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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      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.

"help--holiday Horrors" (continued)
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21 posts in this topic

saanders,

Is this your first holiday season with celiac disease? It is mine, and I expect I will be facing similar reactions from my in-laws when we visit them. They live out of state, so we stay for a few days and eating in advance wouldn't work in that case. I'm not sure what I will do about the main meal(s) (maybe cook an entire meal in advance and freeze it to take along), but at the very least I plan to make two kinds of gluten-free cookies and maybe a pie (recipes that I have already tested) to show them that gluten-free food can be indistinguishable from "the GOOD stuff"--and to head temptation off at the pass! I don't know if this is the kind of celebration/family visit you were referring to, though.

--Sarah

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hi, yes this was my first holiday and being away from home doesn't help, I usually have a big family party at my house (which would have been so easy) but this year we decided to have it at my sisters. I don't think I'll be up to that again for quite awhile, if ever again. and I even brought my own food for my own family, so it wasn't like we didn't have anything. There was plenty to choose from for my family, but it seems people just WANTED them to eat what they couldn't have. I think I was just being tested to see if I would allow them to cheat. Funny how my friends seem to understand better than family, or maybe it's just that my friends don't try to annoy me and get in my business. I don't know, but it is pretty upsetting.

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I find it hard when I go to someone's house who made a "special" meal just for ME. And there is some kind of gluten in it that they didn't even think of...so I can't eat it. Makes me feel bad. Jenni

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This was my first Christmas as well.

I work at a veterinary hospital, and we got tons of cookies and such from clients and clinics that we refer people to. It was so hard. My co-workers try to help, and I greatly appreciate their support.

I have to admit that I'm often tempted to "cheat" though I regret it very shortly afterwards.

This has been a very hard year and though I was diagnosed in March of last year, I still don't feel like I have a strong hold on all of this stuff. I've been gluten-free since April, and I still often feel like poo. I stopped taking my iron because it often made me feel ill (though it contains no gluten), and now I'm definitely feeling anemic again.

I don't know anyone else who has this problem, so I feel alienated often. I'm never sure if I'm doing things quite right, and don't know who to ask. And now I'm complaining to a room that I'm nearly sure that no one will visit after the holidays. I suppose its best that way. I don't want to be a whiner.

If anyone has come to this site, I aplogize for my complaining...and appreciate that someone may have taken the time to "listen."

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I always had low iron but it is much better now. Why don't you make it a practice to eat something everyday which is high in iron. Perhaps a grilled hamberger with cheese and a soft fried egg on top. Yummy! or a small steak or some type of beef. Liver is very high in iron but many people don't like that. (I do!) If you try to go the mostly veggie diet with not much meat or mostly chicken, you are not doing yourself any favors. If the iron pills make you feel bad, look for food substitutes.

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Hi,

The holiday season definately poses challenges and at times I've definately felt alienated at times. At several work events I've felt alienated by not being able to partipate in the cookies or meal. I try to bring gluten-free cookies so I can eat when others are eating. Filititi, don't feel bad about complaining here, I feel the same way often and it is nice to hear someone say it. There is something very lonely about not eating when everyone else is.

For dealing with the holiday meals I asked ahead of time what the menu was and then prepared an alternative for every gluten containing item. I was preparing and freezing food for several evenings ahead of time, but I definately appreciated having a delicious gluten-free alternative during the meals. I felt less alienated than when I just made a gluten-free maindish for a previous event. I also brought gluten-free cookies and other treats. What are some ways that you guys deal being gluten-free at holiday or other gatherings? I enjoy the new things I learn from people on this board.

About iron, it is possible to maintain one's iron levels and be a vegetarian and gluten-free. I eat lots of high iron vegetarian foods--dried apricots, spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, flax, etc. I'm not saying it is the only way to go, but it can work. There are some awesome dietians/nutritionists out there who can help.

Best Wishes!

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As the parent of a newly-diagnosed 19-year-old college daughter, I can tell you that the holidays were very hard. All this delicious food in the house and a few things she could eat. Of course, they weren't necessarily what she wanted, either. She hasn't even had an official diagnosis yet, but has been trying to be gluten-free due to the diarrhea she gets almost immediately after eating gluten, as well as pain at times. It is not an easy disease. Cooking gluten free isn't too hard, but making it taste "as good" as the real thing is a challenge. Good luck to all of you.

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I just started using the forums on this site, and I have to say that I really appreciate the support that everyone gives to the other people on this site.

I'm beginning to feel as though I'm not so alone, and you guys are giving me great advice on how to cope with things. I really appreciate it.

