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Desperate And Feeling Terrible In Japan


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23 replies to this topic

#16 Pauliewog

 
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Posted 13 February 2012 - 05:18 AM

I HIGHLY doubt that Fukushima has anything to do with your problems. I know people doing animal rescue within 50km and they are fine. Considering that you are hundreds of km away, I don't think it is a problem. Vegetables grown within the area are banned for sale. I have seen fish from the Pacific that have been caught not in Fukushima Prefecture but near. You don't eat fish so that isn't a problem. If anything, the edamame from China you are eating will make you sick! Most supermarkets show where the veggies are from. If you memorize the kanji for Fukushima then you can check to make sure you are not buying produce from there (I've ever seen any in a store).

Secondly, ask around if there is a JA (Japan Agriculture) store near you. They sell produce grown in your local area. Given that Hokkaido is buried under snow now, they may not have a lot to choose from!

If at all possible, try to go to Hokkaido University Hospital. They will have English speaking doctors and larger labs for whatever tests. If you are on a limited budget then you will probably end up wasting money at a local clinic.

http://www.huhp.hoku...lish/med01.html

Are you eating anything that you don't make yourself? Any prepared foods?
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#17 missy'smom

 
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Posted 13 February 2012 - 05:38 AM

Eric I will also advise that you eat some meat or eggs. I was a vegetarian wannabe most of my life and stayed away from meat a lot but my body functions SO much better on it. I saw your earlier reply and understand. Just adding my voice and vote ;).

Adzuki(if you can get non-sugary preparation) and quinoa may give some protein. Quinoa is supposed to be a complete protein, containing all the amino acids etc. of meat. You can cook quinoa by itself or you can measure your rice for the rice cooker, remove 1 Tb. of the rice and replace with 1 Tb. quinoa and rinse and cook as usual. The measurements can be different, just omit and replace equal parts for a portion of the rice. Here's some explanation/recipe of another version of this rice with grains/legumes http://www.justhungry.com/zakkoku-mai

We have purchased from this company before. They have some gluten-free items. I don't know about currently, but at that time many were aimed at kids. In the past few years there has been more awareness of "wheat allergy" with kids so most of the products were to benefit them. There's a kid's curry mix that is gluten-free for example and used to be a cream stew mix, also dairy-free. Small packages as it was aimed at kids. Anyway we got millet soy sauce etc there. I also have a soy allergy but if I remember the alternative grain "soy" sauces, some didn't have soy either. I want to say there's a quinoa "soy" sauce too.

http://www.sokensha..../e_summary.html
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Me: GLUTEN-FREE 7/06, multiple food allergies, T2 DIABETES DX 8/08, LADA-Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, Who knew food allergies could trigger an autoimmune attack on the pancreas?! 1/11 Re-DX T1 DM, pos. DQ2 Celiac gene test 9/11
Son: ADHD '06,
neg. CELIAC PANEL 5/07
ALLERGY: "positive" blood and skin tests to wheat, which triggers his eczema '08
ENTEROLAB testing: elevated Fecal Anti-tissue Transglutaminase IgA Dec. '08
Gluten-free-Feb. '09
other food allergies

#18 kenlove

 
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Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:15 AM

Hi Eric,
I'm celiac for 7 years, vegan for 2 and have had a place in Japan for 30 years although I dont live there full time.There are a lot of other things you can eat and some you have to work to make sure of. Nori is one of them. Some nori is imported form Korea and processed with Shoyu aka wheat and water. There might be a few things your eating which cause problems. Onigiri form 7-11 or Family mart all have wheat fillers. They may look like simple rice balls but they are not.

It would unlikely you have a health food store in your resort area but maybe one of your co works can order some real shoyu or sorghum shoyu or even braggs aminos. Don't trust soy sauce to be made from soy.

You can eat juwari soba and use water with ginger and chopped onions for sauce or make your own. It should be easy to buy juwari soba in most large markets -- It has to be 100% juwari as others all contain wheat. If you dont have problems with soy, you can eat yuba -- tofu skin, also fairly easy to make yourself with soy milk. its usually served with different salts like ume shio, yuzu shio and matcha shio which you can use for other things if you dont have a salt problem. Some salts are found in groceries too. Other grains are awa, kibi and hie which are types of millets and very tasty. they can be like a hot breakfast cereal or grain instead of rice. Missys mom mentioned quinoa too, Thats great if you can find it and be cooked in the rice cooker -- 1 cup to 1.5 cups liquid. I use veggie broth instead of water.

Finally, my doctor in yokohama Imai sensei <takashikun.imai@nifty.com> knows celiac and may be able to help or offer some advice by email if you cant get in to see him.

good luck
Ken

I'm a little nervous about this now as I do eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit that could be contaminated. I'll try figuring out whether that is the problem. I hope they will check for this when I see the doctor. I'm not sure how to get iodine supplements yet, but I looked up what foods have iodine in them and Nori seemed to have a bit, so I ate all the Nori seaweed I had and will buy more soon to see if this helps at all, until I find some iodine supplements. Thank you for the links and the advice.


