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Croissant?...ah Oui...or better yet, o No!

I'm a huge tennis fan and French Open groupie! I mean what can be better than hanging out in the City of Light and watching Rodger Federer dash around on the red clay?! So for the past couple of weeks I've been reading all about and watching as much of the tennis coverage from Paris as possible, and thinking back to the good old days when visiting Paris meant getting to partake in all the fabulous goodies from every Patisserie you passed and wolfing down croissants...ahhh I can still remember so vividly, ever bite of the last croissant I ate. It was September of 2000 and though I had already been diagnosed with Celiac Disease four months earlier, it was my last "hurrah," so to speak, with my favorite French pastry.

I remember the buttery, flakiness of each bite as my teeth sunk into the delicious and soft middle of the half-mooned-shaped delicacy. There are days, like today, when that memory conjures up not only the taste of heaven, but of all things Parisian...the city sounds, the Seine, sitting along the Ile de Cite...beauty and abundance, abound.

My point today, however, is intended to be more of a serious one...because I was very foolish looking back now, to have purposely eaten straight wheat/gluten months after my diagnosis...but this process of changing over an entire lifetime of eating habits and preferences takes time - a lot of time and a lot of convincing ourselves that we CAN do this. No one should ever kid you - it's tough!

I met a woman last week who is in her late 60's and was just diagnosed with Celiac a few months ago, along with her brother who is also in her age range. She was telling me how difficult this "new life" is and how she still regularly eats gluten, knowing it's just so impossible to completely rid from her diet and lifestyle...mind you she is also Basque and it's a hugely cultural thing to eat bread. A true Basco doesn't feel Basque when having to order a chorizo without the bread - let me tell you - it can mess with your psyche if you don't take the right approach and garner the right attitude. Okay, but back to the lovely woman I was
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speaking of. So we had this long chat about how she can't break free of still consuming bread or donuts, etc. I kindly and carefully tried to express to her that this behavior can be very damaging and most of all, dangerous to her health and continued quality of life. She nodded her head in agreement and then said, "well, I give it my best try each day but I won't ever completely give up all wheat - I just can't do it."

Though I definitely understand and empathize, I do NOT agree with this way of thinking. I have an Aunt who most likely also has Celiac, but refuses to get tested. She would rather live in misery than face the facts, get tested, and make the correct adjustments to give her some quality of life - I mean really at the end of the day, it's only a piece of bread or a store-bought cookie that we've gone without. Life is so much more than simply food and in this day and age, we as Celiacs have quite an abundance of choices out there to enjoy, and can find almost everything a wheat-eater can consume. There are a plethora of websites now, blogs, on-line shopping and new gluten-free products arriving in stores weekly - (check out my list of sites on the right side of this blog). It is my firm belief that every diagnosed Celiac needs the utmost support from their circle of family and friends and advocates on their side, so if you know a Celiac or you yourself are one, make an extra effort to reach out and teach these folks how to LIVE without the dreaded gluten that can ultimately wreak such havoc upon our health and our lives.

So as much as I cherish Paris and Europe, when I'm visiting I no longer partake in anything that could make me sick...and with the Euro as strong as it is, I'm certainly not going to throw my good money away to be sick in a hotel room because I HAD to have a croissant! We are blessed to be able to eat so many fantastic foods and are even the more healthier because of that fact.

I would still take a night out on the town, in the City of Light with Rodger Federer, but I would have to say, "no merci" when offered that croissant!

Eat safely.

Eat gluten free.

Eat well.

Live with Abundance ~ Bon au revoir.

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).


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3 Responses:

 
zuz

said this on
11 Jun 2008 12:08:16 PM PDT
A very nice article!

 
Terry

said this on
13 Aug 2009 7:15:50 AM PDT
I was recently tested for celiac and the results were negative. But after digestive problems persisted I went to a holistic doctor and had a saliva test which indicated a severe (off the charts) gluten intolerance.

