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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.

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  1. Hello, I used to love risotto in restaurants before my diagnosis. Do you know if it is definite that any risotto is gluten free? I am afraid they might have cream that is not gluten-free.
  2. Hi, I've posted on here before and everyone's input was definitely helpful so I thought I'd do it again.   I'm 22 and I was diagnosed with celiac via an endoscopy biopsy a year ago.  After a couple of months of going gluten free, I was feeling really great and, dare I say, pretty close to being back to "normal."  So from about January to July I was feeling well, other than once or twice when I was accidentally glutened.  However, around July this past summer, I started having stomach problems again, including cramps, diarrhea, bloating and heartburn (which I never had heartburn until I got celiac).   These symptoms are milder than when I had undiagnosed celiac, occurring 1 to 3 times a week, rather than almost every day like before.  But still, they are pretty similar symptoms.  I take immodium and bentyl pretty regularly, maybe overuse of the meds is messing me up. I got another round of labs done about 2 months ago, and everything came back normal.  Thinking it might be another food allergy, I visited an allergist and they did skin tests and did not find anything.  I am not having any histamine reactions, either, but I never really have from the get go.  Of course, the allergist said that he could not really do much testing, otherwise, as blood work would not detect anything food related.  He pretty much advised to take foods out of my diet to see how I'm feeling and try to narrow it down.   As careful as I am, I know there is a risk of cross contamination.  However, I didn't think I was THAT sensitive, as back in the winter I accidentally drank a sip of regular beer thinking it was my own, and felt fine the net day.  So I figured that a teeny tiny amount did not really affect me.  I am slightly frustrated in that I was feeling really well and out of nowhere I started slipping back again.   I have read articles that say that a celiac's stomach is never fully healed, but they always seem gimmicky and promote a really specific diet.  I am skeptical when reading things like, "gluten free diets alone don't work."  But, I can't deny that I am still having issues.   I am definitely willing to alter my diet in terms of eating more clean, but realistically I don't think I could ever go 100% clean.  I eat pretty well already but, like everyone, I enjoy junk food once in a while and love dining out once a month or so.  At this point, the next step is for me to go back to the gastro, but I wanted to see if I was maybe missing something or not thinking about something else that may be causing this.   Basically I am wondering if anyone else has experienced something similar to this and if it was due to diet, or maybe another related gastrointestinal disorder.  I am also not sure about which foods to test out removing from my diet.  I went dairy free for a while and I was still having the same issues.  Has anyone had their sensitivity increase after being gluten free for a few months?  Is there a factor I could be neglecting to take into consideration?  Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.    
  3. Birmingham, Al

    I am traveling to the Birmingham area soon. Anyone have suggestions for some good restaurants? I am more interested in local (not chains), but will consider anything. Thanks.
  4. My Celiac Disease is causing really stressful family drama. This has been an issue since I was diagnosed, but has gotten worse lately. The problem is with my dad. He and my mom live in the same town as I do and I often eat there. Because I am so sensitive to gluten, my mom has tried to keep their house 100% gluten-free. But my dad keeps bringing in bread and then gets bread crumbs around the kitchen. He tries to be careful, but he slips up and uses the butter to butter the bread and therefore gets the butter contaminated. He has used this butter to fry eggs and many other things. So the butter gets in the dishes, the utensils and the sponges.    Despite being on a strict gluten-free diet for nearly 5 years, my antibodies are still slightly elevated at this point. I don't even eat out in restaurants at all because of cross-contamination. I have to cook all my food myself. However, I'll eat at my parent's house sometimes and they will cook for me. I have trusted them to make safe meals for me (and they have read many books about Celiac Disease and are very familiar with cross-contamination). My mom doesn't want any gluten in the house, but my dad keeps bringing in bread.   We have tried to talk to him about this problem but every time we bring it up, he gets very defensive and takes it personally. I have told him that I am afraid I can't eat any meals that they prepare because of possible cross-contamination. My mom spent nearly a week cleaning the entire kitchen but he keeps bringing in bread. She is extremely frustrated with him, as am I.    It's very perplexing because my dad is a very kind and loving person. But I think he is behaving selfishly when it comes to this. He'd rather bring bread home and eat it and therefore put my health at risk. But he doesn't see it that way. He thinks my mom and I are overreacting. However, he is getting old and forgetful. He can be very absent minded at times and doesn't seem to remember the correct protocols for dealing with cross-contamination.    Last year, I was a guest in someone's house and the kitchen was dirty and full of crumbs. I ended up getting exposure even though I prepared my own food and using my own dishes. I was having panic attacks and other symptoms for almost 2 weeks afterward. He saw what I went through. But I think he's in denial when he sets his kitchen up to be a similar risk. This has lead to a lot of tension between him and my mom.   I have thought about giving him 2 choices: either he stops bringing in bread and I will eat their meals OR he continues to bring in bread and I will not eat any of their meals.   I hate to think that my disease causes so much stress and drama in my family. Fortunately, they are a lot more understanding than a lot of families, but my dad has his pitfalls. This is really stressing me out and I think it's causing unnecessary drama. Any suggestions?  
