certain places, I think a large suitcase would be impossible. Personally, I have never traveled with a suitcase. I always bring backpacks because they're much easier for me to lug around. =) My back does get tired though some days!
I was also a vegetarian before diagnosed. While I'm still trying my hardest not to eat meat, I do struggle. How did you start eating meat again? It makes me feel bloated and I get painfully constipated.
Thanks for the encouragement about traveling btw. I can't wait to hit the road again!
Yes, both you and I need to find a way to do this. I'm simply going to have to change how I travel. Instead of restaurants, I'll just bring my own stove everywhere and cook my own food that I buy there. I can't risk eating out at restaurants, even when they are 'gluten free' I still sometimes get sick. And if I get sick while traveling, the entire trip could be in jeopardy. Plus, my next place to travel includes Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and if my money hasn't run out back to Mongolia. These places definitely won't have gluten-free options at their restaurants! Thankfully I travel mostly in places where if I'm cooking my own food outside my tent, they won't ask any questions. While a stove will add considerable weight to my pack, I guess that what I'll have to do.
Thankfully I do have fewer sensitivities than you, but definitely don't let it stop you. You might not be able to travel as cheaply or easily as others, but you can still do it. And if you eventually want a travel buddy, just let me know. =) I'm always up for a trip.
I am a backpacker. I have traveled to 29 countries and lived in five. It's my passion, my love. I was just diagnosed in the U.S. not too long ago and when I imagine going off on a trip, to be honest I get a bit sad. I am also very sensitive and I'm heartbroken that maybe I can no longer hitch-hike across Central Asia, which was my next area of the world to hit. The thing is I can't bring food with me. I generally have one backpack and that's all I have with me for six to eight months. I will have to eat the local food, so I suppose it will take lots of research and study of local cuisine. I will also have to study the languages more and be prepared to explain celiacs. Maybe bring my own little gas stove everywhere?
Traveling is my passion. I will make it work, somehow and someway. I love it enough to not give up. And if you love to travel, don't give it up either.
Btw, I'm gluten-free, casein-free, night-shade free and begrudgingly starting to go soy-free. Hopefully when I heal more I will be able to reintroduce some of these foods back, especially soy and night-shades.
Thanks for the responses. Lady Eowyn, I had never thought that my celiacs triggered an eating disorder. It's hard to look back objectively, because now that I've been diagnosed it's easy for me to say, "Oh that must have been because of gluten" but to be honest, I could see where my ed perhaps simply made my celiacs more apparent? I'm newly diagnosed, so I'm still trying to figure things out but from what I've read you may not have symptoms but something happens in some people to suddenly make the symptoms appear.
GottaSki, my problem was always gaining weight. My weight would fluctuate drastically and in fact never stabilized until now that I'm gluten-free. So in that sense, I could see where my celiacs cause my ed. Even now, when I have an cc episode, I automatically gain 3 to 5 pounds of water weight and if I have a couple of bad episodes in a row my weight rises by a few pounds for weeks.
Thanks again. It sounds weird, but my first thought when I was diagnosed was that maybe many of my ed habits would return now that I have to worry about what I eat so much. The whole point of getting rid of your ed is to eat healthfully and treat your body well, but at the same time feel comfortable eating anything when the occasion calls for it. Most importantly, getting rid of your ed means that you're no longer that person that eats strangely, the one with special foods needs. Now that I'm that special person again, I'm worried. But we'll see.....
Sorry if this is a repeat. I looked online but I only found things from 2008 or 2009 and I wanted to get some fresh insight.
This is a somewhat personal story for me, so when responding please try to keep that in mind. I do welcome everyone's opinion though. And sorry for the length.
My story in short is that I went to college when I was 18 in the fall of 2005 as a normal human being and came home for Thanksgiving break with an eating disorder. From August until Thanksgiving I had basically starved myself unbeknownst to my parents and lost 1/4th of my body weight. They reluctantly let me return to college but my mom and dad would alternate living with me. I quit school that December and as soon as I was home for Christmas, something triggered me to begin to binge on thousands of calories at night and starve myself during the day by eating zero calories. To get rid of the bloated stomach during the day, I began to take laxatives. This horrible cycle went on for four months until I was dragged to treatment.
I had 'successfully' completed treatment by August of 2006 and while I struggled that first year, I did manage to eventually bring my eating to a more 'normal' style. However, no matter what I ate I almost daily had mild diarrhea. To be honest, I never told anyone because I wanted it. In my still warped ED thinking, I wanted it to help my stomach stay flat. Slowly, the diarrhea became worse, and it was accompanied by mild gas and cramps.
In the fall of 2007 one day I developed a severe bacterial infection from eating undercooked meat and was hospitalized overnight. I got better quickly, but even though my stomach was fine according to my doctor, the constant diarrhea continued and actually got worse. By the fall of 2008, I had gained a considerable amount of weight and felt just bad all the time. The symptoms were worsening. I was gassy, bloated, and just sick but I was afraid to say anything because while I was suffering from my eating disorder I told everyone I had an ulcer and they believed me and I even believed it, even though it was a lie. I didn't want to have to convince my parents or doctors that this time I was telling the truth.
