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Any Self-Diagnosed Catholics?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 llama3

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 07:38 AM

Hello all,

I'm new but have been lurking. Quick back-story: I have been trying to figure out what's wrong with me for nearly a decade, since my teens. I have daily digestive issues, bloating, etc, with periodic bouts of unexplained stomach cramps and vomiting. (On one occasion these landed me in the ER - they kept me there for hours, ran tests and told me I was fine.) Constant fatigue for years, hypoglycemia (self-diagnosed, but it's really obvious), bouts of extreme starvation-style hunger that will not go away for days no matter how much I eat, depression, the list goes on ...

I'm tired of being misdiagnosed, humiliated, laughed at, and dismissed as a hypochondriac by my doctors (and then, being charged a lot of money for the misery). So I have just started a gluten free diet, without an official diagnosis. It's too early to see if there's a difference.

The biggest issue for me right now is that I'm Catholic (a daily communicant) and sooner or later will have to deal with what to do about Communion. I don't want to start a debate about it. I just want to know ... should I stop receiving Communion for a while and see how that affects me? Should I keep receiving and see if it becomes a problem as I eliminate the other gluten from my diet? Also, will it be a problem if I don't have an official diagnosis ... i.e. will priests be unable or unwilling to accommodate me with an alternative form of Communion?

Please help!
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#2 kareng

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 07:51 AM

Call or email the priest. He will tell you they have a low gluten host or you can just take the wine. He may even be able to give you the wine first or from a special cup. Some will do that. You don't have to say self diagnosed. Just say you can't have gluten if that is true.
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#3 DonnaMM

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 08:13 AM

You can buy gluten free communion crackers online ask the priest to give you those instead. People deal with it all the time celiac is very popular in Italy and I am sure you know they have a bunch of catholics
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#4 Metoo

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 08:20 AM

You can buy gluten free communion crackers online ask the priest to give you those instead. People deal with it all the time celiac is very popular in Italy and I am sure you know they have a bunch of catholics


My church now gives out a 0.0001 percent gluten host, for people who need to be gluten free, its only given at one mass and only in one line, but they are doing so because so many people in the parish have been diagnosed with celiac/gluten allergy.

I would ask, they may have several people asking and may need to do something if they haven't already.
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#5 llama3

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 08:26 AM

You don't have to say self diagnosed. Just say you can't have gluten if that is true.



Yeah, I was worried he might ask to see a doctor's note or something. I guess that's kind of far-fetched. Especially since my pastor had no problem dispensing me from the Ash Wednesday/Good Friday fast when I told him I was hypoglycemic.

I don't want to say anything about it though until I'm sure that that is what is going on, so in the meantime what should I do? :(
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#6 Denise121

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 09:53 AM

Yeah, I was worried he might ask to see a doctor's note or something. I guess that's kind of far-fetched. Especially since my pastor had no problem dispensing me from the Ash Wednesday/Good Friday fast when I told him I was hypoglycemic.

I don't want to say anything about it though until I'm sure that that is what is going on, so in the meantime what should I do? :(


It still counts as fully receiving Communion if you take the Precious Blood alone. Usually, this is what I do because while my parish has the Vatican-approved gluten-free wafers, I have to arrange it before mass and I usually forget to.

It's not so far-fetched about the doctor's note, really :) I looked it up when I was trying to figure out what to do, and I believe that they actually used to require one as proof before allowing a substitute wafer.
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#7 llama3

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 11:34 AM

It still counts as fully receiving Communion if you take the Precious Blood alone. Usually, this is what I do because while my parish has the Vatican-approved gluten-free wafers, I have to arrange it before mass and I usually forget to.



None of the parishes where I live offer the chalice to the laity, so I will have to arrange it specially.

It's not so far-fetched about the doctor's note, really :) I looked it up when I was trying to figure out what to do, and I believe that they actually used to require one as proof before allowing a substitute wafer.


But they don't require it now? What about people who test negative for celiac but still discover that they have a bad reaction to gluten? (This is the case with my sister.)

It's so frustrating ... the medical establishment causes as much suffering as it alleviates (based on my experience; there are good doctors, but they are few), and yet no one will believe what you know about your own body without a doctor's official stamp of approval. In the past I have self-diagnosed myself with other things and asked for certain tests, had my doctor snicker a bit and order the test, only to find that I was right! But of course no one ever apologizes for misdiagnosing you or for laughing at your correct self-diagnosis ...
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#8 kareng

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:30 PM

None of the parishes where I live offer the chalice to the laity, so I will have to arrange it specially.



But they don't require it now? What about people who test negative for celiac but still discover that they have a bad reaction to gluten? (This is the case with my sister.)

It's so frustrating ... the medical establishment causes as much suffering as it alleviates (based on my experience; there are good doctors, but they are few), and yet no one will believe what you know about your own body without a doctor's official stamp of approval. In the past I have self-diagnosed myself with other things and asked for certain tests, had my doctor snicker a bit and order the test, only to find that I was right! But of course no one ever apologizes for misdiagnosing you or for laughing at your correct self-diagnosis ...




I emailed my priest. He didn't need a doctor note. The Catholic church only allows the very low gluten host. Some other religions might allow completely rice ones.
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#9 Strawberry_Jam

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:35 PM

Are there any other coeliacs in the nearby parishes you speak of? How do they handle it?

I know that it is a special grace to receive on a daily basis, but if you really want to diagnose coeliac, you can't or that daily dosage of gluten will skew the results.

I'm Eastern Orthodox and weep to say I haven't taken communion in four weeks or more (we only receive weekly) because I can't bear to talk to the priest about it yet. It hurts too much right now. I used to be okay with just a few drops of the precious blood from the spoon, but that spoon is in the chalice with the host (we do intinction only) and it seems like I have grown too sensitive for that.

