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morrisgirl

Celiacs Disease And A Freshman In College

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Hey guys,

So I am a newly diagnosed celiac and of course - because life just has a way of timing things perfectly - i also started college this fall as i was being diagnosed. I was wondering how other college students were coping with roommates, dinning halls, the social scene, ect. while dealing with this whole thing. Being new to it life seems overwhelming!!!!

Any suggestions on how to survive the first months of all this while trying to survive the first few months of college would help a lot!

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Hold on babe, the calvary will come. There are several college age peeps and I am sure that the will post shortly. :)


Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

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Morrisgirl,

I'm no longer a teenager, I'm in my mid twenties, but I wanted to welcome you to the board! I was in graduate school when I was diagnosed, so I can "somewhat" relate.

Celiac (without a "s") Disease is being recognized more and more, so maybe there are some other students with Celiac at your school. Might be worth asking a dietician at the school.

Also, make sure you check everything that goes into your mouth, all food, drink (including alcoholic beverages), medicines, etc. Eating out can be tricky (which I know is hard, esp in college) so be careful about that.

For the accidental glutenings, keep a stock of immodiums in your purse :) (make sure they are gluten free! the small pills are, but make sure to double check).

The "real teens" will jump in soon, as Lisa said, but if I can help in any way, feel free to drop me a PM.

Good luck this semester! I'm sure you'll do very well, both academically and Celiac-related!

L

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Hey! I'm a sophomore in college and I also just started eating gluten free this past semester. Fortunately, I have not had a problem dealing with anything. As for roommates, that can be hard just because most people do not understand Celiac at all. I live with two of my closest friends at school this year and they are very understanding. I think the best way to deal with people who don't know about Celiac is to inform them. Hopefully the people you are around a lot will take the time to understand. As for the the dining halls, go and sit down with the chefs or dieticians. I spoke to the dietician at my school and she made sure all of the cafeteria staff knew who I was and that if I asked for anything special it should be made for me. I have had "special" food made for me, like plain chicken when what they were serving was stuffed and rice pastas and such. The dietician also goes to Whole Foods and Trader Joes and buys bread, pasta, pancake mix, and cereal. They really do work with you. They are also allowing me to bring in my own box of food from home, so this coming semester I will be eating even better. I suggest you ask your school to do that. I don't really know what you mean by social scene. Do you mean partying and drinking? Well, I'm not the biggest drinker out there compared to most college students but when I do drink I bring my own Smirnoff vodka in a water bottle and take shots. But there is more and more other alcoholic alternatives out there for Celiacs so finding something shouldnt be too hard. On the whole though being a Celiac has not hurt my social life in any way. Although, my social life doesn't really involve food. I hope this helps a bit. I'm sure you will figure it all out. Good Luck!

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Hey, I'm a Senior in college and I was diagnosed last year. I was abroad, doing research in rural Ethiopia with nothing to eat but stale bread and pasta. When I simply ceased to function everyone could tell something was seriously wrong but no one was sure what. I thought I had everything from intestinal parasites to mental illness, what with my seeming inability to exercise in spite of a lack of medical problem, extreme fuzzy-headedness and sudden numeric dyslexia. The weird news is that our finding out in college is actually really good news. We wont have to suffer long-term problems before finally discovering our condition, perhaps too late.

I have the added benefit of living off campus - something that became a necessity in my conditions. The refectory where I go to school is progressive and was very willing to attempt to label celiac foods and gluten-free items, but they couldn't make the change in the timeframe necessary for me. It's still awkward to go out with friends to restaurants and not eat things. I've spent the past few months wrestling with food labeling, ordering specialty food in the mail and working out a way to eat with everyone else. This has been a lot better than when I was immune-suppressed due to glutening in semesters previous, when I was constantly trying to juggle my schedule and hospitalizations due to illness. Overall though life is improving. It's not impossible. I even discovered that many of my professors are Celiacs. If you want tips I've found helpful in dealing with it, feel free to drop me a message or send me an IM. My SN is Sinenox.


Dx wheat allergy, possible Celiac disease. 

Dx Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome with wheat as a trigger. 

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I lived in the dorms as a freshman and I was continuously getting sick from dorm food. Don't give up hope. I figured out I was risking too much so I spent the rest of the year eating fruits, veggies and rice. It worked out really well because I ate healthier than I ever did before and I felt great. It was kind of refreshing to live like that for a while.

