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Depressed Over Celiac, Need Help!

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 03:46 PM

Hi everyone,
I'm new to this site, but not new to Celiac Disease. I was diagnosed in 2004 with
both Celiac Disease and Dermititis Herpatiformis. Double Whammy!!! It was such a
trauma to me. I felt like all the foods I enjoyed were suddenly taken away.

I've been to a support group, but only became more discouraged. I live on a very
limited budget, this doesn't all me to buy these speciality foods people talk about.
I'm careful with what I eat, but somethings I have no choice because of cost.
People say how easy it is to live "Gluten-free"......its not for me. For one reason
I can't afford the foods I should be eating, nor the book of allowed foods. I'd like
to see the food diary of someone who is gluten-free. I'm really curious what people
I'm so depressed about this. Everyday I'm in severe pain, in the bathroom, feel bad
all the time. I've nearly quit eating, just live on liquids. In the past 3 months I've lost 47lbs.
All I want to do is sleep. It seems hopeless to me.
I'm sorry for pouring out my heart in this post, but I'm at my wits end. I've never
had anyone to help me with this. I've been to dieticians, etc. It would be so nice
to have some support. Thanks for reading this....have a great day.
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 04:32 PM

I am sure many will echo this, but you have come to the right place. I've been diagnosed since 2002 and have spent a lot of that time on a very limited budget. It is possible to get better. Since you can make a post at all, you have internet access. On this site is a list of allowed and not allowed foods. It was one of the first things I found. You should be able to search for that from the home page. You can afford to eat quite cheaply if you keep things very basic and you don't even have to bother with any of the fancy substitutes for things.

You sound like you are trapped in a very viscous negative cycle both physically and mentally. Once you quit eating and start living on just liquids your body will start to just feel worse and worse because it is not getting what it needs, even if you are only drinking gluten free things. When your body feels like crap so does your mind.

Start by looking around this site at whatever strikes your fancy. You sound very alone in this and you need to know that you are really not.

For foods - I actually wasn't going to make a list because I feel like it would just be too long. (a good thing, no??) But here goes a really broad overview of some simple cheap ideas:

fruit (fresh & dried)
corn (corn tortillas)

Part of your problem may be that you have other food intolerances that are also making you miserable. I can't have dairy. (that's common) others can't have soy. I would stay away from dairy for now even if it is gluten free because of the amount of time you spend in the bathroom already. Dairy is just hard on the system.

You also sound pretty overwhelmed even now. I am so so sorry... It can get like that. But I promise you can get a grip on all this. But it will take a little work on your part too... Keep coming to this site to vent, and do come back with specific questions after your play around on this site more!!
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Diagnosed celiac 2002
Diagnosed lymphocytic colitis 2003
Casein free
Love baking/cooking
Love triathlons



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Posted 27 September 2010 - 05:55 PM

Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it. I do have internet in my home. So I'm able to get online whenever I wish.

One thing you mentioned in your reply that is very accurate...there are other
factors affecting what I eat. I have dental problems, even though I see my
dentist regularly, so alot of things are difficult to chew.
My biggest "road-block" is one that suprised my dermatologist. My dermatitis
herpatiformis breaks out "inside my mouth"! Every time I have a break out...
my mouth is full of sores. So I don't eat anything that is the least bit
spicy, or crunchy, can't chew meat, the list goes on....

I am overwhelmed right now, that's for sure. Thank you for the open door invitation,
that means so much. I do appreciate your list also. Thanks again.

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 06:12 PM

I'm so very sorry that you feel so ill right now. I know how hard it is to live and eat on a skimpy budget--I usually just eat mashed potatoes or tomatoes from my garden during the last week of the month because I've run out of money to buy food. It can be discouraging, I know.