  5. I have a question. I have Celiac Disease and am very sensitive to gluten. In fact, I only prepare my own food and never eat out. However, I do sometimes use other microwaves to heat up my food at work (and these microwaves have been used for gluten-containing foods). Am I in danger of having tiny bits of gluten fall into my food while I microwave it? (I do have my food on a plate or in a bowl, with no direct contact with the oven). Is it also possible that I could get gluten "fumes" that will get into my food and contaminate it?
  6. I wasn't sure exactly which topic to post this under, but since our diet is really our only form of "treatment" I figured here would be fine.    I am 26yrs old and have been struggling to eat a healthy and healing gluten-free diet for about three years. I still fail. Reading some other posts I saw people doing something similar to me: eating bad (but gluten-free) foods when we feel miserable about our dietary restrictions. I have developed a really horrible habit of keeping a family sized bag of chips on my night stand as a way of coping with my reeeeally stressful 7 day work weeks.    To be clear, I am an active and petite female. I don't have issues with weight (mostly) but I have terrible issues with my energy levels. I take vitamins when I can afford them. But I really haven't found great solutions to what things are good to pack for lunch. What does an ideal fast and easy breakfast look like? What kind of foods should I try and be sure to work into my diet to help continue healing? (I have heard something about coconut oil being great in smoothies??)   I don't mind cooking. It is just that when I do bus to the grocery store (I don't have a car) I am so exhausted and hungary that I grab all of my favorite comfort foods and don't plan anything out.    I guess I would just like to hear how other celiac's who are young and poor and without a car deal with shopping. Or anything from anyone who has any semi-useful advice. If you can't tell, I am rather exhausted at this very moment 
  7. Hey everyone, just wanted to share this great FREE eBook that I've found super helpful. It's got some great recipes and a solid meal plan that helped me get started. Best part, it's free right now! Just figured I'd share    You can get it here:
  8. I was diagnosed with Celiac several months ago, about 2 days before I bolted north to the backwoods of New Hampshire to start my summer job at a backcountry hut. I didn't have time to mentally/physically process the diagnosis, and now I'm in a whirlwind of trying to cope but I don't have a support group up here and I don't know how to deal with this.  Most of all, I don't know how to eat anymore. I'm basically living off gluten-free granola bars and jars of peanut butter. I know I'm deficient in everything, but I don't know where to start. Can someone help direct me to easy, cheap meal planning for celiacs? Thank you!
  9. Hey guys,       So I have a question that concerns nourishment as well as muscle building. Ive been training pretty hard over the past year or so in excelling my fitness as well as athletic ability. Over the year I have gotten stronger and leaner, also lost a lot of weight (due to hard cardio and celiac) But I noticed I wasn't making any real muscle gains, I thought I had maybe overtrained, I was fatigued and tired a lot.. So I was recently confirmed that I have celiac (as of one week ago actually) and have been gluten free since. I used to do vigorous exercise, to failure at some points, and that combined with malnourishment probably made me lose muscle. I am a very healthy eater, and very fit, yet I have the body of a kid who eats taco bell every day. I really enjoy hard exercise and hope to get back at it. How long do you suppose it takes to heal until I can get back to working hard, and running a lot? (and actually seeing results for the work I'm putting in)   Thanks a lot! Any suggestions at all are much appreciated, especially comments from any experienced athlete/weightlifter/sports trainer.
