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College Student Recently Diagnosed With celiac disease
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To anyone that reads this, please reply with any info you would like to share with me!

I am a college student, always on the go, love to eat out, love to snack.

2 weeks ago I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I am struggling to find good things to eat.

Do Puffins Cinnamon Cereal have gluten in it?

Are there other names for gluten that is on the ingredient list?

How come some wheat free foods are not gluten free??

I loved miller lite, any one try the wheat free beer?

Also what liquors do I stay away from? or do I have to be that girl and ask everytime I want to get a drink?

Any other info you would like to share, please do, since I am learning everyday.

Thanks,

Krista

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To anyone that reads this, please reply with any info you would like to share with me!

I am a college student, always on the go, love to eat out, love to snack.

2 weeks ago I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I am struggling to find good things to eat.

Do Puffins Cinnamon Cereal have gluten in it?

Are there other names for gluten that is on the ingredient list?

How come some wheat free foods are not gluten free??

I loved miller lite, any one try the wheat free beer?

Also what liquors do I stay away from? or do I have to be that girl and ask everytime I want to get a drink?

Any other info you would like to share, please do, since I am learning everyday.

Thanks,

Krista

The only puffins cereals that are gluten free are the honey rice. The others contain oats. Wheat free products can contain oats, rye and barley. These contain gluten.

ANy drinks made with malt. Mikes hard lemonade is an example.

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If you like Cinnamon, try Dora the Explorer cinnamon stars ... a kids cereal, but gluten-free and cinnamon taste. Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles are also gluten-free. Watch for malt in cereal, or oats. Wheat is easy to spot.

My husband does not eat gluten-free, and has never been a beer drinker. He loves Redbridge though as it's the first beer he's drank that doesn't give him a headache. It's made by Budweiser, so is easy to find.

I stay away from any grain alcohols. Some celiacs can handle them since they are distilled, but they bother others. So, I can drink rum, tequila and potato vodka (Chopin, but NOT Belvedere, don't know why everyone thinks Belverdere is potato, it's not). Smirnoff is made from corn.

Any bar you go into you will need to read the mixer unless you just get Coke or another soda. I have even seen margarita mixes with gluten. <_<

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Duplicate post ... ugh.

My daughter eats gluten-free at college. One of her favorite places to eat is Chipotle. She gets a burrito bowl.

Also, Wendy's chili and Frosties are gluten-free.

Chick-fil-a grilled chicken salad (no sunflower seeds or croutons ... get the tortilla strips instead) and waffle fries (double check, as always, to be sure a dedicated fryer is used)

Many restaurants have gluten-free menus:

Mitchells Fish Market

Bonefish Grill

Outback Steakhouse

Carrabas

Cheeseburger in Paradise

Maggianos (chef comes to your table)

The easiest thing to do is to go to where you want to eat early in the day when they're not busy and check out the place. Same with drinks. Decide what you're going to drink early in the day, come here and ask if it's gluten-free.

After some time, you will know what you like that is gluten-free and it will become second nature eating that way. I honestly don't even think about it anymore, but it was very hard in the beginning. At this point, my younger daughter (13) in my avatar, even handles it easily. It was only difficult in the beginning.

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It feels so overwhelming in the beginning doesn't it? Please know that it DOES get easier.

I have tried the Anheiseur Busch Redbridge beer, and it's quite good. I've found it at Sprouts (a health food market chain) but it's supposed to be widely available in grocery stores any minute--I'd suggest you go to your regular grocery store and ask to talk to the manager of the alcohol section and ask if he will stock it. My fave gluten-free beer is Bard's Tale's Dragon's Gold beer--way yumm-o! I've only ever found it at Whole Foods Market, though.

Wine is gluten-free.

Soda pop is gluten-free.

Liqueurs: if they're creamy, you have to ask the bartender, or better yet call the manufacturer.

Distilled spirits: gluten is a protein. Protein cannot crossover during the distillation process, so anything distilled (vodka, etc.) is gluten-free. Vodka plus Fresca makes a fabulous mixed drink. Rum ad Coke is gluten-free. Most mixers are gluten-free, but read labels.

Here are my other gluten-free newbie tips:

Now you can eat to treat, and soon feel better. Here are some key coping strategies to get you started.