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"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

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#19 Skylark

 
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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:39 AM

To be honest, I haven't taken any precautions really to avoid radiation poisoning. I'm living in Niseko, which is near Sapporo, it's an international ski town. No one else here seems to be experiencing any problems, but I don't know anyone that is eating the way I do. I will look into this more. Thank you for the response.

OK, that's good. You are far enough north that radiation shouldn't be a problem. There are definitely some people in Fukushima prefecture who are ill and many have moved away.

Since you're not near the reactors, I'm going to add my voice to those who are worried that you are malnourished on a vegan diet. Veganism does not work for everyone. Vegan diets tend to be deficient of iron, calcium, selenium, and completely lack B12, preformed A, and D3. You can eat carefully to get enough iron and calcium, but the others partly depend on luck or supplementation.

To eat vegan without supplements you need to be lucky enough to have enzymes to convert A from beta-carotene and D3 from D2. Not everyone does. You also have to be lucky enough to be living in a region with selenium-rich soil and have bacteria in your gut that produce adequate B12. Deficiency in both A and D shows up first as vision problems. You mention taking some B12, which is good. If you are taking vegan D2 for your supplement it still may not help you. I'd specifically recommend supplementing with cod liver oil if you want the best shot at restoring your vision. I think there are vegan mineral supplements that should correct iron, calcium, and selenium issues.

I wouldn't both supplement iodine and eat seaweed. Oversupplementing iodine is really bad for your thyroid gland and seaweed has a lot of iodine.
http://lpi.oregonsta...inerals/iodine/
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#20 Eric_S

 
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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:52 PM

I HIGHLY doubt that Fukushima has anything to do with your problems. I know people doing animal rescue within 50km and they are fine. Considering that you are hundreds of km away, I don't think it is a problem. Vegetables grown within the area are banned for sale. I have seen fish from the Pacific that have been caught not in Fukushima Prefecture but near. You don't eat fish so that isn't a problem. If anything, the edamame from China you are eating will make you sick! Most supermarkets show where the veggies are from. If you memorize the kanji for Fukushima then you can check to make sure you are not buying produce from there (I've ever seen any in a store).

Secondly, ask around if there is a JA (Japan Agriculture) store near you. They sell produce grown in your local area. Given that Hokkaido is buried under snow now, they may not have a lot to choose from!

If at all possible, try to go to Hokkaido University Hospital. They will have English speaking doctors and larger labs for whatever tests. If you are on a limited budget then you will probably end up wasting money at a local clinic.

http://www.huhp.hoku...lish/med01.html

Are you eating anything that you don't make yourself? Any prepared foods?


Thank you for all the advice. I think you are right about the radiation, I'm eating the same veggies and fruits everyone I know is eating and no one else is having problems, plus I think the symptoms would be slightly different.

I was always planning on buying local, but I've been lazy about memorizing the kanji, thank you for the push, I'm going to look try this next time I'm shopping.

I decided against the visit to a hospital or doctor because my symptoms started to improve. I'm guessing it is a complicated array of things that were going on, but I'm starting to feel better by hugely increasing my caloric intake and avoiding foods that are people are commonly intolerant to. Once I feel okay again, I will try to narrow down which ones I have sensitivities to.

Thank you again for all your help.
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#21 Eric_S

 
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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:55 PM

Eric I will also advise that you eat some meat or eggs. I was a vegetarian wannabe most of my life and stayed away from meat a lot but my body functions SO much better on it. I saw your earlier reply and understand. Just adding my voice and vote ;).

Adzuki(if you can get non-sugary preparation) and quinoa may give some protein. Quinoa is supposed to be a complete protein, containing all the amino acids etc. of meat. You can cook quinoa by itself or you can measure your rice for the rice cooker, remove 1 Tb. of the rice and replace with 1 Tb. quinoa and rinse and cook as usual. The measurements can be different, just omit and replace equal parts for a portion of the rice. Here's some explanation/recipe of another version of this rice with grains/legumes http://www.justhungry.com/zakkoku-mai

We have purchased from this company before. They have some gluten-free items. I don't know about currently, but at that time many were aimed at kids. In the past few years there has been more awareness of "wheat allergy" with kids so most of the products were to benefit them. There's a kid's curry mix that is gluten-free for example and used to be a cream stew mix, also dairy-free. Small packages as it was aimed at kids. Anyway we got millet soy sauce etc there. I also have a soy allergy but if I remember the alternative grain "soy" sauces, some didn't have soy either. I want to say there's a quinoa "soy" sauce too.

http://www.sokensha..../e_summary.html


Quinoa has definitely been on my list of foods to add to my diet, but I can't seem to find it here. I might end of ordering it online, if problems persist and I can't get ample protein back in my diet.

Thank you for all the recommendations.
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#22 heidi g.