Thanks,

filititi

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I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I don't work anymore so I'm at home all day and when I do go out I don't eat out. I wait until I get home to eat. The only time I have had a problem is going places where I have no choice but to eat in a restaurant. One example was going with a group of people who stopped at a Fazoli's to eat. They knew ahead of time but I guess they just didn't think about it until we stopped. I did have a salad. I've only been diagnosed since the first of November so I'm still dealing with what I can and can't have. And like so many on here, there is no one else to talk to who can even come close to understanding that just a little won't hurt now will do a lot of hurt in the long run. My husband is wonderful about the whole thing, I don't know what I'd do without him. Even my Dr. isn't sure what he is dealing with. All that I've learned about celiac disease has come from here.

I was so happy when I was invited to join.

Lucy :D

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:) hi this is the first time i have used a message board.

it is nice to know there are people out there like me. i was only diagnosed in sept. so this was my first christmas knowing i have celiac. it was very hard looking at all that great food that i couldn't eat.

since i have been diagnosed i have tried very hard to only eat gluten free things. last sunday though i started having diarhea and buy sat i ended up in the hospital dehydrated. the doctor said it may have been a virus, but i don't know if i ate something wrong.

i am at home now and have a terrible stomach ache and back ache. do any of you get that when you take something like amodium ad.

the actual reason i came here is to get some advice. what pain relievers and vitamins do you take that are gluten free?

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Hi Maria,

Welcome to the site. It really is a wonderful place to go and know you can get some answers.

The only for sure pain reliever that I know of that is safe, and won't cause other problems is Tylenol (or acetominophen) , many of the other over the counter pain relievers like Advil, Motrin, Aleve and even asprin can cause other reactions even though they are gluten free. Tylenol is safe, but for me it just doesn't cut the pain enough. :(

As for vitamins, I don't take any right now. :o I know I should, but they make me feel tired and dragged down. I need to have some tests done to see what I am deficient in, so I will know what kind of supplements to take. I am okay with single supplements, but multivitamins seem hard for me to digest and process. I've heard that Freeda's vitamins and supplements are good. They are gluten free. There are other ones, but I'm not the expert on vitamins. :rolleyes:

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. You can always call the companies of the products you are wondering about and they should be able to tell you if they are gluten free.

God bless.

Mariann

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This was also the first gluten-free Christmas for me and my daughter. It was very different, I missed turkey and dressing but ham and green beans were ok for me. Maybe next year I can get it together and make a turkey and dressing. My family (so far) has been supportive, they are always quick to ask "can you eat this?" and understand if I tell them that I can't.

I too am at home now and I have only found 1 place I can actually sit down to eat a meal, any other time I will pick it up and bring it home to eat.

Maybe the holidays this new year will be better for each of us! :)

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Dear Maria,

I'm the head technician at a veterinary hospital, and though that normally wouldn't be important in a site like this...I DO have a point. We recently started getting some vitamins and probiotics that we order from a company called Natures Life.

Natures life is great about listing any potential allergens that can be in each of their supplements, I've ordered a handful of things for personal use. I know that they won't sell their products to just anyone, but their web site has a list of all the places that carry their products.

The web site is Natures Life

I hope this helps!

fil

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I've been told by 2 different people, 1 a pharmacist, that vitamin companies are required to list it on the bottle if they are gluten-free. The pharmacist told me not to buy it if it doesn't say gluten-free.

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About those holiday meals--Thanksgiving was great because I could eat the turkey, the sweet potatoes, and the green salad, and I took along a couple of pre-fried corn tortillas filled with Ortega chiles to eat in place of the rolls. I almost seemed to fit right in to what everyone else was eating.

Christmas Eve I knew in advance that the menu would be what it is every year, so I ordered El Pollo Loco chicken for myself, and created my own plate full of food in a plastic, compartmentalized circular dish which had its own cover. The dinner was buffet, so I just brought out my own meal, and I had created my mom's old-fashioned recipe for Christmas candy for dessert, so I enjoyed quite a feast. All these foods were gluten free, milk and dairy free, and no egg whites or yeast.

As time goes by I'm seeing the need more and more for taking good care of myself with this diet. It gets easier and easier as I discover more and more recipes and substitutes for what we used to eat, and I feel so much better.

Welda

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Why shouldn't you have turkey and dressing? I make my own dressing using gluten-free corn meal and gluten-free flour mix to make the cornbread (with eggs, onion powder, soda, gluten-free baking powder and buttermilk. Then use the cornbread with chopped celery, chopped onions, eggs and broth to make the dressing. I used to add mushroom soup to my dressing but can't anymore (unless I make it myself) because bought soup has wheat flour in it.!!!!.

