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Gluten-free Newbie
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Hi! I just discovered this site and am hoping to learn a lot from all of you. Although I haven't been tested for gluten Intolerance I am discovering on my own that I am better off physically if I stay away from these particular foods. I am 54yrs of age and have been suffering with degenerative disc disease in my upper spine (neck/shoulder) for many years. I've been in chronic pain until last summer when I began the South Beach Diet. During the 2 weeks that I did Phase 1 of the diet I suddenly was no longer in any pain! I was amazed! Then when I started Phase 2, which obviously, was adding back some gluten contained foods, my pain began once again. Up until recently it's been difficult for me to figure out what contained gluten and what didn't. I have no plan to get tested as I have lost faith in the medical profession and figure I am better off just taking my problem into my own hands and doing what I feel works rather than taking a bunch of prescription pain meds which don't work well to begin with. I've recently been to my local library where I found some useful information along with some interesting cookbooks. If any of you have a good gluten-free cookbook that you really like I would appreciate knowing about it. Looking forward to chatting here with you all :)

Linda from NJ

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Welcome to the board. I'm glad you've found something that makes you feel better. You'll find a lot of useful advice - and recipes ;-) - on the board.

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Hi Linda

welcome to the group. You will find and learn probably more than you ever wanted to know from this group.I am ever so grateful to find this group as I have learned tons of info. Smart group --- brighter than most doctors regarding celiacs!!!

I'm from Pa and just a tad older than you!!!!!

good luck

mamaw

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Hi Linda,

Welcome. I just joined recently too, after finding out my brother had celiac's and discussing similarities in our symtoms, I went searching for answers my doctor wasn't able to provide, that is how I found this forum. I am in the process of being tested, and will then have my son tested as well. After that, we will all go gluten free as well, regardless. (I went gluten free for a week and started to feel a world of difference - I suffer from arthritis in my back as well, two lumbar vertibrea have already calcified - and I am only 41 :o )

You will find lots and lots of encouragement here, as well as a whole group of people who know exactly how you feel!

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:DThank you all for your kind words and gracious welcome. It's so great to be able to correspond with others who have similar problems and have been gluten free for a while. Hopefully through these forums I may be able to keep a positive outlook on life :unsure:

Thanks again............Linda/NJ

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    • Hi, you can try reporting your own post.  That should alert the site admin of your request.  I don't think they can delete your posts, but changing your user name may be possible.
    • Hi Pablito, Welcome to the forum! You are right, you should keep eating gluten  until the tests are all done.  The skin problems you describe ma be a condition only celiacs get.  The condition is called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH for short),  DH causes an itchy rash that is usually symetrical on the body.  You get the rash on both arms or legs etc.  It makes little blisters on the skin.  They are caused by IgA antibodies in the skin.  There i a test for DH where they take a small skin sample (biopsy) from the skin next to a blister and check it for IgA antibodies.   If they find DH, then you have celiac disease.  The 2 conditions are never separate.  there is a section of this forum dedicated to dermatitis herpetiformis with lots more information. The usual diagnostic process is to do a celiac antibodies blood test first, and then an endoscopy to test for damage to the gut lining.  But with DH, it is better to get the skin biopsy done instead of the endoscopy. Celiac disease is passed on in genes, so your children should be tested also if you are diagnosed.
    • Research Celiac Ataxia for potential diagnosis. Look at Milk and dairy for potential head and sinus related issues.  I stopped dairy and I can breathe now! Saturated fat may also be a problem, but it's mostly dairy!
    • It is best not to try and do this on your own. Talk to your allergist. Not all will deal with food intolerances but if yours doesn't find one who will.  Mine had me fill out a very detailed diet questionaire and tested for true allergies before he gave me my starting point. I will admit I wasn't real happy with my starting point since none of my usual foods were on it. He said that I was most likely to react to foods I ate the most so most of the 5 I either rarely ate or didn't really like. The prescribed starting point he formulated was designed to make sure I had adaquate nutrition and enough calories.   It took about 2 weeks before a lot of my tummy issues resolved and I was then able to start adding foods in one at a time for a week before moving on to the next.  He said food intolerance reactions can take up to a week to show up so I had to be sure it was a full week between food additions. I did have to call three offices before I found a doctor who could do the formulation of the diet but this guy truely saved my life. Out of all the doctors I had seen, including specialists in big hospitals, he was the one responsible for finally realizing I was celiac. He of course referred me back to my clueless GI doctor who confirmed the diagnosis by almost killing me with a gluten challenge. I should note that some of my intolerance (not gluten of course) did resolve after I had healed. Even dairy which I hadn't been able to have for years! I hope you can get some answers and are able to heal soon.
    • I'm 43 years old. I'm married and have two teen daughters. After all these years it was one of my daughters who tonight said to me: "you probably have Celiac disease" after hearing my wife and I talking about all the pimples I always get on my arms. I never heard of the disease but I have heard about a lot of people having gluten allergies and didn't know they were the same thing. So I started looking it up on the internet. Turns out I have had all the symptoms all my life and no one has ever said anything about it possibly being Celiac disease. When I was a kid my doctor gave me prescriptions to antibacterial soaps to use for the arm pimples. Hibitane I think was one of them. And I've always had swollen looking ankles as long as I can remember. All my life people have noticed it. As a kid and teen I played lot's of sports and have broken my ankles and sprained them so my mom and I brushed it off at that and so did my family doctor when I was young.  But I always thought it was weird that the swelling continued all these years.  I have had a bloated feeling stomach all my life too and chronic diarrhea. My stomach is always hard and swollen feeling. Not ever knowing what that stuff was related too so I have never mentioned the bloat or diarrhea to a doctor. Just kind of embarrassing I guess. As my wife and I were reading about Celiac Disease on the internet together tonight she pointed out to me that that's probably why these symptoms almost all went away when I did a very low carb diet for about a year straight to lose weight a couple years ago. I had solid bowel movements, no bloat, ankle swelling went down but I thought the improvements were from weight loss and just eating healthier . But perhaps in reality it probably had a lot more to do with not eating all the wheat products/gluten products. So tomorrow I will be seeing my doctor to talk to him about it and to ask for the blood tests. I have read that I should continue eating gluten though until my testing is done. So that is crappy but I guess it's better to know for sure. Something else I think I should point out too is that I get headaches quite a bit after having big meals. Now I am thinking that may have something to do with the gluten too. I have read that some people with Celiac also get headaches with the other symptoms. It's great to see there is a forum like this to help people out with these issues. If I test positive for Celiac I will for sure be following this forum closely for advice and diet/nutrition help.
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