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I've been trying to adhere to a gluten-free for two months after it was suggested by a dietician. The information on this site is just great, I've learned so much and it will be a great help. I think I'm going to do the Enteron tests and see what they show - I think I'd slug a doctor who wanted me to go back on gluten so they could tell for sure, I've felt increasingly worse for 23 years (51 now), I don't ever want to take a step backwards.

I'm amazed at the number of people describing situations similar to mine:

told it was IBS

depression

fatigue

doctors that don't listen

joint pain

sleep problems

Been looking for a miracle for years, maybe I've found it.

Do you people eat at restaurants - or just at home?

I think giving up pizza and deserts is the toughest for me so far - my Mom is/was a fantastic baker, a bakery nearby makes eclairs so good I salivate at the thought of them - I'm really going to have to learn to bake.

Reading the posts at this site is a great help - thanks again

Phil the Scrawny One

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Hi Phil:

I think you have made a wonderful decision by taking charge of your health!

I also think Enterolab is a great idea :) . That is how I was diagnosed after suffering for years only be told I had IBS.

I eat at home most of the time. If I have family gathering I prepare mine and my daughters food and we take it with us. We eat out about once a week. I only go to places I KNOW has a gluten-free menu and food that I know I can tolerate by trial and error. I eat at Wendy's, Chick-Fil-A and Outback Steakhouse. I have not had any trouble with any of these places other than the salad dressing at Outback, it was just a little to spicy for me :D If you have an Outback near you they have an AWESOME gluten-free brownie dessert! It is YUMMY!!!!

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Hi, Phil!

Let's hear it for forward progress! Like you, I feel like maybe I have finally found the key that will allow me to unlock my full potential as a human being, and no one could pay me enough to convince me to go back on gluten for testing!

Right now I eat exclusively at home except when I am traveling, and even then I take as much food with me as possible. Either I have gotten EXTREMELY sensitive to gluten in the past month or so, or I have some temporary intolerances (besides lactose) that I haven't figured out yet. I haven't found a good pizza recipe yet, but I have found a couple of delicious cookies. One is a (vegan!) gingerbread cookie; the recipe is here. The other is a fruit-filled bar cookie with a crumble topping that I adapted myself from a regular recipe, and I will post the recipe as soon as I get a solid block of computer time without my baby trying to climb on my lap! These cookies really help me feel less deprived of the good things in life.

I hope you find some emotionally satisfying foods in short order, and that you continue to feel better each day!

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I feel just as you do Phil, there are great people on these boards that can help with the bad and share in the good. I think being a person that has gone through what we have really adds to our overall character! :wacko::P

Seriously, what doesn't kill you...o.k., it almost killed us all, but we are still typing so...

Glad your here, glad we are all here and can help each other.

As far as restaurants go, I have gone out to eat only a couple of times since going gluten-free, but I'm still not sure what is doing what yet. My immune system is so shot that it is hard for me to tell when I have a virus or if it is gluten that is causing suffering. It also depends on how desperate you are to feel better, I am limiting any potential mistakes because I can't live like this any longer. If your not too bad off and the risk is worth it, then o.k., but there is always the chance that even if you have eaten there before there will be cross contamination from a cook or whatever...it is tough, no way around it.

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    • Here's another thing.  Feeling deprived?  Order two of the same item.  I was hungry by the time dinner arrived! 
    • The doctors just made me feel like I was crazy because they did not have a clue of what was wrong with me. I did a stool test (positive) and I did a genes test (positive for two gluten sensitive genes, one in each chromosome).  Blood test are not so foolproof, if you read the comments/experiences in such topic you will see the problems. Biopsy can give a false negative if taken from an undamaged area. If you have medical problems that go away once on a gluten free diet then gluten is the problem. The medical establishment profit from managing your medical problems and big pharma makes money by pushing pills so we need to be careful because they won't benefit if a gluten-free diet solve your problems. Since I started a Gluten free diet I have been free of the following: (all related to Celiac)  Irregularity, Intestinal noise, Irregular stool, Tooth enamel defects, Rash in upper arms, Abdominal swelling, depression, fatigue, irritability, lactose intolerance, 
      loss of memory, dandruff, uncontrollable bladder, suicidal thoughts, unable to sleep, Canker sores/ Mouth ulcers, high blood pressure, and probably others that I did not realize. I was at the end of my rope, thanks to Google and the people that are able to talk about this I was able to get my life back. I am passionate about this because I know how bad its can get. 
    • Well, I have never cruised on Carnival, but I am sure they can accommodate you.  I assume that you have already alerted them that you require gluten free meals.  If not, please contact Carnival immediately. Here are my own tips.  Some folks eat off the buffet line, but not me or hubby except for coffee/drinks and baked potatoes (jacketed) and fruit that we wash in the restroom (people touch everything!)  Okay, I am OCD, but my last glutening which occurred the previous summer made me sick for three months (GI tested my antibodies to prove it).   When we board, I go to the buffet restaurant ASAP and ask to speak to the Head Waiter (they are usually there greeting customers and often trying to up sell to specialty restaurants.   Let them know you have celiac disease and must be gluten free.  They may try to tell you that each dish is clearly marked gluten free, but really?  Who's to say that some other passenger is not going to switch spoons (or I have seen passengers wandering around with serving spoons...I kid you not!  The staff usually will  go downstairs and fetch a gluten free meal for me from the main dining room's kitchen as there is usually a dedicated area for allergies.  We have to wait up to 20 minutes or so but it is worth it.  Starving?  Get a baked potato wrapped in foil until your gluten-free meal arrives.  Now, do not do this every single time.  Those folks have to go down several levels to fetch food and you don't want to be a pain.  But if the main dining area is closed, they need to make an effort to keep you safe.  On our last cruise, we were advised not to eat anywhere but the main dining room and that included room service (they are not trained to handled allergies).  My headwaiters have sent goodies (prepackaged gluten free rolls and cookies for us to keep in our room.  We can always grab whole fruit (I wash it first) to snack on.  I bring gluten-free non-perishable items with me to eat while at port in case we can't find anything (which can be often).  Again, when we get back to our ship, we contact our headwaiter and he/she can prepare some snacks until we have dinner.   Be grateful and not picky.   We eat all meals in the dining room (or at least as much as possible).  Our headwaiter had a few other celiacs on our cruise this summer, so they prepared some gluten-free waffles, etc. for our breakfast!  What a treat!  At breakfast, we'd have different waiters, so our headwaiter would always instruct our waiters each and every time!  They even let me tour the kitchen and showed me the allergy section.   The only time I did not feel safe was at the buffet.  We once ordered gluten-free pizza and I realized (I watched) that that restaurant didn't really have the gluten-free thing down), do I called him on it.  Got the manager etc.  So, be careful.  Other cruises made us frozen Udi"s which was just fine with us.  They covered it up in foil so that we would not get any cross contamination from their pizza oven. So, have fun!   Tipping?  We prepaid our gratuities, but we gave our headwaiter an extra $200.00 for his time.  For us, it was well worth the service and safety of our food.  It does not hurt to slip some of the tip ahead of time (like after your first meal!)   Oh, I checked your ship.  You must eat in the diningroom if you have special dietary needs.
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