  10. It's been a while since I've been active. I've been six months gluten and grain free as prescribed by my naturopath. I have never been exactly diagnosed with celiacs or a gluten intolerance, but after explaining my symptoms to my naturopath, she said it was most definitely celiacs (and she did a few informal tests - eyes, skin etc). Besides, I've heard that to be properly tested by a doctor, you have to eat gluten for a season, and I truly, truly don't want to go back to that pain and trauma (think leaky gut, rash, trouble breathing, fatigue, dizziness, foggy head, bloatedness etc).    It's been six months, and I've been feeling wonderful, particularly in the last two months. I have energy I never knew existed, I lost 6lbs from the bloat going down, I'm just feeling really, really good. After two months of giving it up, my husband and I found out we were expecting - 9 months of trying and no success. So, anyway, I'm rambling.   I accidentally had gluten this afternoon. It was sneaky and hidden. My naturopath gave me strict orders to not consume gluten at all for a year. She said after a year, I could slowly and gently reintroduce grains back into my diet, (but not glutenous ones, and that's the way life will go). She also said that if I were to eat gluten in that time, my gut would go back to square one again. What a pain. Is that true? Is it that every time we consume gluten - accidentally or not - our gut health deteriorates back to square one? I have a lot of respect for my naturopath, but I did have to raise an eyebrow at that. I'm definitely hoping that's not the case.    
  11. I'm so frustrated and just need to vent!  Sigh...sigh...   I just want to be a normal person able to go out to eat without feeling scared or getting sick.  I've eaten out 3 times since my diagnosis.  The first time was Red Robin were I got glutened and I was sick for a week.  Ugh!  Then looked into restaurants that are good for celiacs and decided to try Chipotle.  It was great.  The person washed their hands, changed gloves and spoons and one person took my meal through the whole thing.  I went super simple.  Rice, beans, chicken and pico.  Didn't get happy.  I did worry the whole time...but it was all good.  Last night I decided to try Outback...also on the list of good restaurants.  They had a gluten free menu, the waiter was great, the chef's wife has celiac....should be good, right?  I went simple again.  I ordered a steak, grilled asparagus and a baked sweet potato.  Started feeling bad last night.  The first thing that happened is my rib pain on the left side came back, then nausea, GI issues, pain, fuzzy head, headache.     I'm so frustrated and sad!  Sad because the meal wasn't great and was absolutely not worth being glutened for.  Frustrated because I want to be able to enjoy this kind of stuff in my life.  So now, I'm sitting here, not feeling good, sipping ginger tea and hoping I will be able to get through the day including my son's first soccer game of the season this evening.   Anyone else feel the same?  Thanks for letting me vent...
