Well, thank you for the replies; it all sounds very positive! I guess I will have to be a bit more careful about what I eat and exercise some good old fashion patience. Hopefully I don't have to give up my coffee, but I may have to skip it when it plays up.
I just visited HK in June. It must be hard to resist all the lovely pork buns and such that line the street every morning. When I visited I was still unaware of my condition and binged on yamcha and beer everyday- I was so sick that I couldn't leave the hotel by the third day
Thanks for the tip about the tamari soy sauce. If I got some of that I could still go out with friends to eat sashimi I'm actually thinking of moving to my wifes hometown, Nanjing, next year, but cross contamination seems unavoidable if you eat out.
Anyway, it gives me a bit of hope knowing there are other people living with Celiac disease/GI in Asia.
If you have a contact you can stay with or stay at a hostel with a kitchen, there is no reason why you can't visit Japan. Eating out may be impossible as soy sauce is pretty much in everything over here, but if you were willing to go to the supermarket and cook for yourself during the stay, then it would be fine.
Anyway, I've lived here for more than 4 years now and I do think it's a beautiful, but expensive, country and is definitely worth visiting.
I'd be more than happy to help with any questions you have about travel and such
I am a 26 year old male who has recently started a gluten free diet after putting up with years of awful symptoms similar to yours.
Once you start your gluten free diet, you must be vigilant in checking all sauces and snacks for gluten. Depending on where you live there will be many options for gluten free condiments, such as soy sauce, but it's better to check the ingredients before you consume anything. It is probably best to avoid eating out in the earlier phases of the diet, just to lessen the chances of cross contamination. You may want to avoid dairy in the meanwhile, but if you do suffer from celiacs/GI, you will most likely be able to tolerate them after a few months.
However, I still believe you can still have delicious and exciting food on a gluten free diet; just get use to preparing a cooking meals for you self. Meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts and going to form the basis of your new diet and fresh herbs and spices will add flare and flavor to your cooking.
I suggest researching gluten free cooking a bit on the internet, as there is a plethora of websites offering recipes and lifestyle tips out there.
Don't worry about it too much. This is not the end of the world, but rather, the start of your new and healthy life.