1. Know that you will grieve your old favorite gluten-filled foods. I actually tear up when I see a brioche sometimes. Grieving is normal, BUT IT IS NOT EASY OR COMFORTABLE. People around you will eat treats you can't have and you will feel sad and isolated. Strategy: stock your car, office, purse, backpack, secret drawer at home with gluten-free treats you can reach for any time you are feeling deprived. This really helped me. I recommend Baby Ruth Bars, Snicker Bars, Lara Bars, Dove Dark Chocolate, meringue cookies, macaroon cookies (read labels), Butterfinger, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. You get the idea.

2. Know that it will take time (months, probably) to figure out what to eat (it took me 6 mos.) and during this time, it'll be kind of a daily challenge to plan meals. Every time you go to the store it'll be a challenge to choose groceries. Strategy: plan on an hour--don't bring kids or friends. Go the bathroom before you start grocery shopping. Bring your reading glasses--read every label. The good news is, THIS GETS MUCH BETTER OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS AS YOU GET USED TO THE DIET.

3. It may take a while for your gut to heal, depending on how damaged it was at the time you went gluten free. So, you are going to have to be patient with your body--some people feel better immediately after going gluten-free, but most of us take longer than that. Don't give up if you don't see instant results. Strategy: Maximize your general health by getting enough rest, water, exercise, and limiting stress. Maximize your digestive health by limiting foods that are hard on the gastrointestinal tract until you're feeling better: limit irritants like dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and fried foods--these are all hard to digest--go back to them when you feel your gut is recovering.

4. Accept right now that it will be YOUR job to teach those around you about your diet

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Hey, I was also diagnosed in college. You're not alone, though sometimes it certainly feels that way.

Susanna gave some really great advice. I wish I'd gotten that advice when I was first on the diet. It was hard to me to admit that this was a difficult thing, especially because no one around me could begin to understand. I'd always been a foodie, so that didn't help either. Most non-C people think 'eh, so you don't eat a few things, what's the big deal?' but no one realizes that gluten is in practically everything. You just can't buy 97% of what isn't in the produce section at the grocery store anymore. I think the first step is acknowledging that it's difficult, and not just semantically. It's a psychologically traumatizing thing, particularly in college, when a lot of your peers will evaluate you based on how normative you seem and a lot of people harbor resentment for people who want special treatment. And I hate to say it but I feel morally obligated to mention that finding out who you really trust is one of the first important steps to take. I've had personal experience with it, and heard so many stories about peoples "best friends" or boyfriends/girlfriends or what have you sneaking gluten into their food just to prove a point. The social situation can get really rough really quickly. It gets more important if eating gluten is debilitating. For some of us going on the diet means becoming more sensitive to gluten, such that while we might have gotten a little sick before, eating any gluten now might mean getting really sick. Combined with consistently making mistakes (which you will) about what food items contain gluten, as even a gluten free product can change overnight, the situation becomes really difficult. I guess my biggest suggestion is to work out a support network now.

Also, this site will be your best reference on absolutely anything related to the disease. You benefit from many more hours of labor on here than you could ever hope to accomplish yourself. If it weren't for these people I would still be sick as a dog. You can also try to find local support group meetings, as those tend to be more helpful in terms of identifying where to shop. People will tell you otherwise, but gluten free food is expensive. It also tends to spoil faster and taste worse. There are a lot of good products out there, to be sure, but as a college student trying to pay in the initial investment to either buy cooking supplies or buy gluten-free food can seem monumental. Working out a source of funding for that was one of the most important things I did during my first few months and that has helped tremendously. Print lists of the alternate names used for wheat, barley, rye and oats check absolutely everything. When you have time, check them against the website too. Sometimes there's hidden gluten or many other people have had a bad reaction. Having your own transportation to get to the health food store might be important. My life became a lot easier once I found out where the local stock of gluten-free food was. Parties are easier when you offer to pick up the drinks, so you can get the kind that you can drink. I know we can have Malibu rum, true vodkas, etc.

Anyway that's a long rant and there's more I'm sure but that seems like enough for now. Cross-contaminated eating ware became a problem for me but everyone is different. Good luck, and know that a lot of people on this site will be more than happy to help if they can.

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Dear Krista,

Welcome to the forum! I have a present for you! I have a list that should really help. This is overwhelming. I went through this with myself eight months ago. You spend most of your day cooking and cleaning obsessively. The rest you are on the phone with reps from companies trying to find out what is safe. I decided to save you the trouble!