Are these compatible results in your opinion?

Thanks.

 
Aimee

said this on
19 Aug 2009 9:39:48 AM PDT
Terry,
I'm certainly not a Dr. or a professional who can accurately diagnose anything for you, but I will say that I'm a huge believer in holistic therapies and have turned to acupuncture many times as my saving grace after being poisoned. I would say that there is a high probability that your saliva test is onto something!




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I was wondering if anyone had any advice to help get rid of low back pain caused by inflammation, I never had back pain until I went to a physical therapist for my tingling in my legs, they told me it was from a lower back issue, however I now realized the tingling was from the celiac.

Not on Dapsone, but have found that OTC corticosteroid cream helps lesions clear more quickly and helps with the pigmentation a bit. You don't want to overdo it with the cream as it thins your skin, so only apply to affected areas for a short period of time. Coconut oil (the kind you eat) applied to your skin helps with the dryness and seems to help healing a bit. I would recommend Squirmingitch's advice - go with the Fasano diet. At the very least, avoid eating foods prepared by anyone but you at all costs and try to stay away from open flour/baking. Many celiacs claim to get away with doing these things (and maybe they truly do), but when your reaction manifests externally, it's difficult to pretend that risky behaviours are going below your immune system's radar.

The Rash and various other symptoms are strong signs of Celiac, multiple people in your family also have it. I see several of your symptoms as very familiar to me myself, and I know that supplementation will help resolve the rest of your issues with a gluten-free diet. While we do suggest getting tested for confirmation if your limited as you say with insurance, and money then doing what is best for your health should be your focus right now. Go ahead and remove the gluten from your diet if you wish and go gluten free. If something happens later you MIGHT be able to put up with a gluten challenge and get tested at a later time. I feel for you and see the issues, I have Medicaid myself and my severe gluten reactions and allergies got me on disability for a good while. Testing was a pain in the ass for me as finding a doctor that takes Medicaid is bloody near impossible where I live. I do suggest supplementing Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin D, and B vitamins primarily right now. Others you might be low in are folate, E,C,A and various others. The nerve issues are strongly related to various b vitamins, magnesium, and D. I will share a link of what I take for a example. BTW have you checked out the newbie 101 thread? And if you need help finding gluten-free foods I have a huge list that I have complied for people although we normally suggest a whole foods diet only for the first month or so. Might want to drop dairy and oats for a bit, by the sound of your deficiency issues I would say it would be a huge help doing so. https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/117090-gluten-free-food-alternatives-list/ https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/116482-supplement-and-foods-you-take/

It is meant to show you are a real person not a spammer. Not sure if it works anymore. Only Admin can see it and he doesn't do anything with it.

MelissaNZ, Has your daughter been checked for vitamin deficiencies??? Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include urinary incontinence, oral candidiasis (thrush), skin rashes, bumps on the backs of arms, joint pain, distended stomach and short stature. Bones can't grow much without vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency causes delayed gastric emptying (food doesn't move through the gastrointestinal tract at a normal speed and the intestines bloat) which explains your daughter's delayed reaction to the cake. Vitamin A deficiency is also a cause of bumps on the back of the arms. Vitamin A deficiency causes vision problems. Vitamin A and D are both fat soluble vitamins. Absorption of fats is a problem for Celiacs. So is absorption of B vitamins and important minerals. B Complex vitamins are water soluble and must be replenished every day. Skin rashes are associated with several B vitamins like niacin (B3), B12, and thiamine (B1). I went through a period of severe malnutrition prior to diagnosis. It was not a pleasant experience. I had symptoms similar to your daughter's, including the incontinence, which resolved on vitamin D supplementation. Please, please have your daughter tested for vitamin D deficiency. And have her B vitamins checked as well. Celiac Disease causes malabsorption. Malabsorption causes deficiency diseases. Newly diagnosed Celiacs need to be checked for deficiencies. I hope this helps.