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Member Since 01 May 2013
Offline Last Active Jun 13 2013 05:40 PM

Topics I've Started

How Do You Know It Was Gluten?

08 June 2013 - 05:41 PM

Rather than ask related question in several other threads and hijacking everyone else I decided I should ask this:

I have had a really bad couple of weeks. I thought it was allergy and weather extremes. I've always had this sort of thing, migraines, various autoimmune problems and that could of course be exactly why the last couple of weeks have been bad but how do I know the difference?

Years ago I began having migraines, problems with my pituitary that went undiagnosed then underdiagnosed and then other autoimmune problems began. I was born with pretty bad allergies.

In general I have to say there is improvement because I'm not eating obvious gluten. Before now I ate whole foods, fresh or frozen veggies and fruit, eggs, milk, cheese, homemade yogurt, brown rice, single spices (not blends) and healthy fats. I haven't had much trouble figuring out what was safe to eat and gluten free because eating the way I do is straightforward. I know what is in my food because it's recognizable and I put it there.


What is the best approach to getting gluten out of my life?  

I'm single so I don't share dishes, pot, pans and utensils. Will I need to buy some things new because they have been contaminated beyond what the dishwasher can clean?

Living in an apartment means having your stuff at the mercy of your neighbor's bugs (something I learned the hard way years ago) so I always keep things sealed in airtight containers or bags. Most people who cook and don't do this have all sorts of stuff in their cabinets, refrigerator and freezer that I don't, but every-time something is opened, I know there are unintentional traces left behind.

Do I need to hire cleaning of the areas that could be contaminated like kitchen cabinets, drawers, pantry and surrounding surfaces and carpeting? How far can the contamination travel? 

How do the rest of you know the difference between migraine, brain fog and feeling sick because of mold in the spring or from accidental glutening? I don't doubt anymore that I have a problem with gluten. I just don't know how to tell it apart from whatever else is going on.

Support Forum Is It?

14 May 2013 - 09:38 AM

I first logged on here about a week ago. I was then, and still am looking for a supportive place where people share their experiences and tips for living without gluten. Some people here are supportive but there are also people who attack without provocation. At first, I thought I was misstating or misunderstanding so I apologized for my statements and spent a lot of time clarifying. Then I found I was spending all my time trying to correct misconception and misinformation of even basic knowledge. 

Don't be offended if you are not one of the people I'm speaking of, you know it. I'm referring to the judgmental, easily offended, myopic of opinion, conspiracy theorists, and those who bully others on these boards. I'm referring to presentation of opinion or hearsay as fact. Shouldn't a support forum discourage unsupportive posts, personal attacks. uninformed and uneducated information?

There are reasonable people here who understand what I'm saying and my skin is thick enough not to be concerned by bullies. I started to simply find another forum but there are people here who are being affected, who are new to this disease, new to this forum and people who think what they are reading is correct and appropriate. 

To them I want to say, meanness never has an excuse. There is always a way to say anything nicely. There is never a reason to attack. "Facts" should always be able to be supported by reputable sources and you should ask for those sources. Supportive helps you feel better, not worse.

To those members and moderators with supportive and reasonable outlooks, I would encourage your consideration of my experience as a new member, even though atypical in my willingness to speak up. I have made the assumption this is not an impression the forum wishes to present?

To those who wish to rant, I hope you reconsider. I would prefer my point not be proved.

Grocery List Comparison Shopping?

12 May 2013 - 11:14 AM

I'm wondering if anyone maintains a list of safe foods and where they can be found? I can do web searches but then find products that are not available locally. Lots of items can be ordered online but then comparing costs gets complicated.

If this isn't a resource currently available, how could it be suggested to a reputable celiac organization? I don't think it would require lots of research, the community can contribute.

I find myself getting confused because there isn't a way to see products like this:

Manufacturer, Item, Retailer, Cost comparison by appropriate size or weight w/ shipping and tax.

I have to keep costs down. So with my bad eyesight, I search with one window open to find if there is a gluten free product, another for the manufacturers information, cost and ordering information, and several more to comparison shop. Then I have a window to find if it's available at the local store. Oh yes, and I have to have the calculator open at all times along with notepad so my brain can keep track but that doesn't account for shipping and tax variations.

To quote Charlie Brown... "Aaarrgghh!"