1. There are a number of things in the regular grocery that are safe. Some things are labeled already. Wal-Mart's Great Value brand has numerous things you can eat.

2. For the love of God use Coupons on items you are allowed to eat. People can get them and print them out online even. Call some of the local stores and ask if they accept online coupons.

3. Check the ads online and in the newspaper. You would be surprised how many people do not do this.

4. Some items like rice flour and rice noodles are safe to buy at the Chinese or oriental market. The merchants are more than happy to help you if you cannot read the label.

Now, here is my list of great things to get you started:

Condiments:

Smart Balance Margarine*

Crisco Shortening

Crisco Oil

Pompeiian Olive Oil

Great Value soy sauce

Heinz Ketchup

Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce (all Lea & Perrins Products are safe)

Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce

Kraft French Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Kraft Thousand Island Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Pace Picante Sauce

Ortega Salsa

All Classico Red and *White sauces

All Jif Peanut Butters including Smooth Sensations

Welch's Grape Jelly

Cool Whip*

Philadelphia Cream Cheese*

Miracle Whip

Daisy Sour Cream (fat-free, low-fat, regular)*

Snack Foods:

Utz Potato Chips (Found at Sam

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It feels so overwhelming in the beginning doesn't it? Please know that it DOES get easier.

I have tried the Anheiseur Busch Redbridge beer, and it's quite good. I've found it at Sprouts (a health food market chain) but it's supposed to be widely available in grocery stores any minute--I'd suggest you go to your regular grocery store and ask to talk to the manager of the alcohol section and ask if he will stock it. My fave gluten-free beer is Bard's Tale's Dragon's Gold beer--way yumm-o! I've only ever found it at Whole Foods Market, though.

Wine is gluten-free.

Soda pop is gluten-free.

Liqueurs: if they're creamy, you have to ask the bartender, or better yet call the manufacturer.

Distilled spirits: gluten is a protein. Protein cannot crossover during the distillation process, so anything distilled (vodka, etc.) is gluten-free. Vodka plus Fresca makes a fabulous mixed drink. Rum ad Coke is gluten-free. Most mixers are gluten-free, but read labels.

Here are my other gluten-free newbie tips:

Now you can eat to treat, and soon feel better. Here are some key coping strategies to get you started.

1. Know that you will grieve your old favorite gluten-filled foods. I actually tear up when I see a brioche sometimes. Grieving is normal, BUT IT IS NOT EASY OR COMFORTABLE. People around you will eat treats you can't have and you will feel sad and isolated. Strategy: stock your car, office, purse, backpack, secret drawer at home with gluten-free treats you can reach for any time you are feeling deprived. This really helped me. I recommend Baby Ruth Bars, Snicker Bars, Lara Bars, Dove Dark Chocolate, meringue cookies, macaroon cookies (read labels), Butterfinger, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. You get the idea.

2. Know that it will take time (months, probably) to figure out what to eat (it took me 6 mos.) and during this time, it'll be kind of a daily challenge to plan meals. Every time you go to the store it'll be a challenge to choose groceries. Strategy: plan on an hour--don't bring kids or friends. Go the bathroom before you start grocery shopping. Bring your reading glasses--read every label. The good news is, THIS GETS MUCH BETTER OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS AS YOU GET USED TO THE DIET.

3. It may take a while for your gut to heal, depending on how damaged it was at the time you went gluten free. So, you are going to have to be patient with your body--some people feel better immediately after going gluten-free, but most of us take longer than that. Don't give up if you don't see instant results. Strategy: Maximize your general health by getting enough rest, water, exercise, and limiting stress. Maximize your digestive health by limiting foods that are hard on the gastrointestinal tract until you're feeling better: limit irritants like dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and fried foods--these are all hard to digest--go back to them when you feel your gut is recovering.

4. Accept right now that it will be YOUR job to teach those around you about your diet

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Hi Krista,

I am a college student myself, and it is very challenging to make sure you eat in between classes. Others here gave some really good ideas on foods to eat - My problem was if I didn't bring anything to eat, then I didn't eat at all on those long school days. So it was a new challenge for me to make sure I remembered to bring something to eat. Especially with midterms etc. (don't need to drain your brain before the test :)

I always pack a little cooler with an apple, Lara Bar (s), yogurt (with a lactaid:), small ziplock of Envirokids cereal (for crunchies), and a spoon. I don't go out much, but Pei Wei's is pretty good if you have one of those around, it's fast and easy -- and good too.