  12. I have been as gluten-free as possible (living in a mixed household, have my own cookware) since my negative biopsy 16 months ago. Ever since the gluten trial I did beforehand I am intolerant of almost everything but especially grains. I eat about as well as can be expected. I'm on a kind of paleo I guess, all meat and vegetables and small servings of fruit, except with my food problems my meal plan tends to be breakfast: chicken with spinach, lunch: chicken with kale, dinner: chicken with carrots, heavily supplemented with bananas throughout the day. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. Sometimes I sneak some egg whites into the mix, sometimes I can't stomach the thought of more chicken so I just have the vegetables. Sometimes I just don't bother to eat at all. Things are definitely better than they were when I was eating gluten, but still bad. I keep losing foods, I'm bloated and nauseous, I have extremely bad gas and unpredictable, foul BMs that lean more towards constipated. I just feel generally unwell and I'm not sure why I'm not getting better. The last gastro I saw put me on rifaximin to see if it was some kind of bacterial overgrowth. I'm on day 9 (of 14) of the rifaximin, and it has worked in unexpected ways. I have less gas, and when I do have it it no longer smells like it could kill a man. Same with BMs. It also put an end to the maddening throat pressure I was having that I assumed was some kind of reflux. While my rosacea is still pink and flushy, the skin puffiness has reduced so much I look like a different person, and my skin has lost the orange peel texture. My ocular rosacea is no longer permanent, it shows up sporadically and generally goes away with eye drops. The skin on my body is less dry, bumpy and blotchy. My feet and hands no longer constantly glow bright red. The hollow, severely purple undereye circles I've sported for years have also started to improve drastically and my hair and nails are stronger and shinier. It took about three days of feeling weird and adjusting, but I noticed for a few days that my stomach felt a lot better, less 'full' feeling, especially just after I'd taken the pill. Not miraculously so, but I had really high hopes. Unfortunately, I made the horrible decision to try out (gluten-free) grains again a few days ago after reading on a forum that the rifaximin needed higher carbs and sugar to draw out the bacteria. And after all, if I wanted to permanently incorporate them into my diet, why shouldn't I get started while my system had a boost? It was a bad call and I knew it, I was just so desperate for real food that I threw caution to the wind. It immediately triggered my binge eating (which I haven't struggled with at all since going grain free) so I went into grain overload. I felt the way I did when I was doing the gluten trial- extremely foggy, confused, lethargic, achy, and bloated to the point I was in so much discomfort I thought I could die. At least I didn't throw up this time. It was the worst I'd felt in ages and it took me 3 days to get off of them again. I'm horrified with myself and I think I've caused some damage. Worst of all, I think what I've done has set me back too far for the rifaximin to handle. I'm back to eating my usual but I keep feeling really ill, like it's undoing everything that's improved since I started taking it. I'm so scared. I know that if this course ends and I'm not cured, my gastro will immediately move on to "see, you have IBS! let's get you on some antidepressants". She said as much last time we met, the rifaximin was a last ditch effort. I just feel so lost.  
  13. I understand that there are quite a few restaurants that have gluten free menus.  My question is, do most of these restaurants prepare the gluten free items to where they will not be cross contaminated?  Applebees, Chilis, Red Robin:  these are just a few of the places that I know have gluten free menus.  Any ideas?
  14. I attended a teacher training today and the trainer said that there is no research that supports autism and the gluten-free diet. So help me out. What do you think and know? Oh how I'd love to send her some information to debunk her teaching. I know of several kids that have benefited from eating gluten-free, my own. But I need information pertaining just to autism. If you have any websites for me to send to this presenter, I'd really appreciate it. She belongs to a CA autism organization and teaches this information all over the state so I'd really like to set her straight. Please help me do so.
  15. Copthorne Hotel, Dubai

    On the way back to the U.S. after my trip to the Maldives, I had a 13 hour layover in Dubai.  Due to the length of the layover, Emirates Airlines provided me a hotel voucher which included airport transfers, a hotel room and 2 meals at the Copthorne Hotel.   The meals were buffet and there was enough of a selection that I could select enough to have both variety and a filling meal.  There were no problems with glutenings.
  16. The last night of my trip to the Maldives, I stayed at the Traders Hotel in Male.  It was a great hotel and I really loved the room.   I ate twice in the hotel restaurant, once for breakfast and once for lunch.  Both meals were buffet.  Lunch had the option of buffet with the choice of one entrée from the menu.   Breakfast was easy because which buffet items I could and could not eat were easy to determine.   For lunch, I talked to the chef to determine which entrée selections were gluten-free.  He listened to me describe the diet and then selected an entrée from the list.    Both meals were gluten-free and I had no problem with glutenings.