The summer of 2009, I moved to Brazil where I was fed by a host family. Violent bouts of diarrhea ensued and everyone told me it was just the water. Because of the sudden increase in severity, I believed them. About this time, joint pain began to surface, dry skin, and brittle hair.
I returned to the U.S. after three months and shortly after moved to Korea. In Korea, the symptoms continued until March 2010 when I made a decision to give up western food, buy a bike, and give up alcohol (and men for that matter ;> ). I felt amazing. While I did still have mild diarrhea, I lost weight and no longer felt sick. I made no connection with anything really at that time.
I moved to the Republic of Georgia in January 2011 for six months (I'm an ESL teacher btw). My symptoms returned almost immediately and much more severely. I stopped being able to walk up stairs easily, I had to rest after standing for more than twenty minutes, I would have bouts of cramping where I couldn't stand up straight. I threw up in the middle of the night, I missed school, I just felt awful. And I gained weight again. Again, people and doctors claimed it was from the water so I just took what medicine they would give me and put up with it. Some days it were better than others. I then moved to Iraq for six months where the symptoms ameliorated slightly but the joint pain in my knees and hips had gotten severe enough for me to quit and return to the U.S. My life of teaching and traveling had ended in my mind. I had no idea what was wrong.
After numerous doctor's visits over three months, I was diagnosed by a blood test. I got x-rays on my knees and hips, and the joints look fine. I got gum grafts because my gums had receded. But the doctor left me with just "don't eat gluten."
1) If I hadn't developed my ED, would I be diagnosed right now? I have this distinct feeling it was a trigger, although I'm really scared to say this aloud. I feel like some people might think I'm crazy.
2) I went gluten-free in November 2012 and felt 80% better in two weeks. However, despite the fact I try my best, the suffering continues. I stupidly ate from an almond butter jar from a non-Celiac friend and I was suffering for a week. Furthermore, dairy makes me terribly sick now and even nightshades (especially potatoes and tomatoes). After reading many posts on here I have started to take a pro-biotic and I'm reluctantly dairy free and night-shade free. Is there a chance I will win those two back?
I am newly diagnosed, so I'm sure others can give you much better advice but I just wanted to say how I don't think your primary focus should be your weight right now. It is something important that you should monitor, but right now you need to focus on healing and making sure you're the best you can be for your children. I think your weight will go up and down for a bit until you get things under control. I myself lost a good deal of weight after going gluten-free just five months ago, which was when I was diagnosed, but now I've gained much of it back. And every time I accidently eat gluten, I gain some and then I lose some.
I also had problems with my gums and teeth. I had to have gum graft surgery and I even developed gingivitis. Every time I eat gluten my joints swell and Im in pain for weeks. After being as careful as possible, meaning I have completely given up packaged food, dairy and most nightshades, I have slowly been getting better. I'm not saying you should give up those things, this is just what has worked out for me. For example, I am not eating any nuts or seeds unless they are processed in a plant that is gluten free because I'm worried about cross-contamination. Only have taking these steps have I started to heal a bit.
Kittty, I didn't lose all control, don't worry. But it is fun to drink and let loose every once in a while.
I suppose my question was this. Before I went to sleep, I had the clarity to go home, set my alarm, get into my night clothes, and so forth and I did all those things without having to think. I'm wondering if one day I'll not eat gluten accidently without having to think. It will just be natural for me.
I was diagnosed with Celiacs about five months ago, this will be important to remember for later. After experiencing strange and painful symptoms for over two years and then suffering terribly every day for about another two I have finally found the key to staying healthy, happy, and strong....not eating gluten. I'm finally free.
However, apparently the gluten filter has not been imprinted firmly enough in my mind. I woke up this morning after a night on the town feeling a bit off and with a strange taste in my mouth. I frantically looked for my phone and credit cards and thankfully found everything. After finding my cc I looked up my charges and found a strange charge from a bar. After consulting with my friends, I found out I had ordered french fries and I ATE them. I actually don't remember anything after a certain point of the night, when I ordered my second shot of rum, and I most certainly don't remember eating those fries.
Those delicious morsels of oil and potato were certainly not gluten free and I am just now starting to feel the full effects this morning and I will for some time to come. I feel the painful effects of eating gluten for a minimum of a month afterwards and I'm so mad at myself. My gums bleed and my joints swell and it becomes difficult to exercise or stand for long periods. This is actually the first time I've posted on here but it was the first thing I wanted to do. I need to know.
Will there come a point in my life where even when I'm black-out drunk I will have the clarity of mind to not eat gluten? I'm slightly worried because I've certainly done pretty stupid things before in my life while drunk and I'm sure I'll continue to but now that I have celiacs my physical well-being is at stake. I know there are plenty of others things I can do while drunk that would put my well-being at risk, but food and drinks at bars are so closely intertwined I'm really afraid I'll be in this situation again.