Envirokids also has some pretty good rice bars too.

If I have extra time, I may make a small salad, with a side of dressing. (My favorite is the Sesame Dressing from Costco -- it's gluten free)

Just make sure you have something to grab and go. The Lara Bars can be expensive, but I decided that I was saving so much money by not going out anymore, and I was becoming desperate for calories and they are 180 cals. so I usually have one of those everyday.

Good luck!

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Hey there! I'm in college, I can relate :) I myself am fairly new to the gluten-free thing myself, and I know it can be really, really hard. Emotionally its hard enough, but with all of the pressures (money, peers, time, etc) in college, it can be so much harder. Hang in there!

First of all, go to facebook. Right now. There are several facebook "support" groups for celiac that are pretty big. If you search the member database, the first members listed should be in your network. Get in contact with these people! I know it might be weird sending a stranger a message, but in the end it's nice to have that connection. Believe me. I'm in "Fu** Gluten, I'll Punch Gluten in the Face" (The "F" word totally spelled out, BTW) and the global "Celiac Disease Support Group". Your school may have it's own facebook chapter. Join, read, contact. It helped me so much to read the stories of people my own age. I had met a girl one semester who I knew had celiac, and when I went gluten-free, I sent her a message and said that I remembered she was a celiac and that I might be, too. We ended up going to a gluten-free friendly restaurant together and bonding over gluten-free pizza. One of the best things you can do for yourself is find some support. This website is really helpful, hopefully your friends and family will be supportive as well, but there's nothing like meeting face to face with someone who's in the same boat.

On a similar note, it's been suggested to me a lot that I find a support group. The homepage of this website somewhere has a link to celiac support groups, and I think it might be worth it for you to check into.

As for the food situation, it does take a lot of time to figure out what is edible and what isn't. I was lucky enough to have something of a "head start" in that department, since my grandmother also has celiac and I already knew a lot about what she could and couldn't eat. Starting from scratch is much harder, and it will take you a lot of time. The more research you do, the better. I've been scouring the internet for info for a good two months now and am still learning things. There's a lot to keep in mind: some colorings and flavorings could have gluten, and "modified food starch" could be virtually anything. This is the hard part. My grandma sent me a really useful book on gluten-free products, it's HUGE. It lists all kinds of products that are safe, along with company contact information, and a lot of good general info on being gluten free. I always take it shopping with me. You can find it here: http://www.csaceliacs.org/ProductListing.php . It's $30 but to me it's worth every penny, especially when you're just starting out.

Sometimes, just because something says it's gluten free, it's not necessarily true. For example, I bought a protein bar once that said it was made in a facility that processed wheat. It also said it was gluten free. Highly contradictory. I ate it and got sick. On the other hand, other products I've tried with similar messages didn't bother me at all. A bit of it is trial and error, and it can be really frustrating, especially when you have to deal with homework. Which reminds me: some universities will consider celiac a disability. If you get a document from a doctor, you can register as "disabled". In your case, this could mean if you get glutened and sick, you can't get penalized for missing classes. Not all schools will accept celiac, but some of them do. If you tend to get massively sick from gluten, it may be worthwhile to check into your schools program. I know I've gotten lower grades in classes from missing too many classes when I was sick. I might not be penalized for it in the future if I can prove that this illness interferes with my schoolwork.

You can also find a lot of resources at the library. My library has a lot of gluten-free cookbooks and a few books on celiac. gluten-free cookbooks usually have a lot of straightforward info as to what is edible and what's not. There's a lot of information to learn, so don't be afraid to forget some of it. Just keep reading and reviewing, after a while some of it will just become second nature.