Tsh, Why Is It So Confusing?

04 May 2013 - 10:08 AM

I’ve responded in a couple of posts to questions about thyroid issues. The endocrine system has been something I’ve had to learn, both personally and professionally. Many questions and much confusion exist about endocrine and thyroid problems for good reason. As I mentioned in one post, it’s like ripples in a pond. Throw a stone in a pond and then try to sort out where all the ripples came from. It’s a big, complicated, confusing job.
I can’t offer much information about celiac or gluten diseases yet, but I can hope to clear up some questions about endocrine and thyroid problems. I see the most confusion concerning TSH and not only from patients. Physicians also get tripped up using TSH as a screening for thyroid disease. Going back to the pond analogy, looking only at TSH is like looking at only at one ripple and trying to predict the entire pond.
TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone and isn’t produced by the thyroid gland. TSH is produced by the anterior pituitary gland in the brain as response to low circulating levels of active thyroid hormones T3 and T4. TSH acts on the thyroid gland, stimulating it to produce T4 that breaks down into T3. No amount of TSH affects metabolism without a functional or partially working thyroid gland.
Any number of situations cause the pituitary gland to produce abnormal levels of TSH. 
If the thyroid gland is damaged, the pituitary senses a lack of active thyroid hormones and keeps trying to increase those by stimulating production. However, with a damaged or surgically removed thyroid gland, the required tissues can’t be stimulated so TSH levels go higher and higher without effect. This is the most common medical presentation and the situation doctors expect to see. Because TSH is only one ripple in the pond, it is a mistake to only look at high TSH as indication of disease.
If the pituitary gland is damaged, particularly by autoimmunity, a low TSH is often the first indication. Often, doctors don’t see a low TSH and start thinking about pituitary failure because they don’t see that situation as much.
The most common pituitary disease is a tumor requiring the removal of the gland, then replacement of the secondary hormones for life. This situation isn't connected to autoimmunity.
The hypothalamus is also part of the chain of ripples and even more rare as a presenting problem concerning thyroid hormones.
Absorption problems or dietary deficiencies can cause a lack of the components needed to make thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency, now rare, is due to iodine being a common additive in modern processed foods, preventing this historically common condition. Iodine is added to table salt and to fortified grains. Many people have reactions to high levels of iodine such as those found in seafood. 
Recently discovered and still controversial, are autoimmune antibodies preventing active thyroid hormones crossing cell membranes. Here, TSH levels can be irrelevant but the person has profound hypothyroid disease at the cellular level and obviously impaired metabolism. This situation is controversial because all the usual indicators show adequate thyroid levels. Many doctors are not taught to trust their eyes when the machines most often used to prove their point won’t reflect the same view.
No matter what the cause of disease, taking thyroid replacement decreases any circulating TSH. High, normal or low, increasing natural, active thyroid hormones, decreases TSH. Now with understanding the what and the why, it becomes easy to understand TSH has to be looked at as part of a bigger picture. It is only a ripple and can’t be understood without seeing the entire pond. Whatever level is right for one person and their situation isn’t going to work for everyone.
Another of the biggest controversies in medicine right now, is how or even if TSH should be used to measure the effectiveness of treatment with replacement hormones, and what replacements should be used. There is a major shift in treatment of thyroid deficiency that began about ten years ago. In medicine, breakthroughs aren’t like tsunamis, they are more like the streams that eventually formed the Grand Canyon. Okay maybe it’s a bit faster than that, but changes take between twenty and thirty years to trickle down from first presenting on the scene, to the majority of people, even in this fast paced world.
I hope this helps clarify the meaning of that pesky TSH number. If this post is helpful or there are further questions, please let me know. If you are more confused now than before reading, let me know that too :)

Painless Is Problem, Who Knew?

03 May 2013 - 01:13 PM

How very odd. It's late afternoon and I haven't eaten. It wasn't a choice I made, I haven't thought about food all day.

For years I've eaten by assumption. If I'd just eaten and my stomach hurt I assumed it was because I'd eaten. If I hadn't eaten and my stomach hurt I assumed I was hungry.

If I knew I shouldn't be hungry, I assumed I was thirsty, gassy, crampy and so forth. It's now been five days without known glutens and evidently my stomach has forgotten how to tell me anything short of pain.


How odd is this?

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