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How To Rule Out Other Sensitivities?
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i'm sure people have discussed this on the boards before but i didn't know how to search it, i apologize.. anyone who has time to give me a quick tip would be much appreciated.

my question is this: i had a pos. blood test and neg. biopsy and i'm ready to start a gluten free diet just to see how i feel... but suppose i start the diet and still feel sick, how do i know if i'm gluten sensitive AND sensitive to corn/soy/etc? i have gastro problems seemingly all the time... everything seems to make me bloated and gassy -- soy, broccoli, sugar, olives, peanuts, salsa -- and i have lactose prob.s that only developed when all these other symptoms came along, about three years ago. i also had an egg allergy when i was a baby that disappeared (as far as i can tell). do i have to pay $300 for one of those blood tests to know what's causing what? i feel like i can't pinpoint my symptoms to any food in particular (not even wheat) and that's part of why my dr. keeps insisting i have IBS and nothing more. i've kept food diaries up the wazoo. nothing seems to make any sense whatsoever. i spent a year with hives every single day. my nails are weak and peely and gross. i feel tired a lot even though i exercise regularly. i have neither gained nor lost a significant amount of weight. and i have NO idea what i'm doing right now because all I've been told is that there's nothing I can do to help myself... by two gastros and a nutritionalist.

any advice on how to sort out the culprits would be appreciated.

thanks endlessly!

monica

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A food diary won't do much good if you can't narrow things down, so one option is what I'm doing - a strict elimination diet. A strict, forward elimination diet means you cut out just about everything from your diet, aside from a handful of items that you know don't bother you and have low allergenic potential. After a week of eating nothing but that, you add in items, one at a time, for a few days, and see how your body reacts. It takes time, can be hard on your body, and is more emotionally challenging than you can imagine until you try it. And technically, you shouldn't do it without talking to your doctor first. But it is a valid method that doctors use after other tests don't work.

To give some more specifics:

The first week, I'll be ingesting nothing other than quinoa and buckwheat (neither are grains, which I'm not including in this first week (so no rice!)), sweet potatoes and white potatoes, beef and lamb and turkey and chicken, spinach and carrots and beets (but I may need to take these out after a bad case of diahreah last night) and onions, grapes and apples and pears and watermelon (which also may be coming out due to last night's experience), olive oil and avocado and salt, and water. Period. No juices, no milks, no vitamins or pills, no spices, no candy, no nothing else. Literally ONLY those 19 items.

After a week of that, I will have milk (I may go with lactose free milk to specifically test caesin) for two days, and then go back to those 19 foods for the next day. Next, I will be adding soy in (probably soy milk, soy nuts, and soy sauce, I don't use much other soy) for two days, and go back to the original 19 foods for day after that. Then trying corn for two days (corn tortillas, corn flakes, other stricky corn items), and back to the original 19 foods for the day after that. And then another three days for testing peanuts and legumes.

Since those are the foods I'm most concerned about, I'm taking those tests very slow and simply. After that, I'll be testing shellfish, fish, eggs, tree nuts, strawberries, citrus, and tomatoes in two day shifts. (One day with plenty of the food, the next with none.)

All told, this is going to take four weeks. And I'm day three and already don't like it. I don't know if my body was "detoxing" or whatever, but last nights episode sucked, I've been hungry, and wanting foods (like citrus) that I can't have, and know that it's going to be a while before I can eat the things I want. But I've had a skin allergy test before, and it didn't show much of any response. (I could be dealing with an intolerance, not an allergy here.)

At the end of this, I may finally test out oats as well, we'll see how my patience is holding up.

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Wow, Tiffany.. that is amazing!! Good luck through your trial and error!! I'll be thinking about you.

Gretchen

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Interesting idea...........I've thought of reducing my diet to nothing and building slowly to look for problems..........that's a good idea for you to do that...........I'm going to give it a few more months, though, and if I still feel bad and the doctor doesn't know what to do, I might try that. Good luck and good idea :) .

-celiac3270

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Good Luck, Tiffany. :D Eliminating whatever bothered me by loosely following the chart of possible allergens, after my gluten/casein intolerance diagnosis and horrible experience with trying to substitute soy for dairy, has certainly helped me experience more and more painfree (symptom free) days. Whatever our 'diagnoses', we still have to individually assess which foods bother us, because we all have varying amounts of celiac damage to our systems as well as different kinds of symptoms. I applaud your logical approach to eliminating whatever foods give you reactions. ;)

BURDEE

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    • I_would_widen_the_search_to_your_whole_environment.....Carefully_consider_what_else_was_different_when_you_felt_better.
    • Thanks a lot for your advice and the link. I will surely check upon GCED. But, doesn't a negative HTTG (can't do IgA ttg as IgA deficiency) result mean that I am not exposed to gluten ? 
    • Thank you for going through my long post and responding. I have been both dairy and gluten-free free for 10 months now. Yes, even I was worried about other food allergies. I mentioned it to my GI doc and asked if I need food allergy test to eliminate other allergens. He said, food allergy tests give a lot of false positives and are not accurate. He said: not everything is because of food allergy and it's refractory celiac which is causing issues as the jejunum biopsy, done recently, is showing villous flattening.

      My doubt: 1. If I have so much damage in my small intestine (villous flattening) then how was I keeping fine for 6-7 months ( eating eggs, soy, rice and meat) - was constantly losing weight though - but was able to work out regularly - not much fatigue. 2. If it is other food allergens ( out of mentioned allergens, I take eggs, soy chunks, almonds only) why does it happen only few times and not always - I keep well for 7-8 days and then fall sick again - this without any change in diet.  
    • Oh, Trish at the GlutenFreeWatchDog tested Planter's honey roasted peanuts three years ago.  The can did not state gluten-free, but showed no gluten ingrediants (per Kraft policy).  Test result: less than 5 part per million which is pretty much gluten-free.  
    • What if it were something else that glutened you?  Maybe you ate too much of a good thing?  I once (three months post dx) ate too much gluten-free fried chicken, vomited, passed out and fractured my back (osteoporosis) in the process.  Paramedics, ER doc and Cardio all thought I was having a heart attack.   No.  It was sheer gluttony and bad bones.  Not good to overload with a damaged gut.    Maybe you did get some contaminated nuts.  Afterall, anything processed is suspect.  What might be well tolerated by some, might be too much for others.  We all have our various levels of gluten intolerance.   The old 20 parts per million is just a guideline, but science does not really know (lack of funding......doe anyone really care enough to find out?)  My hubby has been gluten-free for 15 years.  When I was first diagnosed, I tried to eat the gluten-free foods that I normally gave him.   Problem was he was healed and I was not.  Things like Xanthan Gum in commercial processed gluten-free breads make me feel like I have been glutened, but it is just (and still is) an intolerance.  So no bread for me unless I make it myself using a different gum.   Too lazy, so I do without.   so, ask your doctor if you really want to know or lay off the cashews and test them again in a month using a certified gluten-free nut.  I wish this was easier!    
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