Restaurants can be challenging. Actually, I've found that most any social situation involving food can be challenging. It sucks watching your friends eat pizza without you, believe me, I know. As far as restaurants go, the key is really to be assertive about your needs. Not rude, but assertive. I just explain that a few crumbs are enough to make me sick, and that helps a lot. I think most people honestly don't realize the severity of the situation, so once they know, they're a lot more helpful. Eating out is always a bit risky, there's always a chance for CC, but you can be safe about it. I like to call the restaurant ahead of time to see if they can accomodate gluten-free diets. An individual staff member may not understand, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can't eat there. The phone call just helps me gauge if the service will be good or not. I've been surprised at how many times the person on the other end says they have a gluten-free menu. If a dish is to be shared, I take my portion first with clean utensils, and everyone else goes after me. Tough if they think it's rude: it's for my own safety, and most people are really cool about it. I bring my own wheat free soy sauce to some Japanese and Chinese restaurants because not all stock it. A few do, which is nice. Call ahead, ask if they have "Tamari" (wheat-free soy sauce).

A lot of chain restaurants have gluten free menus, but that doesn't mean the staff is well-trained. I've gotten sick at Chili's a few times, even when I tell the waiter to make sure the grill is cleaned before they grill my bunless burger on it. I've found that local restaurants are a lot better at dealing with these kinds of situations. A lot of Indian restaurants are great, because a lot of their food is already gluten-free. They are extremely used to dealing with all kinds of dietary restriction and if you explain yours, they'll usually find you something safe. I used to work at an Indian restaurant and we had celiacs come in all the time and eat off of the buffet! I do it now too, and don't have any issues. I've had good luck at Japanese restaurants, as well. Most things are safe, just avoid sauces, which nearly all contain soy sauce, and miso soup, which usually has wheat. Oh, and tempura, obviously. Most sushi is fine. Once I had the chef make me a special dish: I wanted beef but none of their beef dishes were safe. He made me one with gluten-free seasonings and it was delicious! Ethiopian food is fine, too, just order the bread on the side, and scoop your portion into your own bowl before anyone contaminates it with the bread. Better yet, some of the breads may actually be gluten free, but always double check. Most are not, unfortunately, since the grain used instead of wheat is much harder to come by and a lot more expensive. A lot of people have good luck at Mexican restaurants, too. I was tickled pink when I found out a local pizza restaurant carries gluten-free crust and has an entire page of the menu dedicated to their gluten-free food. You've got a lot of options, the trick is just finding it all. And again, finding some local celiacs will help you do this.

I've been surprised at how understanding a lot of my friends have been. I went over to a sorority sister's house a while back and explained that I would either need to bring my own meal or eat beforehand, and she told me she understood since one of her best friends in high school also had celiac. I ended up eating out with my boyfriend beforehand, and actually wasn't too upset about my friends eating pizza without me since I was already so full. I generally keep gluten-free snacks with me at all times in case I can't find safe food. It's also helpful if friends want to eat out but I can't: I still go with them for the company and drink a coke with whatever snacks I have. I honestly don't feel guilty about bringing my own food into restaurants. The way I see it is if they can't accomodate me, I'm not going to eat there anyway. It's my right to eat safe food. The thing of it is, the restaurant would rather not risk making you sick, because they could theoretically get in trouble for it, or lose business. It's better for them to let you do your own thing so you won't get sick, thus avoiding any hassle. They know this, they probably won't say anything.

Anyway, good luck. Feel free to PM me if you want! :)

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DarkIvy had a lot of really good information. I just wanted to point out that I actually have had a difficult time with sushi in my area. A lot of rolls contain fried ingredients, almost all crab is imitation crab meat (mostly gluten) and as she mentioned, nearly all of the sauces contain soy sauce, most brands of which list wheat above soy in the ingredients. Some wasabi has even been suspect. I've had the most luck with really getting to know the chefs at one or two sushi places, finding the menu's few safe items, and sticking to them.

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Just another thought. Don

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DarkIvy, YOU GO GIRL! What a terrific attitude you have! :)

Pauliina

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I've found that the best way to explain it to people is, "It's like a vaccine. Once your immune system is "primed" against wheat, you'll always respond to even a little bit, and usually stronger over time, just like you would respond to a virus faster and stronger once you've been vaccinated. Except in this case, your immune system is attacking your own tissues instead of a virus, and that's why you get sick."

I've run into a couple of people who have a hard time with it, but so far nobody has been unkind. It's just....you know, the handful of friends who think it's okay to eat a little bite here and there, and they feel badly for you that you can't eat any, so they temp you, "just try a little bit!" It's frustrating, but they usually mean well. Those people obviously can't get the "never, at all, even a little" part through their heads. So saying that to them over and over may not be useful after a while. So unless they're close, I just say something like, "Oh, no, I've got a (meeting/exam/paper/appointment) tomorrow and can't afford to risk being sick." That tends to make it less abstract for them.