Do you have a regular confessor? Perhaps you can explain to him exactly how things are? Mention that a vast majority of coeliacs have to self-diagnose with diet because the available tests are unreliable (false negatives) and incomplete (cannot diagnose certain types of gluten intolerance that are, nevertheless, real). Explain to him exactly what your concerns are, in detail. The Catholic Church has approved the low-gluten host, so there should be no problem with using those. If you receive daily you can even break the hosts into smaller pieces to receive less at any given time (altho if you do end up being very sensitive, you may have to settle on half of one once a week or something like that).
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gluten-free 25 Feb 2011
soy-free 30 March 2011

dairy-free 30 August 2011 (roughly)

25 yrs old
diagnosed Celiac through biopsy and blood test (WAY positive) as of 25 Feb 2011


#10 irish daveyboy

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:42 PM

Any Self-Diagnosed Catholics?


I smiled when I saw the topic title, thinking don't tell me Catholicism is now classed as an illness!! :blink:

I know what was meant, it was just the way it read.

I'm a Catholic and Celiac with an additional Wheat allergy so the wheat starch hosts were a no-no.

Plus the fact I was a heavy drinker (Alcoholic) and I am afraid to even sip wine for fear I'd revert to my wicked former ways, so I totally abstain.
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Chronically Ill and lost 56lbs in 3 Months Prior to Diagnosis.
Diagnosed in Nov 2005 after Biopsy and Blood Tests
Cannot tolerate Codex Wheat Starch.
Self Taught Baker.
Bake everything from scratch using naturally gluten-free ingredients.

#11 Celtic Queen

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 01:11 PM

I second everyone else about talking to your priest. I'm not Catholic, so I'm not sure about the low gluten vs. no gluten host. But when I talked to my Methodist pastor about using no gluten host, he was very sympathetic and had no problems with it. And he didn't require any proof that I had Celiac. In fact, 3 other people in the church were already using gluten-free host, and I know for a fact that two of them have not had a formal Celiac diagnosis. And keep in mind that this is a church of only about 80 attendees. There already may be people using low gluten host in your church and you may not be aware of it. My pastor is super discreet about handing them out.
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#12 llama3

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 01:21 PM

Any Self-Diagnosed Catholics?


I smiled when I saw the topic title, thinking don't tell me Catholicism is now classed as an illness!! :blink:


LOL! With the way things seem to be headed, you never know ...

I'm sorry you have to abstain completely! I know how painful that would be for me. But I am certain God is blessing you through other means.
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#13 llama3

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 01:29 PM

Are there any other coeliacs in the nearby parishes you speak of? How do they handle it?

I know that it is a special grace to receive on a daily basis, but if you really want to diagnose coeliac, you can't or that daily dosage of gluten will skew the results.

I'm Eastern Orthodox and weep to say I haven't taken communion in four weeks or more (we only receive weekly) because I can't bear to talk to the priest about it yet. It hurts too much right now. I used to be okay with just a few drops of the precious blood from the spoon, but that spoon is in the chalice with the host (we do intinction only) and it seems like I have grown too sensitive for that.

Do you have a regular confessor? Perhaps you can explain to him exactly how things are? Mention that a vast majority of coeliacs have to self-diagnose with diet because the available tests are unreliable (false negatives) and incomplete (cannot diagnose certain types of gluten intolerance that are, nevertheless, real). Explain to him exactly what your concerns are, in detail. The Catholic Church has approved the low-gluten host, so there should be no problem with using those. If you receive daily you can even break the hosts into smaller pieces to receive less at any given time (altho if you do end up being very sensitive, you may have to settle on half of one once a week or something like that).


I have no idea if there are other celiacs. I haven't noticed anything obvious. I'm coming to the conclusion that I will have to abstain for a while to see what is really going on.

I feel your pain. :( Wish I could give you a hug.
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#14 Strawberry_Jam

 
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 11:28 PM

Any Self-Diagnosed Catholics?


I smiled when I saw the topic title, thinking don't tell me Catholicism is now classed as an illness!! :blink:

I know what was meant, it was just the way it read.

I'm a Catholic and Celiac with an additional Wheat allergy so the wheat starch hosts were a no-no.

Plus the fact I was a heavy drinker (Alcoholic) and I am afraid to even sip wine for fear I'd revert to my wicked former ways, so I totally abstain.


To be honest, this kind of thing shakes my faith considerably.

How do you feel about this? You seem to be taking it a lot better than I would.
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gluten-free 25 Feb 2011
soy-free 30 March 2011

dairy-free 30 August 2011 (roughly)

25 yrs old
diagnosed Celiac through biopsy and blood test (WAY positive) as of 25 Feb 2011


#15 irish daveyboy

 
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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:17 PM

To be honest, this kind of thing shakes my faith considerably.

How do you feel about this? You seem to be taking it a lot better than I would.



I don't want to go on about one religion - V - another.

I don't believe that receiving the host/wine at mass makes you a good catholic.

Abiding by the teachings of your church (and he's the important bit) to the best of your ability, makes you a good catholic/christian etc.

There are catholics suffering with throat cancer that can't partake in communion, (they may be fed intravenously) they are not bad catholics.

All god asks is that you do the best you can!


Sorry moderators, didn't mean to turn it into a topic on religion.
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Chronically Ill and lost 56lbs in 3 Months Prior to Diagnosis.
Diagnosed in Nov 2005 after Biopsy and Blood Tests
Cannot tolerate Codex Wheat Starch.
Self Taught Baker.
Bake everything from scratch using naturally gluten-free ingredients.




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