 
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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:22 PM

You are in another country perhaps you picked up a parasite?? That will cause all the symptoms you mentioned. It also sounds like maybe your not getting all your vitamins. Might be a vitamin deficiency.
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#23 ThomasTokyo

 
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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:25 AM

Hello Eric,
I was declared celiac two years ago just before going to Japan and have been living in Tokyo since then. At that time I was barely able to climb ten stairs in a row without getting a rest. I felt myself getting old inside. Now I feel young again. And I know what to have body crippling down feels like.
Here are some advice I hope will find some use.

Your symptoms may well be gluten related, or soy, or both, from my experience. (I am intolerant to both).

For the food, you can find proteins in many red beans sold in Japan (which are not soy). There is azuki beans (google it) ver healthy and full of proteins + fibre.
Also, note that if your intestines are irritated you may not digest milk or other dairy products until you feel better. I found however that natural cheese (especially the kind for pizza, but check ingredients)are easier to digest. (Moreover it is quite tasty with japanese rice).

If you are looking for food from outside Japan, have a look at this website.
http://www.iherb.com/
You can find many allergy free brands (I think mainly about Enjoy Life and Orgran). Most products can be delivered to Japan and for much cheaper than Amazon or other websites. The delivery is also quite fast.

As for general rules in everyday life, I recommend you to be careful with everything. Depending on your sensitivity, the wrong cream on the face, the wrong toothpath, a kiss or a shared drink can all be sources of cross contamination. It sounds daunting at first, but it gets easier with time. I personally bought my toothpath in France (I am French) so that I am sure of what it contains.

To speed up the recovery of your intestine, I recommend you eat a lot of carrots and pumpkin. Beware of vitamin supplement for they may contain gluten or soy. The best is to buy them from trusted sources by internet (see the above website). Avoid coffee, tea, spicy food and alcohol.

As for radiations, you do not have to worry about the food in supermarkets. Products are controlled and even if they were not, as an adult you do not have to worry about health problems. People in general would get more radiations when taking the airplane than by eating products grown 300 km from Fukushima. And if you still worry, note that the area where food is grown is always labeled on packages in supermarkets.

Always avoid to eat in restaurants. They are never safe, unless you go to expensive ones. I went to a good one once and the chief came to me, we discussed and i ate like a king without getting sick. This was the exception ou of a thousand.
Avoid all processed foods in general. Except if it is specified to be gluten free.

Hope this help a bit.

Good luck! I know how you feel and all my thoughts are with you.
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#24 kenlove

 
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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:16 AM

Thanks for adding your comments Thomas, There are a lot of gluten free friendly places in Tokyo now and its growing, just have to explain it to some places but they are learning. I've seen a lot of changes in 30 years working there, Maybe we should have a gluten free offline meeting in June when i get back.
Ken

Hello Eric,
I was declared celiac two years ago just before going to Japan and have been living in Tokyo since then. At that time I was barely able to climb ten stairs in a row without getting a rest. I felt myself getting old inside. Now I feel young again. And I know what to have body crippling down feels like.
Here are some advice I hope will find some use.

Your symptoms may well be gluten related, or soy, or both, from my experience. (I am intolerant to both).

For the food, you can find proteins in many red beans sold in Japan (which are not soy). There is azuki beans (google it) ver healthy and full of proteins + fibre.
Also, note that if your intestines are irritated you may not digest milk or other dairy products until you feel better. I found however that natural cheese (especially the kind for pizza, but check ingredients)are easier to digest. (Moreover it is quite tasty with japanese rice).

If you are looking for food from outside Japan, have a look at this website.
http://www.iherb.com/
You can find many allergy free brands (I think mainly about Enjoy Life and Orgran). Most products can be delivered to Japan and for much cheaper than Amazon or other websites. The delivery is also quite fast.

As for general rules in everyday life, I recommend you to be careful with everything. Depending on your sensitivity, the wrong cream on the face, the wrong toothpath, a kiss or a shared drink can all be sources of cross contamination. It sounds daunting at first, but it gets easier with time. I personally bought my toothpath in France (I am French) so that I am sure of what it contains.

To speed up the recovery of your intestine, I recommend you eat a lot of carrots and pumpkin. Beware of vitamin supplement for they may contain gluten or soy. The best is to buy them from trusted sources by internet (see the above website). Avoid coffee, tea, spicy food and alcohol.

As for radiations, you do not have to worry about the food in supermarkets. Products are controlled and even if they were not, as an adult you do not have to worry about health problems. People in general would get more radiations when taking the airplane than by eating products grown 300 km from Fukushima. And if you still worry, note that the area where food is grown is always labeled on packages in supermarkets.

Always avoid to eat in restaurants. They are never safe, unless you go to expensive ones. I went to a good one once and the chief came to me, we discussed and i ate like a king without getting sick. This was the exception ou of a thousand.
Avoid all processed foods in general. Except if it is specified to be gluten free.

Hope this help a bit.

Good luck! I know how you feel and all my thoughts are with you.


  • 0
"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator




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