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Officially Joining The Gluten Free Crowd
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I had my doctor's appointment today, and they pulled blood for my celiac and thyroid panels. Since I have no intention of doing an endoscopy (not sure where the nearest GI is anyway. Certainly there is not one local to me), I am going to start gluten free right now. I had been eating gluten light on accident for a few weeks before I made the celiac connection, and have been feeling worse and worse since reintroducing the larger quantities back into my diet, so I strongly suspect this is less of a trial and more of a for-the-long-haul kind of thing.

Fortunately, my husband is all for me going gluten free (although he's not completely sold on the whole cc thing) and my parents are supportive (my mom is the one who made the connection first) and may end up going gluten free themselves, as we are pretty sure that my mom at least has it too.

In a way, I'm almost elated. Eating gluten free seems like such an easy answer for all of my health issues plus preventing all of the health issues that run in my family. I'm also really nervous about how it will go. It's hard finding all the places gluten hide! Plus I work at a coffee/sandwich shop. I've told the boss I can't bake anymore :'( but will I really be able to be careful enough working with sandwiches? I'll have to be so militant. Or find a new job, which would NOT be easy around here. Plus, I don't know how much to worry about things like that my cat has been using a wheat-based litter. We're transitioning him to a different one now, but he has put his little kitten paws in there and then run all over the apartment. Am I living in a film of gluten? Am I worrying too much? I don't have the energy to deep-clean the whole apartment at the moment. I touch my face a lot but I should probably try to stop that anyway.

I've been reading the forums and am so glad to have all the information available here. (Plus all the food ideas!) Thank you all for all of the help! Having a resource like this makes it a whole lot easier.

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Welcome to the club you had never planned to join :D Good for your husband in getting behind the project - it is so important to have family support. You will have to educate him on how to keep you safe. One idea is to cook all your meals at home gluten free, and have him eat all the gluten he wants out of the house. Certainly you can make your dinner meals gluten free to start with and maybe gradually wean him to the idea that gluten free isn't that bad B)

I assume you wear gloves at work which should help protect you, but if you are back in an area where there is flour dust in the air you are going to need a mask so that you don't inhale it. How much baking is actually done there?

Okay, you've got rid of the cat litter; now what about the gluten in the cat food -- is there any? The cat eats, then grooms, you pet the cat and whammo!

Best wishes on your new gluten free journey :)

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Thank you, Mushroom!

The cat's food is already grain free. (yay!) Currently, baking is done 3 days a week in the morning. It is in a back corner that I can avoid without too much trouble. I'm going to pick up some masks later today. I really am afraid that I'll never feel quite safe at my current job. It's something I'll need to address. Thanks for the information on the flour. I had no idea it floats around that long.

Dinner from now on will be for sure gluten free. I'm not going to make 2 dinners! The husband will be responsible for his own gluten. :D So probably it will be eaten at home very little.

Thanks for the support! It makes it a lot less overwhelming.

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Welcome aboard! It is overwhelming at first, but very doable, and you have definitely found the right place for support and advice!

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One thing about that litter that may be interesting is something I saw on that show where the guy goes to different families to help with cat issues. One family in particular had a cat that was declawed and then started spraying. Their logic was that he was angry and was acting out. The guy found that not to be the case at all. They had changed his litter and after declawing he had all his weight bearing down on sensitive paws with no claws to help. The litter was made of larger granules of litter and it literally hurt his paws so he found other places to use the bathroom just to avoid the pain. He had them switch to a finer granule litter and the cat was loving it. The spraying stopped and he didn't mind using his box at all.

I know that's a bit of a tangent, but the kitty is going through something that may be an easy fix if it's related to the new litter size/texture. I had a German Shepherd who had terrible seizures that lasted up to 15 minutes quite frequently (monthly). We finally figured out SHE was allergic to wheat and the seizures stopped on wheat-free food, but I never correlated the wheat issue to myself until I was prompted to research it by my sister.

Good luck with work and your safety while in that environment. I'm sometimes scared to even walk in some places, especially pizza places where they throw crusts around and I can see wheat fluffing up in the air. I avoid them now because of the fear of ingesting airborne flour, but it's both embarrassing and a pain for others who love their food. Working in that kind of environment is something you will figure out how to adjust to and I hope you can make it safe without worry.

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Thank you, kitgordon and SMDBill!

Aww, poor kitty! And that must have been so scary with the German Shepherd! My little guy has his claws and adjusts to changes quickly, so thankfully we haven't had issues so far! I was a bit worried because the new litter looks so different from his old, but we put a layer of the old on the new and he's using the mixture just fine. Tomorrow I plan to switch him all the way over and then scrub the bathroom down. Thanks for the heads up!