Although I don't normally tout processed foods, since I've been eating pretty much only natural foods since I went gluten free in 2004 (just like you!), there is a great list of "regular" foods that can be purchased at the supermarket that are gluten free, such as canned chili beans or hash. Many tend to be inexpensive. Have you heard of Dr. Holland's gluten-free list? If not, you can access it here:


I also have Dermatitis Herpetiformis (face, feet, and hands), and my daughter gets her sores inside her mouth. Have you already eliminated iodine from your diet so that gluten contamination won't trigger the rash? Sneaky places where iodine hides is in dairy products and asparagus. You may already know this, but just in case you don't, both gluten and iodine need to be present in your system to trigger DH (at least, that's the way it is for a lot of us). If you're on thyroid meds, then too bad--you'll always have iodine in your system and the slightest amount of gluten can possibly trigger an outbreak. That's the case with me.

Is there any possibility that you're getting a bit of gluten contamination? Perhaps from a shampoo, conditioner, makeup, vitamins, supplements, or somewhere else? You sound so depressed, it just seems as though you might be getting some gluten somewhere.

As for products, not all of the gluten-free products are out of sight. Have you tried Udi's white sandwich bread? It's relatively inexpensive, tastes just like "normal" bread, and makes my life easier because I can always whip up a PB sandwich, BLT, tuna sandwich, or grilled cheese sandwich. You can also find cheap envelopes of gluten-free gravy at specialty stores (they tend to be cheaper than the regular gravy mixes at the supermarket) to put on mashed potatoes, turkey, or chicken, and that's real comfort food (yum!).

Please stay in touch with us--everyone is here to help.
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 07:18 PM


A lot of people on the site go through a period of a restricted diet during which they eat only whole foods. That seems to generally get people over the most difficult period, when they may be reacting to various processed foods. I don't think you need to eat processed foods at all. You can be gluten-free and never touch gluten-free bread or other substitutes. Good substitutes are potatos, corn (if you can tolerate it), polenta (made from corn), rice, and other grains. These are much cheaper than any gluten-free brand of food. They are naturally gluten-free!

So many things that I'm eating now are low cost: lentil soup, chicken & vegetable soup, poached eggs with sauteed greens, etc. However, my diet does take cooking from scratch. This is the most cost-effective way to live, no matter what your situation.

It sounds like you need some nurturing. You can get that through thru food. When you put good, gluten-free foods into your body, it will thank-you.

I hope you will stay with us on the board. We are here to help!

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 02:38 AM

Rose T.,
Thank you so much for you response. It was so inspiring to know that someone else is
enduring some of the same symptons as myself.
I think you're right about my gluten coming from somewhere else. I had my pharmacy do
a check on all my medications, supposedly none of them contain gluten. (I don't take thyroid med.)
I do watch my shampoo, hair spray, lotions, etc...but sometimes I wonder if I'm
watching for all the right ingredients I need to.
You mentioned something about white bread. I do love bread, but have only found 1
kind at a health store. I couldn't afford it. It contained 6 extremely thin, slices
of bread for $6.00. So that was out of range, lol. Please tell me more about the
bread you get. I'd love to have gluten-free bread.
I don't really cook anymore. I recently moved into my own place and don't have
the desire or interest to cook for just myself. (As for preparing a full meal.)
I'm anxious to check out the foods list you recommended. Thanks again for your message.
I hope to hear back from you.
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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:13 AM

Those processed gluten free foods are very expensive. Why not buy whole grains which are more like $3 per pound or so and eat them? Buy in bulk. Buy big cuts of meat, cut them up yourself and freeze. Buy a bushel of apples from the farmers market. I'm pretty sure a whole foods diet is a lot cheaper than a processed gluten free foods diet, and healthier too. Plus you can avoid possible cc. It takes some getting used too, and it is a lot of work preparing food all the time, but you can do it.

