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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?


Girlfriend newly Dx'd

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Hi I'm Jay and my longtime girlfriend was just diagnosed with Celiac via Lab results and biopsy ( I actually have type 1 diabetes). I have a few questions about this disease and the gluten-free lifestyle.

Is this an "All or none" kind of thing? Can some people cheat occasionally and sneak a little Gluten here and there or does she have to completely cut out the Gluten, forever?

The biggest concern for her is the beer. Beer is her hobby, sounds funny and no she is not an alcoholic but she loves craft beer and beer culture. Most of our vacations are mapped out by which new brewery we will be close to. I have tried gluten-free beer before in the past and it was NOT good. Does anybody have any good hoppy beer recommendations? 

Does anybody have a favorite book on Celiac disease. I'm trying to keep things positive but as soon as you do an internet search on the topic, things get pretty scary (just like any other medical condition). 


Good cookbook recommendations?

Finally, what is the biggest misconception you have heard about this disease? What was the hardest thing for you to cope with?




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Welcome!  So nice that you are helping your girlfriend.

Here is a biggie: you can gluten her by kissing her after a gulp of beer or by the remenents of your sandwich.  Yep.  Your toothbrush and gluten free toothpaste will be your new protection!  Look it up, if you do not believe me!   Also look at how bars rinse their glasses....glasses should be run through dishwashers or ask for plastic or paper  cup. 

As a celiac she can NEVER consume gluten. Celiac  is not an allergy.  It is an autoimmune disorder like your diabetes.  It just happens to be the only one triggered by food -- gluten.  Gluten can set up a reaction that can last for days, weeks or months.  It turns on the autoimmune response.  Once it starts....it keeps going and doing damage until the body decides to stop. everyone has a different cut-off time.

Did you know that T-1 diabetics have a 10% chance of developing celiac disease?  Why?  They share the same genes!  Google that!  Now doctors are testing t-1s even if they are symtom free.  Goggle that.  

Go to the University of Chicago's celiac website for testing and the list of 300 symptoms and there are many documented asymptomatic patients too! 

Recipes?  Go the the library or Google.  

Hardest thing?  Not eating out.  Doable but really hard!  

Questions, ask away!  

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America's Test Kitchen put out a gluten-free cookbook a while ago. I think it's called "How Can It Be gluten-free?" Everyone here raves about it.

In the coping section on this website, pinned to the top, is a thread called "Newbie 101". Make sure both of you read that. Click on all the links provided. Take notes.

Now, the hard part - the lifestyle change. Beer is her enemy now. Sure, there are some new gluten-free beers available that are pretty good. I think there are even some dark beers. But they aren't going to taste the same. Once she's been away from regular beer for a while they will taste better to her, but she shouldn't try them right away. And it would be a good idea for you to switch to gluten-free beer too so there won't be any accidents (where she takes a sip of yours by mistake) or kissing issues.

We all had to make some heavy duty changes. Some folks here worked in bakeries or pizza joints and had to quit. Others were gourmet chefs and had to switch all of their cooking to gluten-free. I myself am a guitarist, music store owner, and teacher, who due to different health problems, can no longer play guitar. It was my LIFE, and now although I can still run the store, I can't play at all and had to turn all of my students over to other teachers.

But my Dad taught me a valuable lesson when his asthma got so bad he could no longer do a lot of the things he had always loved to do - "It frees up time to learn something new." So after the initial mourning period and adjustment, perhaps you and your girlfriend can find a new hobby that you can share together. And keep in mind, she will start feeling better and better as time goes on so any new ventures and adventures will be more fun for both of you.

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Hi Jay. It's really wonderful to see a supportive partner - that is going to be paramount to her health & sticking to the diet. You didn't ask what 1 of the most important things is but I told you anyway.:lol:

Biggest misconceptions:

Paper plates contain gluten

A tiny bit of gluten won't hurt me

I can cheat once in a while

Now for your question of what was the hardest thing to cope with....... For me, the hardest thing to cope with was all the symptoms pre diagnosis. I was on my way to dying from them. Sure, I mourned at first realizing I could never have all those "normal" foods again and I threw myself a few pity parties but then I straightened my shoulders, lifted my chin & said, "What the hell is so bad about eating whole foods?" Then I answered myself, "Not a damn thing! In fact, whole foods are Grrrrrrrrrrrrreat!"

I really have not missed anything. When what you're eating makes you so sick and you know your body is slowly dying from eating those foods --- it's a cinch to say sayonara to them with no regrets. Just my experience & my opinion.

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You can continue the beer hobby, if you make it gluten free yourself.

That being said, oh my God, if someone would just start making some good gluten free beer!!?  You'll make a fortune if you can do it!

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I really appreciate everybody's response. I have to say that I was really very ignorant to this disease before coming here. I think the biggest shocker is the kissing part. I really thought if she just limited the Gluten, everything would be fine. We are really going to have to get after it. I'm up for the challenge!


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Bully for you Jay!!! It won't be easy combining strict gluten free with your diabetic diet but you sound like you're willing to go the distance. We do have some diabetics on here so I'm sure they can give you some pointers on handling the requirements of both diets at one time. 

I've been thinking about how you said she loves beer & even trips & vacations were centered around brewery tours. Maybe she can switch her beer love to a wine love & pursue that. Visiting wineries and doing wine tastings??? She probably already learned everything there is to know about beer anyway. Time to learn something new.:D

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I'll drink to learning about wine!  It's gluten free!!!   (except wine coolers.  Forget the wine coolers. )

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