I have no idea how I will make the work environment work. It was never intended as a permanent job, but it is paying the bills right now. I guess I'll play that one by ear. I haven't even been gluten-free a week and I feel so much better already, I don't want to jeapordize that.

Thank you!

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Ok, so I just got a phone call from the doctor's office. It went like this:

"Hello, is this Blackstar?"

"Yes."

"This is the doctor's office. We have the results from your celiac's test."

"Ok."

"It's negative. Ok bye!"

"Wait! Did you get the thyroid test back?"

"Oh, umm... that was negative too. It was *gives me a number I can't remember now*. Ok, bye!"

"Wait! Can I come and pick it up..."

*click*

I've liked my doctor pretty well so far, but clearly being on the phone with me for over a minute was cutting into that nurse's schedule.

So I guess I'll head on over there later today to get copies of the results. I'm a little nervous because although I went into my doctor's appointment armed with every bit of information I could possibly need, I got all flustered as I tend to do in face to face conversation. I had a list of everything that should be on the celiac panel but I don't remember showing that to her, although I do remember the word "panel" being tossed around. I'm also sure I forgot about vitamin levels. So now I get to see what actually happened. In any case, I've already started the diet, and how much better I'm feeling is good enough for me for now. I'm sure my husband doesn't want me to go back because I was not much fun for a while before testing. Also he's eating better now that I can't do lazy convenience foods for dinner :D I'll post later with results.

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Sorry the nurse was short with you - very good idea to get the results, but the most important test has already been a "positive" result - you are feeling better without gluten :)

Let us know if you have questions with celiac, thyroid or any others tests - there are members that can interpret any medical tests hopping on all the time.

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    • Hello, I see you posted this a long while ago, and perhaps--I hope-- it's no longer a matter of concern, but I thought I'd mention that shortly before I was diagnosed for celiac's, I had distinct yellow blotches on the corners of my eyelids toward my nose. Some months after I had stopped eating gluten, the yellow gradually went away, and--as it just reappeared now several years later, I googled the issue again.  I am only speculating here, but I do believe it is related to liver problems, which, in turn, are related to celiac's. I don't think liver function tests cover all aspects of liver health. I say this because when I was pregnant I developed a temporary liver condition called interhepatic colestasis of pregnancy (ICP), but my liver function tests had been fine. (The condition is diagnosed based on bile levels in the blood, not on liver function). I discovered upon some research that (of course!) ICP  can be associated with celiac's disease.  My hunch is this-- that celiac's presents two problems to the liver: 1) the malabsorption of nutrients--esp. Vit. K2-- that are vital liver health; 2) since gluten registers as a toxin to the immune system (I think?), perhaps the liver gets overloaded processing so much toxic material. Or perhaps there's some other reason. At any rate, poor liver health and celiac's do seem to be linked, according to a few articles I've found. Anyway, hope your problems are resolved now.  
    • my daughter did stool test from enterolab but this gluten sensitive blood test is from http://requestatest.com/tests/search    
    • OK, was your daughter tested by a doctor or did you do one of these order online stool tests? And the same question goes for your tests. Can you give a link to the company?
    • NO. Approx. 1/3 of the population carries the genes for celiac but that does NOT mean they will ever present with celiac. Only a small percentage of them will. A gene test is really used more to rule out celiac rather than to diagnose it. What I meant was that since your daughter is diagnosed and IF you carry one or both of the celiac genes then there is a greater chance you are celiac or "early stages" especially in light of your symptoms. All 3 of those factors weighed together was what I was referring to.
    • by the way, I do find the lab who does the gluten sensitive test Gluten Allergy IgE Test This test is used to determine if a person has an allergic reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.  Roughly 1 in 30 adults and 1 in 40 children suffer from a Gluten Allergy.  An IgE test looks for antibodies which develop in a person who has a particular allergy.  Gluten Allergy can display symptoms similar to other conditions such as Celiac Disease.  Unlike an allergy, Celiac Disease can do permanent harm to the body if left untreated.  Allergy testing when a person is experiencing symptoms can help identify or rule out an allergy as the cause.

      Gluten Allergy is typically less severe than other Gluten related conditions like Celiac Disease.  People with Gluten Allergy will often experience abdominal discomfort, bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea when they eat products containing gluten.  These symptoms usually stop when a person cuts gluten out of their diet.

      A Gluten Allergy IgE test can be ordered to help determine if someone allergic to gluten.  This test can also be ordered when a person is testing for Celiac Disease and has had negative results on Celiac specific antibody tests.  An allergy test can also be ordered prior to Celiac testing to rule out Gluten Allergy as a likely cause for a person’s symptoms.
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