I went through a lot of depression at first, I think because I kept getting glutened. You will come out of it. I feel great all the time now.
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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:09 AM

Hi Noni, I'm new here too. Your post inspired me to register because I am in a very similair situation but I have a family of 4 to feed on a very tight budget. We all eat gluten free because it is less complicated and less expensive that way(and no CC).
One thing I do is watch for sales on meats and stock up and freeze things like ground beef, whole chickens, chicken breast, thighs, legs, Steaks or stew beef, etc... I almost never buy meat over 1.99/lb so it's very cheap. I also buy bags of frozen veggies when they are on sale for about 1.00 a bag and cans of tomatoes, beans, sauce, fruits, etc...
I stick to whole foods. The gluten-free diet is only expensive if you go out and buy all the wheat replacement foods, flours, breads, crackers, pre-made stuff. And ya know? It's such a waste of money because most of these things have very little nutritional value and are just empty (and expensive) calories. They are nice for a treat sometimes but should not be every day foods.
If you can eat eggs they are a great source of nutrition especially if you cook them w/ some veggies like a crustless quiche. Here a few ideas that we eat on a regular basis:
lentil soup/stew. 1/2 Bag of lentils (about .50) makes a huge pot of lentils. You can use Knorr boullion for seasoning and any cheap vegetables you have. Curry powder or cumin is nice in it. If you make it thick it's good served over rice (also cheap)
Chili. 1 lb of ground beef, frozen peppers and onions, a can of tomatoes and beans and some chili seasonings. I can make a big batch of chili for about $5. Enough for about 6 good servings.
Tacos, mission corn tortillas are 2.00 for a 30 pack around here and you can use the shells for more than just tacos. I can't eat corn much but my family can. My kids eat cheese quesadillas with salsa all the time and it's super cheap.
Beef stew in the crock pot.... Do you have a small crock pot?. They are cheap and if you don't like cooking or don't have time crock pots can turn cheap meat into delicous (and easy to chew) meals. Theres also a site with tons of gluten-free crock pot recipes that I've found. Just google gluten free crock pot recipes and you'll find it.

You can make the gluten-free diet cheaper and healthier than a regular diet. It takes time and research but you will get there. You do have to learn to cook just a little though :). Good luck, I hope it gets easier for you so you can start feeling better soon.
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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:18 AM

Every weekend I make several crockpots worth of meals and freeze them. Usually it's chicken breasts and whatever veggies were on sale. Occasionally I throw in a handful of rice.

Sometimes I get ground turkey and cook it with some different kinds of canned beans and a lot of veggies.

Today I'm having yams, sweet potatoes, onions, oranges, flavored with curry, ginger, and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.

This weekend I found a pot roast type thing on sale so I crocked that and I'll add a bunch of peppers, tomatoes, and onions and cook it for a little longer.
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Posted 28 September 2010 - 08:03 AM

Gluten free specialty products aren't necessary! I mean they are good for an occassional treat but definately not required for the diet! Here are some examples of what I eat regularly:

Breakfast: yogurt and fruit. Homemade muffins. gluten-free oats or cream of rice cereal mixed with fruit, pumpkin, ect. Larabars.

Lunch: Dinner leftovers. gluten-free lunch meat on salad greens. Veggies and hummus. Rice and beans. Tuna and cottage cheese (not as gross as it sounds!). Noodle kits (A Taste of Thai makes some good ones).

Dinner: Chili, meatloaf (use gluten-free breadcrumbs or even crushed corn chips in the mix), whole roasted chicken (great leftovers!!!), Salmon with lemon juice and spices, shepherd's pie, gluten free pasta, tacos, enchiladas, ect...

Any type of treat such as muffins or cookies I've adapted just fine with Pamela's gluten free baking mix. I've also been successful with the new gluten-free Bisquick which is fairly inexpensive!
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Posted 28 September 2010 - 08:19 AM

Ok...now I see where you said you don't want to cook a full meal for just yourself. I suggest cooking full meals and eating the leftovers for a couple of nights! Or throwing some quick stuff together:

Corn tortillas with cheese grilled til melted. Serve with cut up veggies or a can of gluten-free soup.

Baked potatoes with brocolli and cheese or chili and cheese.

Fruit and yogurt smoothies! Add protein powder or use greek yogurt for a more balanced meal! Throw spinach in there (you really can't taste it!).