  17. When I planned my recent trip to the Maldives, I tacked on an extra day to the beginning and end of the trip.  It turned out that the extra initial day was a good choice because my checked baggage decided to spend an extra day in Dubai and did not arrive in Male until the second day.   I spent the first night at the Sala Boutique Hotel.  Associated with the hotel was the Sala Thai Restaurant.  Both were excellent and I cannot say enough in praise.   I ate in the Sala Thai Restaurant twice that first day.  The meals were so good that I went back to the Sala Thai the last night, even though I was booked in a different hotel.   The chef was not fluent in English so I ended up talking to the manager prior to the first meal.  He initially seemed skeptical when I described my diet.  In particular, he didn’t seem it be buying my concern about soy sauce.  After talking to me, he left to talk to the chef.  Turned out, he also went to his computer and googled gluten-free and soy sauce.  He returned after a brief period and said that based on his Internet searches he understood what I was talking about.  He said his searches pulled up info about soy sauce and how some brands were gluten-free and some weren’t.    This extra effort really impressed me.   We discussed my diet a bit more and decided the chef could simply alter ingredients a bit and leave out something questionable like soy sauce.  There was recognition that the dish might not be as fully flavorful but that was entirely acceptable to me.  As a result, I ended up with very tasty meals that I was completely comfortable eating.   The dessert I had deserves special mention since, as they say, it was to die for.  It consisted of mangos, sticky rice and a sesame sauce.  It was, temperature-wise, both warm and cool.  Saying it was memorable is an understatement.  Truth be told, that dessert was the main reason I went back to the Sala Thai on the last night.   If you are ever in Male, go to the Sala Thai Restaurant.  You won’t be disappointed.
  18. Firsts!

    Tonight was the kids Christmas program and afterwards we had our first gluten-free restaurant experience.  Nothing fancy just TGI Fridays, my daughter was happy they had a gluten free menu! She happily ate a 1/2 rack of ribs and some mashed potatoes.  I also found out that we have a gluten-free bakery a block away! I ordered 3 dozen cookies for her to take to school for their christmas party, the price was a little more then the local grocery store but not much. I'm really happy that she wont have to skip a treat on Friday! We are slowly but surely getting use to the gluten-free lifestyle!
  19.  So it begins, learning how to eat out.   So the other day I went to this local Mexican restaurant that I LOVE.  So I, before becoming a Celiac, always got a platter of a shredded Beef Burrito, Mexican rice, re-fried beans, and, of course, chips and salsa.     I went their last night and had a talk with the server asking her to talk to the cook to see if their was any flour in the re-fried bean, rice, or the shredded beef in the burrito (I was planning on just getting the innards and not the tortilla). She became really hostile to me, like I was trying to find out their recipes or something and trying to change they way they cooked o.o . I explained to her that I could not have Wheat etc... that, for my safety, I was inquiring about a specific ingredient not all of them.    Basically got to where I did not trust that she would make a point of asking so I requested to be served by someone else. The new server was very understanding (she told me how her child has a peanut allergy). So I found out that I just had to skip the Mexican rice, but got some creative rice w/other spices in it that the cook dished up .    My main point is how do people deal with this? People who know someone with an allergy tend to be more understanding( I have concluded this because I also have 10 other food allergies, though easier to avoid), but why can't other people get it?   I just don't want to have a waiter/server not check or etc...when its very important.    I guess the run in just kinda shocked me. Has anyone else had similar experiences, or was my server a rarity ?    Thanks!    
  20. I was diagnosed with Celiac two weeks ago and have been following the diet without a problem. Last night I went out with a small group for a friend's birthday and ordered what I thought was a perfectly gluten-free meal, but after eating it was like I had the flu and was sicker than I had ever been before going gluten-free...   Here's what I ate: Salad (romaine lettuce and dressing*) Steak (no seasoning, in a tomato sauce*  with provolone cheese) Vegetables (steamed and served in butter with no seasoning)   * = the chef said these were gluten-free items   Before ordering I spoke with the waiter/manager about my condition and they seemed very knowledgeable about celiac and my needs. The restaurant was empty (I hear that's the best time for a celiac to eat out).  My food was prepared separately and in a clean area with new utensils (I do not know this for sure, but that's what I was told)....   Am I missing something?
