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Hello, I will go by Tio (no not the Spanish meaning) I am 25. For as long as I can remember I have been a very sick child, and was always diagnosed as IBS, Depression, and just standard year round allergies. Actually had a Celiac Panel done back in Aug 2011 it came back negative because the doctor said I was not showing signs of malnutrition from the blood test and I was made to fast before the test (not sure why because even the pathologies was surprised doc said to fast and told me that fasting before a celiac test defeats the purpose because the food needs to be in the body to show up). That aside I believed the doctor saying it was just depression as many previous doctors have said it was. Till two weeks ago my Mom got back from a vacation with some friends and one of the ladies she went with had all the same symptoms as me and she had many blood tests come back negative because they always had her fast before them. So finally I started a gluten free diet about two weeks ago seems to be almost a 180 flip from how I felt before. I have so many symptoms, but some seem to be different from most I have read. Some of mine are within minutes after eating gluten I start coughing because my allergies start acting up start stuffing up and hard time breathing, never been able to sleep for a very long time started having to take sleeping pills back in Aug, anxiety, bloating, and then all the stomach discomfort and diarrhea.

So now here I am because as far as I know I am the only one in my family that has this problem though now that I look back some on my Father's side of the family could have had this was just never diagnosed, both my father's parents died from colon cancer, and cousin has Crohn's that has now turned into Colon cancer.

So any tips would be very helpful, specially with label reading. So far I just go into the grocery store with the mind set if I can't read the label I won't buy it. So all I buy is meat, veggies, fruit, potatoes and rice. It just gets confusing when it comes to the shampoos and all that.

~Tio~

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Actually, you're right about those labels-simply walk by them and buy natural, whole foods. When you start to go gluten free, it's much better to eat whole foods: fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, nuts, etc. After a few months, you can feel free to buy certified gluten-free crackers, breads, and other processed foods. Don't bother with the labels--just buy the foods that say that they're certified gluten free.

As for shampoos, Desert Essence Organics' line of shampoos and creme rinses are all gluten free.

Tio, it appears that you're one of us....

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Hi Tio!

Welcome to the board. I am glad you were able to find out for yourself what is bothering you despite unreliable experiences with the healthcare system. So many of us have experienced similar troubles. As far as advice goes, you are probably doing the best thing by eating fresh fruit and vegetables to start out with. I wish I had done that because I had other sensitivities surface when I went gluten free and couldn't figure out what it was. Besides that, eating whole foods cuts down on risk for cross contamination. When you verge into buying processed gluten free foods, do yourself a favor and only buy things that are certified gluten free or made specifically in a facility that avoids top allergens or gluten.

Shampoo is kinda debatable I suppose; it is impossible to avoid traces of gluten running down into your mouth, so I personally think it is best to have that gluten free too. Hand soap, I use dawn with no problems that I can see. I use plain shea and cocoa butter lotions.

Well that's a start I hope. You will learn how sensitive you are and what brands you can trust and not trust, but just in case you do not know, most of us seem to become more sensitive as our immune systems recover and strebgthen. Do not be shocked or mislead if that happens to you.

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I hope I am okay with the shampoos and conditioner I have, I don't see gluten or wheat on the label. Its nice that my mom is being helpful also, she is keeping gluten free snacks in her house for when I come to visit and started cooking gluten free meals that I can eat when I am there. As far as all the whole foods that was not so hard for me, my mom and I have always been cooking from scratch people, and I was never really a person that ate out much. I also can't stand fast food. It is just I have always been the bread and pasta lover... But if this is what it takes for me to feel better then its what I must do to stay well.

Do have a question, as far as vitamins go the one I normally take has wheat in it, and mom always tells me that since I only take one a day its not a big deal since the last time I was at the grocery store all the gluten free vitamins were not as complete as the one I currently take. So is my mom wrong and its worth changing? If so any good complete brands out there?

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Yes, your mom is wrong--you canNOT take a multi-vitamin with wheat in it. Absolutely not! You should get your vitamin/mineral levels tested and take only those nutrients that you're deficient in. With a whole-foods diet, you should be able to get most of what you need from your food. If you're unable to absorb any nutrients, your tests should show you which ones you need to supplement.