Sometimes people ask about the symptoms. It's not always fun to explain. But I figure, if they're asking...well, I'll tell them. "Diarrhea, gas, pain, gastritis. Ultimately, my body can't get enough nutrients, because it doesn't digest my food properly." They usually realize then how serious it is.

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Dear Dark Ivy,

I am glad your parents get it. Mine could not care less! I am stuck living with them. They complain that I need to go out and get a job. I cannot heal if I keep getting glutened! They are not careful at all! Then they have the nerve to whine that they want into the bathroom while I am sick!

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

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WOW, I would like to thank everyone who replied to my questions! You all have given me SO much information and I can't thank you enough!

I also have something I am confused about: I am reading about how you guys get real sick if you get any (tiny amount) or gluten. I don't. I usually just get the rumbling (uncomfortable) of my stomach and small intestine- it seems like it doesn't settle for hours! Also, I usually have diharrea depending on how much gluten I get. So my case is not as bad as it seems like everyone else's case of celiac disease. I go to the gastro doctor on Friday- so I will have more info on myself-- but I am coming to think, do I have celiac disease or is it just an allergy or is it an allergy to other things- maybe dairy??

My lab results came back weak positive for celiac disease.

I guess I am not looking for an answer from you guys, b/c you prolly can't diagnose me! But I just wanted to voice that- maybe I caught it early???

Thanks again to everyone that replies- you all are sooo awesome!

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WOW, I would like to thank everyone who replied to my questions! You all have given me SO much information and I can't thank you enough!

I also have something I am confused about: I am reading about how you guys get real sick if you get any (tiny amount) or gluten. I don't. I usually just get the rumbling (uncomfortable) of my stomach and small intestine- it seems like it doesn't settle for hours! Also, I usually have diharrea depending on how much gluten I get. So my case is not as bad as it seems like everyone else's case of celiac disease. I go to the gastro doctor on Friday- so I will have more info on myself-- but I am coming to think, do I have celiac disease or is it just an allergy or is it an allergy to other things- maybe dairy??

My lab results came back weak positive for celiac disease.

I guess I am not looking for an answer from you guys, b/c you prolly can't diagnose me! But I just wanted to voice that- maybe I caught it early???

Thanks again to everyone that replies- you all are sooo awesome!

First of all, a weak positive blood test is STILL a positive result. Keep in mind that many celiacs actually had negative bloodwork and needed to have the biopsy to prove it at all. The fact that you have had any positive signs at all is in a way a blessing. Your diagnosis might be easier that way. I recently read a celiac cookbook that said something to the effect of "being a little bit celiac is like being a little bit pregnant", the point being either you ARE a celiac or you are NOT a celiac.

Some people may not have such pronounced symptoms. Some people don't really have symptoms at all. For many people, with time on the gluten free diet, getting glutened causes a lot more problems than it originally did.

An allergy is different from celiac. There are different tests for wheat allergies. I suggest you talk these concerns over with your doctor and see what happens... a lot of times people with celiac have other intolerances as well. Keep in mind that it takes a long time to heal, so you might not feel very well for a while even when you go on the diet.

Also, do you plan on having an endoscopy done? If so, you'll probably need to get back on gluten. With any luck your gastro might not bother confirming your bloodwork with an endoscopy, and then you wouldn't have to bother.

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Some people have no symptoms at all, but have total villous atrophy (meaning their intestine is as damaged as it can get). Other people have crippling symptoms but their intestine only shows minor damage. And every variation of the above. Severity of symptoms doesn't equal severity of damage.

Some people start reacting much more strongly once they have been gluten free for a while. Once the immune system doesn't need to be dealing with a gluten attacker every day, it can gather some strength and REALLY react it seems. :o Other people never get very severe reactions. You'll only know which category you fall into once you've been gluten free for a while.

Pauliina

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Some people have no symptoms at all, but have total villous atrophy (meaning their intestine is as damaged as it can get). Other people have crippling symptoms but their intestine only shows minor damage. And every variation of the above. Severity of symptoms doesn't equal severity of damage.