  21. Hello,   I'm brand new to the place and I'm not sure if I'm even posting in the right 'area' so feel free to tell me if I make a mistake or something.   Okay, well, I guess I should begin and tell you a little about what the heck is going on with me! Even if it is a little TMI... I'm a 20 year old female. I'm pretty healthy; I try to swim everyday, although I don't get enough sleep as I should. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid and was put on 100mg Synthroid; I take it in the morning. I've been on it for about two months now. I never forget to take it. Before I was even diagnosed with this thyroid problem I would get boils. I've had them on my armpits/side area and inner thighs. Some of them had to be lanced (Worst pain I've ever felt) and now I have purple scars   My inner thighs are becoming a serious problem. I get them more frequently now and they hurt SO bad. They form in clusters, these purple hideous things. I don't know what to do. I use the anti-bacterial soap everyday and put cream on them but nothing works. I was a 'vegetarian' (No red meat) for many years but I recently (5 months ago) added red meat back into my diet because I also have a blood clotting disorder and need the iron. I just moved across the country and I haven't gotten in to see a doctor yet but I'm desperate for any kind of help at all! I just want these things gone for good; they're driving me insane!     Help, please?   
  22. Hi everyone!   This is my first new post so I'll give a little history - I have been gluten free for about 3 months now. It has completely changed my life! I had really bad panic attacks & stomach pains before and now I don't have them at all! (Well, unless I get accidentally glutened.) I'm relatively new to this so I haven't gone out to eat very much.  I'm going on a cruise to Bermuda in August and I'm really nervous! I know that the cruise line knows of my diet but I'm scared about being accidentally glutened. Also I'm going with my extended family (ALL of which don't understand ANYTHING about gluten intolerance at all) and I know they all want to eat out at least once in Bermuda. I have done some research and have emailed different restaurants but I usually get one word answers which doesn't help me much. Does anyone have any tips for me about being gluten free and traveling? Or even eating out while I'm in Bermuda.    
  23. Texas De Brazil

    I don't know if any of you have a Texas de Brazil near you. It's a Brazilian steakhouse that opened recently near me. I called them to find out if I could safely eat there. The girl on the phone didn't bat an eye and said, yes, I'll put a note on your reservation that says Celiac, and the chef will come out and explain everything to you and tell you what you can and can't have. I almost fell on the floor LOL. I am going Saturday so I will let you know how it was. I read some reviews on about them that said they are great. So, fingers crossed...
  24. Discrimination

    Has anyone here ever been discriminated against for being gluten free. I feel as though everywhere I go whenever I mention my problem I sometimes get the rolling eyes in the back of the head treatment. I was even recently denied being able to bring in my own food to an event at an A's baseball game. Is this even legal? I am just disgusted and to the point where if someone says the wrong thing to me again and associates my disease with being a wimp it's going to take a lot not to deck them out.
  25. Hi, I just got diagnosed after 50 years of floods of Celiacs symptoms. ive always been a health nut,I work in the fitness industry (which is getting tough with the 7 months pregnant wheat belly I have)..and I'm not pregnant. Anyways I had test done in Oct 2012 and then again after 4 months of a gluten free diet.  My IGa scores are HIGHER than they were before eating gluten free. Is that normal? Also I have hained 15 lbs and feel the worst I have ever felt in my life. I cannot even take my depression meds because they had wheat in them. I'm at a lost here. I have had severe bloating about 20 years and i am shocked how its gotten even worse on the diet. So far the only improvement I have had was all the scalp,arms and buttocks sores are gone.    I am trying to take a product to heal my intestines and have also been eating lots of probiotic yogurts..and not the sweet yummy kind either. I am sick as a dog and fear my belly is just goin to explode one day. I cannot even do any sit ups or ab work of any kind ,its so painful. I can only wear spandex type clothes because nothing else fits. I have had a mysterious left side just under the rib cage pain that Im tired of going to the Drs for, they are just idiots and not worth the co-pay anymore.   I need serious help here. I feel like Im gonna die a painful death with this. Please help..anyone Jodie