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The blood test that was taken said all I needed was iron, because I don't really eat red meat, and all other levels were normal. Looks like that is going in the bag of gluten items to take to her house :)

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I dont think you quite understand how serious the condition is. It can take just a small breadcrumb to cause damage to your body This is not like a simple allergy. Autoimmunity is a whole different thing. if you continue to expose yourself to purposeful glutening as well as cross contamination from kitchen surfaces that have handled gluten, you could be looking at developing other problems. Take it from me, it is not worth it. Many of us learned that lesson the hard way, including those who were self-diagnosed.

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    • Well, I have never cruised on Carnival, but I am sure they can accommodate you.  I assume that you have already alerted them that you require gluten free meals.  If not, please contact Carnival immediately. Here are my own tips.  Some folks eat off the buffet line, but not me or hubby except for coffee/drinks and baked potatoes (jacketed) and fruit that we wash in the restroom (people touch everything!)  Okay, I am OCD, but my last glutening which occurred the previous summer made me sick for three months (GI tested my antibodies to prove it).   When we board, I go to the buffet restaurant ASAP and ask to speak to the Head Waiter (they are usually there greeting customers and often trying to up sell to specialty restaurants.   Let them know you have celiac disease and must be gluten free.  They may try to tell you that each dish is clearly marked gluten free, but really?  Who's to say that some other passenger is not going to switch spoons (or I have seen passengers wandering around with serving spoons...I kid you not!  The staff usually will  go downstairs and fetch a gluten free meal for me from the main dining room's kitchen as there is usually a dedicated area for allergies.  We have to wait up to 20 minutes or so but it is worth it.  Starving?  Get a baked potato wrapped in foil until your gluten-free meal arrives.  Now, do not do this every single time.  Those folks have to go down several levels to fetch food and you don't want to be a pain.  But if the main dining area is closed, they need to make an effort to keep you safe.  On our last cruise, we were advised not to eat anywhere but the main dining room and that included room service (they are not trained to handled allergies).  My headwaiters have sent goodies (prepackaged gluten free rolls and cookies for us to keep in our room.  We can always grab whole fruit (I wash it first) to snack on.  I bring gluten-free non-perishable items with me to eat while at port in case we can't find anything (which can be often).  Again, when we get back to our ship, we contact our headwaiter and he/she can prepare some snacks until we have dinner.   Be grateful and not picky.   We eat all meals in the dining room (or at least as much as possible).  Our headwaiter had a few other celiacs on our cruise this summer, so they prepared some gluten-free waffles, etc. for our breakfast!  What a treat!  At breakfast, we'd have different waiters, so our headwaiter would always instruct our waiters each and every time!  They even let me tour the kitchen and showed me the allergy section.   The only time I did not feel safe was at the buffet.  We once ordered gluten-free pizza and I realized (I watched) that that restaurant didn't really have the gluten-free thing down), do I called him on it.  Got the manager etc.  So, be careful.  Other cruises made us frozen Udi"s which was just fine with us.  They covered it up in foil so that we would not get any cross contamination from their pizza oven. So, have fun!   Tipping?  We prepaid our gratuities, but we gave our headwaiter an extra $200.00 for his time.  For us, it was well worth the service and safety of our food.  It does not hurt to slip some of the tip ahead of time (like after your first meal!)  
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    • Sorry ! I have never cruised before.  Just wanting to follow your topic.  Good luck! Have a great,  safe vacation.  
    • Hi there, I hope you're all having a good day! I'll be heading on a week-long Carnival cruise shortly and had a few questions: -What is the tipping protocol? I've prepaid gratuities, but feel like the food request will warrant something extra. Should I tip the headwaiter? Hostess? Regular waiter? Chef? Those cooking at, say, the sandwich or pasta bars? If so, how much is appropriate, and should I tip at the beginning of the cruise, the end, or split it up? -It looks like the main dining room will be closed during lunch hours on most days. Any recommendations on safe bets for midday meals? I'll be on the Carnival Sunshine, for what that's worth. Thank you so much for any information you can share!  
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