I would recommend as soon as you can to get an apartment to yourself. I live by myself and I like it because I know that everything in my house is 100% gluten-free. Good luck and have a good first year at college!


<3 Alexis

Gluten-Free since 1995

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unfortunatly my cafeteria stinks...they try to help me, but all i get is CC, so i eat outta bag junk....which is SOOO not healthy....but its better then the CC for me.

im probibly no help

sorry :(


______________________________

~*~Mallory~*~

DX Anemic with Iron Deficiency & B12 Deficiency

DX Celiac via Blood Tests/XRays: October 26th 2006

Gluten/Wheat Free: October 26th 2006

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You should talk to the cafeteria manager. Some colleges are very celiac-friendly. My brother goes to UW-LaCrosse and they have a fridge and microwave in back filled with gluten free foods. They treat me really well when I go to visit - if I want the make-your-own omelet, they'll give me real eggs (not the egg-mix) and a clean pan. I'd get your own fridge and microwave for your room (and depending on how messy your roommate is, you may want your very own so you don't have to deal with gluten-crumbs in the micro).


Gluten-Free since September 15, 2005.

Peanut-Free since July 2006.

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Hi there,

I'm a senior at the Univ. of Oklahoma and was diagnosed in April, so I was already living with my husband when I was diagnosed, so no help on the cafeteria. I can tell you, however, that parties and the social scene are not a problem at all. Your friends will understand and most people seem to think it's interesting (at least for the first 5 minutes!). If you can handle alcohol (I can now), you have a LOT of options. My main suggestion is to tell people the truth: you have Celiac, you can't eat/drink that. You don't have to go into the GI problems (if you have any) - I tell people that it gives me horrible stomach pains, causes nausea and sometimes vomitting. That's usually enough for most people to realize it's serious.

Good luck!

Elizabeth


ELIZABETH

gluten-free (04.17.2006)

corn-free (03.27.2007)

xanthan gum-free

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hey!

i'm not exactly a "teen" either... :ph34r: but i am a soph in college and was in your same position last year. unfortunatly i didn't get my butt in gear with the dining centers till this year, but the good new is, once i did--they have been really helpful. i started out just emailing the dept of residence and saying i had a severe food issue that i needed to be accomodated and just waited and had no idea what the response would be. in the end they set me up with the school dietition and we worked together to create a menu for the kitchen staff. i don't know the size of you school. mine is decent, but not huge by any means and it turns out there are 2 other gluten free kids. so that's the best advice i can give you for the cafeteria is to just go for it. sometimes they will be more helpful than you thought.

roommates, i don't have one. single dorm and have a single apartment lined up for next year. but i'd say just make it totally clear that you're not going to share utensils or food??

social scene...if you mean dining out, etc. that CAN be kind of tough. check out this website and others for notorious restaurant chains that serve gluten-free stuff and try to hit those. otherwise i'm a huge fan of the plain baked potato. most places i go to they come still whole or in the foil so i know its just the tater! also if you mean partying (which i hope you DON'T if you're a freshman... :P hehe) like other people said, there are options. i do sprite/gluten-free vodka. and i don't really trust the scuzzy college bars too much. sorry this is like a novel...but i just want to help! cause i know how hard it was for me last year and i had no one to tell me where to go from there!! feel free to email me if you want anything else (kms_10@hotmail.com) good luck!

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Actually I'm newly diagnosed and just started college this year too. It was pretty overwhelming for me as well, not only trying to manage the new diet, but new stresses associated with college too. I was lucky that my roommate was my best friend, so she was really understanding. I ended up transferring at semester so I can live at home, since the dining hall was not helpful in providing anything I could eat (I lived off of salad and lunchmeat most of first semester). But I would suggest talking to dining services and if they can't do anything to change, maybe lower your meal plan? that was an option that was given to me. I would also request the menu in advance, then maybe you can plan ahead and see what days you could try to eat there. And if you have a fridge/microwave in your room, just stock up on food you can eat. I also had a mini rice cooker in my room and I would heat up frozen vegetables if I didn't have any other options that day.

Hope that helps! Good luck,

Mia

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