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hey everyone. im 14 years old and have just recently been told i tested positive for having the antibodies related to celiac. im going to get the throat thingy, and lately ive just been really depressed about the whole thing, no matter what i do. 1 weird thing is, ive never had any of the physical symptoms. the only thing is that im tired more than normal, and thats why my brother suggested me gettin my blood tested, to see if im anemic. i was a tiny bit iron-defficient, and i know that thats related to celiac. 2 other people in my family have celiac, my older brother and sister, so im very familiar with the diet and everything. i never really thought of it as a big deal until i realized that i could possibly have this disease, and that it could change the rest of my life. if anyone has any words of encouragement or advice i would love to hear from you! thanks.

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Hi :) I understand what you must be feeling. My sister Becky was diagnosed before I was, although only by a couple months. When I heard that she had celiac, I felt bad for her, but as soon as you hear that you might have it, your whole outlook on it changes. My words of encouragement are a few things. First off, you are so very lucky to already understand the diet, since you have siblings that are around you that have celiac; you won't be on your own in your family. Just know that if you catch it at this time, before you start feeling a lot of the symptoms, you probably will never have to deal with them, which is a big blessing! It will be hard along the way, but feeling healthy will be well worth it. I wish you the best of luck!

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Hi...welcome to the board. I have had the symptoms of Celiac since first grade, but was only diagnosed 13 weeks ago. At first, for me, it seemed strange changing diet, and all the gluten-free foods didn't seem nearly as good as the normal stuff. You'll quickly become used to it...especially since you have others in your family with celiac disease. I guess there are only three things to mention:

- DON'T CHEAT -- As you already know, to heal your intestines you have to be 100% gluten-free. A nutritionist told me that any amount of gluten larger than your fingernail i n one day can screw up all your progress. It was difficult for me to watch others eat gluten foods that I couldn't have, but knowing how sick it would make me and how much better I felt without it made their food look less and less apetizing. It might be even harder for you than for me because you have NO symptoms. In a way, symptoms are positive cause they warn you if you eat something bad, so you know to stay away from it in the future. Plus, your desire to avoid symptoms outweighs your desire to cheat, so it helps in that respect, as well.

- WHEN IN DOUBT, DON'T -- Pretty straightforward. If you question something, don't eat it. Call the company later, but don't risk it.

- GOOD LUCK-- good luck with the endoscopy (throat thingy) and a quick healing of the intestines.

It may seem life-altering in the beginning (and it is), but it will get better over the weeks. Eventually it will seem so normal that you won't even really have to think when you reach for food to know that it's gluten-free or not. Good luck on the endoscopy.

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    • I just traveled three weeks this summer in Europe (Eastern).  Do not trust that the airlines will remember to load a gluten-free meal for you.  There is a 50-50 chance that they will not (in my experience).  We packed ONLY carry on.  Still found plenty of room to stash some emergency food.  You should be able to find food within an International airport.  Chips and typical junk food clearly labeled, even fruit.  Print or load Celiac travel cards with you in all the languages you will need.  They are free.  Google it.  Found these handy (not only in restaurants) but in the markets when we could not read labels but the staff could read them and Help us to make gluten-free choices.  amazing how you can communicate without knowing the language.  A few words like "thank you" in their language go along way (so does Google Translator).  Never met anyone who was not willing to help.   I carry a collapsible cooler that I pack with food and bags of ice to eat on then plane or right at my arrival or connection.  I take extra zip lock baggies with me.  Sometimes TSA will let you through if the ice is still hard (not melting).  Some will make you toss them then I just ask a restaurant to refill my ziplock baggies after passing Security.   I also carry a doctor's letter on my phone to show I am celiac, but no one has ever asked for me to present it.   Even though I carry a "third" piece of luggage on board, I have not been stopped.  Both that and my day backpack fit under the seat.  I use this cooler as needed through our trips.  If not, it fits in my backpack.  
    • Welcome, Kierra. You're only 15 so you need to make sure your parents are 100% aware of your medical issues so that they can advocate for you. It may or may not be celiac, but the only way to find out is to start with a full celiac blood panel, then an endoscope if necessary. However, for the tests to be accurate, you must consume gluten on a daily basis. 
    • Great points!  We use the "Find Me Gluten Free" app a lot (post too).   We look for reviews created by celiacs.  I probably sounded like Debbie Downer when I posted above, but it is possible to go out and dine at restuarants, it just takes a little research and time to the restaurant staff.    
    • Yes it sounds like you may need further testing to rule out other conditions. Maybe seeking a second opinion from a endocrinologist and/ or rheumatologist would be a place to start.
    • This is a personal choice and everyone will have different levels of comfort depending on personal preferences and their circumstances -- what's available, where they live, the details of their condition. Gluten Dude is a blogger who has written a lot about the topic of dining out with Celiac: http://glutendude.com/category/eating-out/ Calling ahead to see if they are gluten-free, learning about their practices, and make sure their able to accommodate requests is a good strategy. There's other tricks like using the gluten-free filter on Yelp when searching for restaurants. I know some people like Find Me Gluten Free which has a website and app. It's an adjustment for sure, but it can be worth it to feel better and still get to do things you enjoy.
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