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In Search Of Help.
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Hey guys,

I'm pretty new to this whole thing. I'm 15 years old and yesterday was the first day of my sophomore year or highschool. A week ago yesterday I had a stomach scope done. For the last 8 months I have been struggling with intense stomach problems. I had the hida scan, an ultra sound, blood tests for various types of ulcer related problems. However, they never tested me for a gluten allergy. When the surgeon had discovered my inflamed small intestine he decided to take a sample of my tissue. He told us there was a slight chance I had a gluten allergy, but it was very low. That is was probably caused by stress. Yesterday, I recieved a call confirming I had celiac disease, only half way through my first day of school. I truly believed that that wasn't going to be the problem, so it took me back quite a bit upon learning that it was. Now I'm struggling knowing that this is a life time problem. It's honestly depressing to know. I'm also struggling with finding gluten free foods. I live in a small town (no walmart) so it's been hard. I really could just use some advice and maybe some easy foods to eat without gluten? Please, I'm feeling really lost seemings as nobody I know has this problem...

Thanks!

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I promise it gets easier. I had a surprise diagnosis too and didn't take it particularly well, but threw myself into everything gluten free because what choice did I have? Before I realized it, everything was second nature to me.

 

All I can really think of is to read the newbie thread at the top of the coping section. That will help you get a good grasp on getting started. If your shopping options are really limited you'll be stuck doing whole foods. Its really healthy anyway, but that doesn't make it any less sucky in the beginning to be giving up foods you love. As time passes you'll take on new challenges like baking and such (you can order flours online) and you won't feel the least bit deprived. Check out the local store's health food section if they have one, lots of places mix in the gluten free stuff with that area. Or some just have it on the shelf with everything else and you have to kind of do a scavenger hunt for it if you want something specific. Lots of people suggest giving up milk (temporarily until you begin to heal), but frankly unless you have an obvious problem with it I think its just silly to deprive yourself of one more thing at an already difficult time.

 

You may want to have your parents set up a 504 plan for you for school. This is just a thing that will lets the school be aware of the problem and how to accommodate you. Things like making sure you can always use a bathroom immediately if you need to go. (Stealing this from another thread...) Being able to carry a water bottle because lets face it, people put their gross gluteny mouths right on the water fountains like pigs so you can't use them. Whatever you specifically need, the plan can be set up to cover. Every 504 is individualized to the student. You may need to get out of cooking classes or have them modified if the teacher is up for that. Sometimes teachers have treats (apparently even in high school :blink:) and such, and maybe you need to be able to keep something with you so you aren't left out. Just lots of little things that will keep you this side of normal.

 

Anywho... welcome. I'm sure you'll find lots of good advice if you poke around. And if it makes you feel better, you can still eat all the bacon you want. :D

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Carmello,

It will be hard, but just know it does get better. When I first went gluten-free, I lived on rotisserie chicken, brown rice or baked potato and veges. My local store has some gluten-free foods in the frozen food section or health food section. You just need to get really good at watching labels. I can usually easily find different kinds of gluten-free pasta and meats are ok (except be sure to check processed meats).There are cereals and frozen waffles that are good gluten-free choices.

I agree that you should let the administration at school know about your diagnosis and push for a 504 plan. You could try taking rollups of gluten-free lunch meat and cheese to school. There are lots of nuts and chips that are ok and many types of candy are as well.

Definitely check out the newbie thread. Educate yourself as well as you can.

Thought I'd pass along a link to one of my favorite little treats when I get the craving for some "normal" food: Gluten free donut holes. I bake them, not fry. http://afewshortcuts.com/2013/05/delightfully-glazed-gluten-free-doughnut-holes/#_pg_pin=563455

Keep in touch and let us know how you're doing.

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Hugs to you. It does get easier as you figure out what you can and can't eat. The newbie thread really is very good and any of the threads about dinner or lunches will help too....and give you some ideas for when you're feeling ambitious and what to try something new.

Good luck! Feel free to ask questions, we're here and we all have varying levels of knowledge or things that worked well for us.

 

I would suggest....not eating or attempting to eat any gluten free bread right now....although, my 15 year old son actually liked it right off the bat so who knows. :) There is a blog called Gluten Away.com run by a 16 year old with an adrenal disorder and Celiac disease. He has lots of really simple recipes on his site. I would definitely go check that site out as well. I know it can help to talk to someone your own age. :)

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If you want donuts that are better than gluten donuts, as my gluten eating husband will tell anyone, try these. I make donut holes because it seems pointless and stupid to waste time and energy making them into round donuts. It makes like a bazillion, and you can freeze the ready to fry dough for later. Also, you won't have to find pancake mix since you're worried about that. You can just get them shipped right to you. http://glutenfreeheaven.com/

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Hi Carmello,

 

Welcome to the forum! :)  The good thing about starting young on the gluten-free diet is that you will have a lifetime of healthy eating.  After you get used to eating gluten-free it is not a big deal at all.  You can bring snacks with you in  a backpack or something when you go out, so you don't have to worry about not having something safe to eat.  Things like fruits, or Lara bars or nuts are easy to carry around.  Mission brand corn tortillas and chips are good.  If you get the soft corn tortillas you can make mini-wraps with them.  They are much cheaper than gluten-free bread.

