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Feeling Bad In Russia
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I’m a 25-year-old female who’s living in Moscow, Russia, and will living here until January. For the last few weeks I have been suspecting a gluten intolerance. I had eczema as a child. I’ve was diagnosed with IBS when I was 19, noticeably for the stomach cramps and constipation and bloating (I don’t even know what a non-bloated abdomen is like, except in the morning!), though sometimes diarrhea. Four years ago I had a bout of colitis, though it was never determined what caused it. Six weeks of diarrhea and pain, it went away after I changed my diet. Five months ago, I got an outbreak of eczema on my heads and feet (palms are the worst, though its not too bad), and for the last two months, since coming here, I have felt terrible…bouts of diarrhea, stomach pains, joint aches, tiredness, heartburn. The diarrhea and heartburn was first, now subsided some, but now the achiness, nausea, depression, abdominal pain, and eczema are worse. I thought I had everything from traveler’s diarrhea to B12 deficiency to pregnancy. Found out about celiac by Googling all my symptoms. And the veins in my legs have been bluer, more pronounced and spider veins. Common knowledge says that my body should have adjusted to the water, food, etc. in the last two months unless something else was going on. Regarding our diet, we eat more bread and pastries here (so good!) and more sour cream (smetana).

Both my little brothers have acid reflux, rosaea in their cheeks, and had eczema as young children. My youngest brother has migraines as a child and was told he couldn’t have artificial sweetners and Cheetos (artificial cheese). Why those foods specifically, I’m not sure.

But, I’m here in Russia, and have insurance, but it certainly won’t cover a trip to the allergist! Also, I can’t always read food labels properly, if they even report all the ingredients. Does anyone have any advice? I want to go on a gluten-free diet to test it out, but I’m not sure how accurate I could maintain one.

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I would first eliminate the bread from your diet. It may be unthinkable how to do this, but there are plenty of topics and experts on this website on how to eat gluten-free foods.

I would write more, but I am late for work!

Welcome to the forum and keep in touch!

Erik :)

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Hmm, I would try to eliminate the obvious bread and pastries. The more natural the food is, the less likely that it has been contaminated with gluten - fresh veggies, broiled meats, etc. I would try that for three weeks and see what happens. If the achiness and fatigue lessen, then you probably are on the right track.

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I agree about eliminating bread, maybe replace it with potatoes, rice, etc....those are pretty tummy friendly. Also, avoid soy sauce and some of the more obvious sources of wheat (ex. blue cheese, sausages/mixed meats). That should help. I have no idea about international shipping, esp. of food products, but you may want to check out Ener-G online, Bob's Red Mill, Enjoy Life ...... all of these companies make gluten free products and they are some of the more popular. Good luck, that has to be hard!

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One thought I had was you could maybe look for companies in Finland. There's quite a high awareness about celiac in Scandinavia in general, lots of companies that make gluten-free food. Maybe some of them would be willing to ship to Russia.

Pauliina

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