As the old saying goes, "there's more than one way to skin a cat"!!!!!! Hope no one's an offended catlover, Ha!!

Rose

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Hi All,

My husband is an avid Emeril Fan, and during the holidays, when I was at work he went online and found stuffing recipes that were gluten free. Very different from what I had always had, they were wild rice and mushrooms, instead of bread based, but it was wonderful, only 3 weeks into the gluten free thing, to be able to eat with the rest of the family.

I guess I'm an odd duck, because I refuse to see this as a disease, I look at it as an incovenience at times, but something I can deal with. To me, (I realize I'm probably certifiably nuts) disease implies illness, and since going gluten-free, I don't feel ill, the way that I used to.

Thanks for listening.

Sharon :D

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Sharon,

You're not the only one who's certifiable, then, because I agree with you! I see celiac disease as a genetic DIFFERENCE that results in gluten simply not being FOOD for us. (And I don't know this for sure, but I would bet that there are other plants out there that are classified as "inedible" because they produce similarly toxic reactions--but in EVERYONE, not just a "strange" minority.) Unfortunately, we weren't taken into account when convenience foods were designed, but that does not make us DISEASED! We only get diseased when we persist in eating gluten in spite of the consequences.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed rice-based stuffing during the holidays. I've switched to rice stuffings/pilafs as well, and find them quite good (and also a good way to get me to eat brown rice, which I am reluctant to eat in other guises).

I hope you're doing well!

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I just wanted to ask SARAH how she has learned so much in such a short period of time, I'm impressed! I too have been gluten-free since 11/03 and I'm still struggling along

with some sickness, however I did recently stopped all dairy and tomatoes, but I am feeling better than I was a year ago..I have been an RN all my life, but this has really thrown me,but, I am learning more every day,...judy

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Judy,

I have always been fascinated by medicine, and I accumulate medical knowledge without really trying. When I was a small child, I would ask my mother to read to me from A Sigh of Relief, a kid-oriented, oversized first-aid book with large print and large illustrations for every step. (I still have the book, too!) I remember reading most often about choking (the Heimlich manuever), frostbite, fever, and pressure points for controlling bleeding. I never had to use my knowledge, but it was nice to have it! When I was a little older, I read the AMA's Family Medical Guide cover to cover, including parts that I wasn't emotionally ready to cope with yet (and unfortunately, my mother didn't know how to deal with my worries, so I ended up internalizing them until I was old enough to revisit them and work through them on my own). I find it interesting that one of the articles I returned to over and over was the one on celiac disease, even though I had only atypical symptoms that weren't even mentioned in the book!

After I graduated from college, I took a job as a medical abstractor for a health services research agency. I got to read about all sorts of medical devices (and, of course, I couldn't resist reading articles about everything else, as well!). At about the same time, I discovered the Blood Type Diet, which made perfect sense to me and opened my eyes to the validity of at least SOME alternative medicine. Then I had my two kids, who both had food sensitivities as infants, and got used to modifying my diet for their sake--and that's how I discovered that we all have celiac disease! Once I figured this out, I (predictably!) spent the next several days online, updating my knowledge about the condition. I have to say, I learned the most from the people right here on this board! (Thanks, everyone!)

Well, that's the long answer to your question. Now you can see my insanity in its full glory! I hope my accumulated knowledge is useful to you and others, and I hope you continue to learn and feel better each day!

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Hi,

The holiday season definately poses challenges and at times I've definately felt alienated at times.  At several work events I've felt alienated by not being able to partipate in the cookies or meal.  I try to bring gluten-free cookies so I can eat when others are eating.  Filititi, don't feel bad about complaining here, I feel the same way often and it is nice to hear someone say it.  There is something very lonely about not eating when everyone else is.

For dealing with the holiday meals I asked ahead of time what the menu was and then prepared an alternative for every gluten containing item.  I was preparing and freezing food for several evenings ahead of time, but I definately appreciated having a delicious gluten-free alternative during the meals.  I felt less alienated than when I just made a gluten-free maindish for a previous event.  I also brought gluten-free cookies and other treats.  What are some ways that you guys deal being gluten-free at holiday or other gatherings?  I enjoy the new things I learn from people on this board.

About iron, it is possible to maintain one's iron levels and be a vegetarian and gluten-free.  I eat lots of high iron vegetarian foods--dried apricots, spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, flax, etc.  I'm not saying it is the only way to go, but it can work.  There are some awesome dietians/nutritionists out there who can help. 

Best Wishes!

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