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St John And St Thomas Usvi
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I am going to be flying into St Thomas and take the ferry over to St John where we will be staying in our own villa. We plan on doing most of our own cooking but I am having a difficult time finding anything gluten-free in St Thomas/ St John. Apparently, The Natural Food Deli at Mandela Circle, Plaza Extra at the Tutu Mall, Pueblo, and the Natural Food Deli in St Thomas and the Starfish and Dolphin Markets in St John MAY carry gluten free grocery items, but has anyone gone there that can verify this? What about restaurants? We'd like to go out to eat once or twice on either island and I can't seem to find any restaurants that are gluten-free. I'd like to go to a place where chefs/owners/wait staff are knowledgeable and try their best to avoid cross-contamination. Thank you in advance for your replies!

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Hello, I'm currently down in St. John, staying for a few months in my home down here. Food is very expensive down here, with many things 2 to 3 times more costly than in the continental US. Gluten free items are hard to find, although Dolphin Market, the second largest on St. John, had a limited selection of Bob's Red Mill gluten free items, like sorghum flour, rice flour, cake and brownie mixes, and pancake mix. Unfortunately, the flour won't do you much good without the xanthum gum or guar gum to make your bread more gluten like, and I couldn't find this anywhere. All items cost about 2x the standard US price. I mailed a bunch of supplies to the agent who rents my house when I'm not here. I stuffed flat rate priority mail boxes with bread mix, etc. Only costs 14.50 a box, and can weigh up to 70 lbs. Ask your rental agent if you can ship the box to them. The restaurants down here are not very gluten aware, and the staff is constantly changing, so the waiter you had last season who knew all about it and the chef who also understood all the problems, might not be here next year, or next month. Everybody speaks English, however, so you can at least let them know that you have a problem with gluten. Most will try and help you out. If your rental villa doesn't have a bread maker, you might benefit from bringing a silicon bread pan in your luggage, which won't weigh you down. Plenty to eat down here without gluten. You won't starve, and you will look better in your bathing suit.

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    • Hi everyone, I've been reading this forum sporadically and have some questions of my own. I'm in my 40s and was diagnosed with celiac last December by biopsy and blood work after months of tests by my primary and then a gastro. My husband, around the same age as me, was dx'd with stage 4 cancer a month later, so admittedly it's took me longer than I'd have liked to learn about celiac. Now I feel pretty on top of my diet. I mostly make my own food - proteins and veggies, with some certified gluten-free snacks in the mix - and am pretty strict about what I will/won't eat at friend's houses or in restaurants (I prefer to go to dedicated gluten-free kitchens whenever possible). I'm doing okay on the diet, but still getting glutened every so often, usually when I let me guard down outside the home. I also periodically see my primary and a naturopath (who happens to have celiac!), but still, I have many questions if anyone would care to answer:

      -FATIGUE. I'm still so tired, fatigued so much of the time. My doctors blame this on the stress of my husband's diagnosis and my periodic trouble sleeping. But even during weeks where I'm sleeping enough (8-10 hrs a day), eating right, exercising as I can, trying to keep stress at bay, I'm still so bleeping tired. Maybe not when I wake up, but by late afternoon. Often my legs even feel weak/wooden. Has anyone else experienced greater fatigue early on after being diagnosed? This will pass, yes? I know I could cut out the sweets and that could help, but also, being a caregiver is hard and sometimes it's nice to eat your feelings between therapy sessions.  

      -SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY FATIGUE? Sometimes I'll have other "feels like I've been glutened" symptoms if I haven't gotten enough sleep, though I'm trying so hard to sleep at least 8 hours a night these days. Hasn't happened in a while thankfully, but there was a point this summer where my insomnia was bad and my arms were achy and I had some crazy flank/back pain I'd never experienced before. For weeks. Doctor ordered me to sleep sleep sleep, taking Benedryl if needed. I did, and the symptoms went away, but weird, yes? Has this happened to you? I ask because I want to make sure I'm getting all strange pains tested to the full extent if there's a chance it's something other than celiac. I do sometimes still feel that strange side stitch after a CC incident.

      -SKIN PROBLEMS. I have had a smidge of eczema since I was a teen and it - and the dermatitis herpetiformis I've acquired with my dx - are out of control right now. I recognize the connection with stress, but also, has anyone found any great natural remedies for DH to stop the itching? I've tried so many useless ointments and medicated creams, a number of them given to my by a dermo months ago. I see my naturopath this week, but thought I'd ask here too.

      -MOSTLY gluten-free KITCHEN GOOD ENOUGH? My husband is supportive of my diet and mostly eats gluten free meals with me, but we still keep a gluten-y toaster for him and the gluten-y dog food in a corner of the kitchen and he still makes the occasional meal with gluten for himself on his own cookware (ravioli, pizza, mac n cheese, etc). Or sometimes I make eggs/toast and the like for him when he's too sick to move. Otherwise, we're militant about how we cook, which cookware we use, etc. He even has a kitchen nook off our den where he makes sandwiches. But sometimes I wonder if having two separate sponges in our shared-ish main kitchen is enough and I should just banish all gluten whatsoever from the kitchen. I can't be the only one with a mixed kitchen, right? How do you do it if you have a mixed-eating family?

      Thank you so much!  
    • Hang in there!  Count your blessings.  Do something you like to do and relax. I know that is hard to do as a young mother (as I sit here in the kitchen sipping coffee quietly as my teenager is sleeping in after a late football game last night where she marched in 90 degree plus weather in full uniform).   But seriously, take a few minutes to relax!  
    • Meredith, this is very true. A colonoscopy is for diagnosis of the lower intestine, endoscopy for the upper intestine.  How did your doctor interpret the tests? I suggest you read the link Cycling Lady gave you because it contains a lot of good information. 
    • Sorry, but this product (supplement) is not even certified gluten free.   Seems odd that a product geared to Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance would not take the extra step of getting certified.   I guess I am a Nervous Nellie, especially after the reports that several probiotics were contaminated with gluten.   https://celiac.org/blog/2015/06/probiotics-your-friend-or-foe/
    • Thank you for posting that. I've had a lot of that bloodwork done and everything is normal. At the peak of this belly bug I had blood work done and my white count was fine. I think it's just my health anxiety scaring me into thinking this is something scarier (to me) than celiac. Maybe the anxiety will subside once I go gluten-free. The anxiety is brutal.
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