Some people start reacting much more strongly once they have been gluten free for a while. Once the immune system doesn't need to be dealing with a gluten attacker every day, it can gather some strength and REALLY react it seems. :o Other people never get very severe reactions. You'll only know which category you fall into once you've been gluten free for a while.

Pauliina

It's interesting, because the immune system deals with bacteria and viruses like that too. First exposure, strong immune response, second exposure, even stronger faster immune response. Every exposure after that ever faster and stronger. BUT with chronic exposure....usually the immune system "calls a truce" and responds at some kind of equilibrium level.

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gluten is gluten is gluten is gluten (etc) to a Celiac. Lack or less of symptoms does NOT mean that you are ok. If you get glutened your 'switch' is turned on (autoimmune) and it is attacking your body. Goal is to keep the switch off.

There is no gluten lite, only gluten free, to have true results from the diet.

the pregnancy analogy is one of my favorites. Two women can be pregnant...one is horribly sick, morning sickness, ton of weight gain, miserable. Another woman is glowing, no morning sickness, and is cute as a button. Both are pregnant, but have different "reactions" to it. Doesn't mean that one isn't any more pregnant than the other.

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Wendy's frosties are NOT gluten-free anymore...they used to be. About a year? ago Wendy's added gluten to them. Don't eat it!!!!!

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The positive blood test clinches it that you have celiac disease. It's a blood test which picks up the level of the antigens in your blood. My husband's was "strong-positive" to which the gastro said that it confirmed that he had celiac disease for many, many years.

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WOW, I would like to thank everyone who replied to my questions! You all have given me SO much information and I can't thank you enough!

I also have something I am confused about: I am reading about how you guys get real sick if you get any (tiny amount) or gluten. I don't. I usually just get the rumbling (uncomfortable) of my stomach and small intestine- it seems like it doesn't settle for hours! Also, I usually have diharrea depending on how much gluten I get. So my case is not as bad as it seems like everyone else's case of celiac disease. I go to the gastro doctor on Friday- so I will have more info on myself-- but I am coming to think, do I have celiac disease or is it just an allergy or is it an allergy to other things- maybe dairy??

My lab results came back weak positive for celiac disease.

I guess I am not looking for an answer from you guys, b/c you prolly can't diagnose me! But I just wanted to voice that- maybe I caught it early???

Thanks again to everyone that replies- you all are sooo awesome!

Dear BlackburnK,

I am glad your reaction is not as violent as mine is. The thing is, when you are Celiac, even a microscopic amount can harm your intestines. Even if you do not get sick from it, there still can be damage done. This can lead to intestinal cancer, blunted villi, and other terrible illnesses. I actually had negative bloodwork several years ago, but was diagnosed as Celiac this year by my doctor. She says the tests are not always accurate. Gluten in even a slight amount is dangerous.

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

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I know you have gotten a lot of replys for this already, but I thought I could add valuable advice.

I was diagnosed right before i graduate high school, so i barely had a grasp on it before i went to college.

i also play soccer at school, and didnot tell anyone about my allergy. ive never wanted to be "that girl" with all the issues and allergies. so i survived for a pre-season on salad and lunch meats and i was so sick for about two weeks playing and running outside. it was probably the stupidest thing ive ever done.

i also got a letter from my dr. that if i ever gave to food services they would cook me a gluten-free meal every night. but again, i was embarassed and i HATED special attention, so i never gave them the letter. i survived a year of college on ice cream and salad and various other things that obviously made me really sick. again, stupid. I was sick every day, but just got through it.

this is NOT something i advise-if you eat at the dining hall-give them a letter-you are paying for them to cook- so take advantage.

my other advise- is to live somewhere with a kitchen. cooking yourself is so much better.

as for on the go: sometimes im on campus for 10 hours- so i bring a ton of snacks.:

some of my favs:

-cut up fruit and veggies (peppers and apples last a long time)

-i always make a sandwich with gluten free bread and bring that

-fruit snacks

-there are these apple crisps that are really good-ill try n find the name of them.

my best advise, i suppose is so pack and plan. if you dont bring something from home, its possible youll end up going through the day with only a candy bar and a bag of chips to eat, which wont feel good at the end of the day.

i hope you are adjusting well. it is really hard. and if you have a hard time getting people to understand the seriousness of your allergy- tell them its a diease- that tends to wake people up a bit

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