Roll up lunch meat and cheese with some lettuce. Serve with gluten-free soup or cut veggies!
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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:00 AM

Hi Noni,

I'm sorry you're still not feeling well. It's great that you have your own place though, that way you can control everything you eat! I don't have too many other suggestions other than what people have already said, but I think that with some support here, you can do it. The thing is you're really going to have to cook - but like people have said, you can cook a bunch of stuff all at once and then be done for a while. You can make a huge pot of soup or chili and that will last a long time! Tacos with corn tortillas are my favorite... but I learned that you have to heat up the tortillas otherwise they break and... not so yummy :P

Good luck!
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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:40 AM

Hi Noni,
I've been where you are. Depression and anxiety, feeling like crap since I was a kid. I know you don't feel like it but you need to eat whole foods to start out with. The processed gluten free items don't agree with a lot of us even me a year and a half on this diet.
It wasn't until after I got rid of all the gluten, dairy and soy that I started feeling better. Soy and dairy gives me very bad depression within 24 hours. Skylark will chime in here soon hopefully but skylark had bipolar symptoms. If skylark and I can do it i'm sure you can.
Hang in there and we are all willing to help you. Just keep asking questions and pm or send me an email and i'll help you all I can.
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Lupus, Connective Tissue Disease with Fibro type symptoms, Anemia, Anxiety, Depression, RA, Rynauds Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Erosive Gastritis, Osteoporosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Scoliosis, Bulging discs in lower back and neck, Pinched Nerves.


Soy free, MSG free, mostly Dairy free. Endoscopy shows blunted Villi which dr states as gluten sensitivity, so goin back to being gluten free



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Posted 28 September 2010 - 10:08 AM

Easiest way to do it is just eat whole natural foods. I don't buy all those pre-made, packaged and manufactured gluten free foods or breads. The only time I do is when someone is coming over for a meal and I get them gluten free stuff rather than have them contaminate my kitchen with gluteny foods! And whole natural foods are so much more healthy than processed and refined foods.

Frozen vegetables and berries are half the price of "fresh", and last a whole lot longer too! If you can't chew meat, you can get ground meats, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, you can get them all at the grocery store. Make large batches of soups and stews, and freeze leftovers.

Nuts and seeds are good for snacks, as well as you can grind them to make flour for baking. You can get a decent coffee grinder for only $10, and that'll save you litterally $100s of dollars over it's lifetime. 1 pound of almond flour can cost over $10 and doesn't go far. But one pound of whole almonds that you can grind at home yourself is probably like $3!

We're all so programmed to eat manufactured foods in crinkly shiny packages we just don't know what real food is anymore. But it really is not the least bit necessary (other than for convenience), and really is just what is making us fat and sick. Mother Nature makes her food in edible packaging. ;)
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Posted 28 September 2010 - 10:50 AM

Hi! Sorry to hear you're struggling so much, and i can totally relate and understand. I've got dermatitas herpetiformis too, on my scalp, and have gone through alarming weight loss as well. I went gluten-lite for @ 3years, and if anything the DH got worse as well as other 'symptoms', including horrible anxiety and depression. finding this board, and getting an idea from everyone about what I needed to do to get better was a huge step for me that i'm slowly but surely getting results from. Also, just knowing that i COULD get better gave me the motivation and resolve that i was lacking before; i really had kind of subconciously given up. For the last 8 months now i've been eating nothing but whole ingrediants, nothing processed or packaged, no expensive 'gluten-free' products that are marked up apparantly because it says gluten free on it, a lot of these are actually contaminated with trace amounts of gluten anyways.No eating out (ok, pf changs twice), and no dairy, soy, or nightshades or onions/garlic.

i've been eating sweet potatoes, carrots,pork, chicken, salad with ground beef, kale, mustard greens,acorn and butternut squash, are not terribly expensive.
I've been getting better, definatly my mood is better, and the joint pain/achiness, and tingling are much better! the DH is less itchy, and not as bad, but i still have blisters, but they don't seem really active and 'erupting'.
dropping iodine (it's in seasalt, and is added to most table salt) made a noticable difference within 2 days! kosher salt has no iodine.
I just got to the point where I felt like i was willing to do anything and make whatever changes i needed to in order to get rid of the DH, I don't think i need to tell you how truly horrible and life altering it is!

i'm glad you found the board; also theres a dermaititas herpetiformis forum here too, and you can read back on it and gather a lot of helpful info!
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