 

But mostly you want to stick with whole foods instead of processed foods.  Whole foods are foods in their natural state, like apples, bananas, chicken or beef etc.  Pizza, unfortunately , is not a whole food.  It is made of several different foods all put together in a pizza factory somewhere.  There are gluten-free pizza's available these days though.  Just don't make processed foods a big part of your diet.  It is really helpful to learn to cook when you have celiac disease.  There is often a celiac support group in the area that can help with local information.  And many restraunts do offer gluten-free options these days.  Some will let you take you own food in to eat.  But it is good to check ahead of time on that.

 

Helpful threads:

FAQ Celiac com
http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/forum-7/announcement-3-frequently-asked-questions-about-celiac-disease/

Newbie Info 101
http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/91878-newbie-info-101/

 

Dessert thread
http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/93840-whats-for-dessert-tonight/page__pid__802399#entry802399

Easy yummy bread in minutes
http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/56641-easy-yummy-bread-in-minutes/
 

Super Easy Meal Ideas Anyone?
http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/97027-super-easy-meal-ideas-anyone/
 

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You now know the source of your problems and you can fix them.  There are all sorts of foods that you are probably already eating that don't contain gluten.  Potatoes, rice, meat, vegetables, fruit, eggs and lots more.  No problem.  You may need to start doing some cooking, but that can be really rewarding and fun.  My son is 16 and cooks our meals these days.  He does a great job too.  There are so many great things to this life.  It can seem hard at first, but once you get used to the idea, not eating gluten is no big deal.

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    • Hi, Ok good advice and I am sincere when I say how much I appreciate a lot of the responses, advice and encouragement that have been posted here. I'm not sure what a nutrionist is but a dietician (here in the U.K.) is a heavily regulated medical profession and my dietician is based most of her week in a hospital where doctors and MD's as they are known refer patients to her for help. She works every day with celiacs, dh sufferers and people with crohns, ibs etc and seeing my skin, listened to what I was saying (particularly about how my redness and blisters resolved on a gluten free (though not wheat free) diet for several years, and sent a report to my doctor/MD requesting a battery of tests - tests that can indicate dh, celiac and associated complications. I also have a friend with a wheat allergy and two with celiac (all diagnosed) and they are encouraging me to go ahead with getting these particular tests. So that's great but reading the above quote that suggests that situations like sharing an oven used to cook gluten-containing pizza, should not cause a gluten reaction. I thought, my god what's the point of going through these tests if my recent reactions aren't actually to do with gluten. Although my dietician is concerned about possible dh and has been through years of medical school, I also really trust the advice of an advanced member on this site and if they think oven-sharing shouldn't cause any gluten reaction, what hope do I have with an MD? It has taken me years to pluck up the confidence to ask for any medical help because I feared that sort of response along with a focus on psychological issues and hormones etc early on in the thread (even though, I only started feeling depressed since yesterday). Actually, I'm a mental health nurse so it's good to see people are alert to these issues but I am also pretty familiar with depression and I know that many people with physical health problems are fobbed off by doctors with talk of depression, stress, and hormones. I'm sorry that I took the (above) quote to heart and I know that I allowed that to colour my perception of the whole thread, which has been helpful in many ways. Best wishes to you all, even those I didn't agree with! Rhian 
    • I thought maybe doing a trial period to see if he reacts positively to being gluten free and then adding it back to see if symptoms come back would maybe be helpful to the doctor? But I guess that's true, it might skew things regarding any future tests that might be warranted. 
    • If you haven't had her tested yet please do not go gluten free. Get the celiac testing first as if she does feel better gluten free when she has to go back on gluten for testing she may have much worse symptoms.  There will also be a higher risk of false negatives.
    • I did not mean to imply that you should put him on a gluten free diet.    If you suspect a problem with gluten, please get an opinion from a GI who is celiac savvy.  All celiac testing requires a patient to be consuming gluten.  The slightly equivocal TTG?  That warrants a gene test at the very least.   http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/it-mmfiles/Celiac_Disease_Diagnostic_Testing_Algorithm.pdf  
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