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JacksDad

Stressful Situation

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I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right area but . . . my wife and I just had our first child about 3 months ago and not too long after his birth my wife Emily began having chronic diarrhea and vomiting almost everything she ate. She had a test that took some biopsies of her intestine and the doctor said she had Celiac Disease. We just found out last week.

Our doc told us even a small amount of gluten is bad so I stopped eating it too and we tried to get anything with gluten out of the house. Now that Emily's gluten free she's not vomiting anymore but her stomach is still very upset and still chronic diarrhea. It is very hard because she is breastfeeding and we're afraid her milk supply will dwindle because she has trouble eating. I don't really know what to make for her. Before the diagnosis I was giving her toast and noodles because that is what she like best when she had morning sickness but now I realize I was poisoning her! We are seeing a nutritionist next week so hopefully that will help.

We are having a very hard and stressful time right now. It is hard to see Emily struggling. I try to be home as much as I can so that she can rest. Any info or ideas would be very helpful for us. Should she start feeling better soon?

Andrew

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She can still have noodles... Tinkyada is the favorite brand around here. I've served them to guests and they haven't noticed a difference.

It may take Emily a few weeks or maybe even months to improve any more. Has she eliminated dairy from her diet? Many Celiacs are lactose intolerant for the first 6 months or so. Also, is she still taking her prenatals? Continuing should help.

I'm sorry I don't have more advice for you. Welcome to the board.

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I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right area but . . . my wife and I just had our first child about 3 months ago and not too long after his birth my wife Emily began having chronic diarrhea and vomiting almost everything she ate. She had a test that took some biopsies of her intestine and the doctor said she had Celiac Disease. We just found out last week.

Our doc told us even a small amount of gluten is bad so I stopped eating it too and we tried to get anything with gluten out of the house. Now that Emily's gluten free she's not vomiting anymore but her stomach is still very upset and still chronic diarrhea. It is very hard because she is breastfeeding and we're afraid her milk supply will dwindle because she has trouble eating. I don't really know what to make for her. Before the diagnosis I was giving her toast and noodles because that is what she like best when she had morning sickness but now I realize I was poisoning her! We are seeing a nutritionist next week so hopefully that will help.

We are having a very hard and stressful time right now. It is hard to see Emily struggling. I try to be home as much as I can so that she can rest. Any info or ideas would be very helpful for us. Should she start feeling better soon?

Andrew

Hi Andrew: You can get gluten free bread, crackers and rice pasta at your local health food store to start--the package will say "gluten free". You may want to get a separate toaster for your wife as your old one will be covered in crumbs from regular bread. Good luck, hugs to all. L.A.

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Yes, Tinkyada Pasta and Kinnikinnick bread are my favorites.

When she's ready, meat, veggies, fruit, eggs, potatoes, rice, fish, etc. are all naturally gluten-free.

She will feel better soon, it takes time to heal. Keep the diet simple for the time being, like you would after having been sick with a stomach bug. I had to overcook veggies for the first few months to be able to handle them. I've never had a problem with meat, but in the beginning preferred soft chicken. Potatoes, baked or mashed were good for me, too. I also liked sweet potatoes, baked.

She will also be tired in the beginning just from the regular baby stuff. And don't beat yourself up about feeding what was hurting her when she was pregnant ... oddly enough, bread was about all I ate when I was pregnant, too. No wonder I kept getting sicker and sicker.

You might want to avoid dairy for the first six months or so. Most celiacs do not have the part of the villi necessary to digest lactose until the intestine heals.

Double check her vitamins to be sure they're gluten-free. If you don't know for sure, Wild Oats brand are clearly labeled.

Take care of yourself, too. I'm sick with Lyme Disease (my gluten problem is totally under control), and my hubby is having to take care of me and the kids, sometimes even coming home from work to feed me lunch. When he gets too tired from working late because of the work he missed during the day, he gets cranky, which stresses me out and makes me feel worse. It's important for HER that you also take care of YOU.

BTW, you will learn much more around here than from a nutritionist, unless the nutritionist happens to have celiac. Keep reading, all this will seem easy after a few months. It's second nature for me now ... I hardly ever even think about it anymore.

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Most celiacs are also lactose and casein intolerant. So try to eliminate the dairy products too and see if that helps! I used to have a link to an article but don't any longer. :\

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Hey, Andrew--sorry your wife's having such a tough time. I know another lady who got diagnosed right after having a baby. I think for many of us, our disease kicks into active mode and we get diagnosed after a stressful time in our lives--pregnancy is physiologically stressful. I got diagnosed after my husband died young and unexpectedly (car accident)--emotionally stressful. Anyway--have her hang in there--it might take a while for her GI tract to settle down. Here are my celiac newbie tips:

1. Know that you will grieve your old favorite gluten-filled foods. I actually tear up when I see a croissant sometimes. Grieving is normal. People around you will eat treats you can't have and you will feel sad and isolated. Strategy: stock your car, office, purse, backpack, secret drawer at home with gluten-free treats you can reach for any time you are feeling deprived. This really helped me. I recommend Baby Ruth Bars, Snicker Bars, Lara Bars, Dove Dark Chocolate, Lara Bars, meringue cookies, macaroon cookies (read labels), Butterfinger, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. You get the idea.

2. Know that it will take time (months, probably) to figure out what to eat (it took me 6 mos.) and during this time, it'll be a daily challenge to plan meals. Every time you go to the store it'll be a challenge to choose groceries. Strategy: plan on an hour--don't bring kids or friends. Go the bathroom before you start grocery shopping. Bring your reading glasses--read every label. This gets a lot easier after a while. The good news is, THIS GETS MUCH BETTER OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS AS YOU GET USED TO TO THE DIET.

3. It may take a while for your gut to heal, depending on how damaged it was at the time you went gluten free. So, you are going to have to be patient with your body--some people feel better immediately after going gluten-free, but most of us take longer than that. Don't give up if you don't see instant results. Strategy: Maximize your general health by getting enough rest, water, exercise, and limiting stress. Maximize your digestive health by limiting foods that are hard on the gastrointestinal tract until you're feeling better: limit irritants like dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and fried foods--these are all hard to digest--go back to them when you feel your gut is recovering.

4. Accept right now that it will be YOUR job to teach those around you about your diet--they will NOT figure it out on their own. I mean, if you don't advocate for yourself, why should anybody else ???? If you're not already an assertive person, this will be good training for you.

5. Here are some meal ideas: ALWAYS READ LABELS!

Breakfast:

eggs, turkey bacon, gluten-free cereal, cream of rice cereal, rice pudding with raisins-yum! For grab n' go breakfast, hard boiled eggs, piece of fruit, cottage cheese and yogurt stirred together. Most yogurts are gluten-free. You will find some gluten-free cold cereals at health food stores.

Lunch:

cold cuts and cheese rolled up in a lettuce leaf

rice cake with peanut butter and raisins, or almond butter and dried cherries, or gluten-free bread and cream cheese and honey

rice cake with cottage cheese and cherry tomatoes

beef jerkey (read labels--the ones with soy sauce have wheat and these aren't OK. Bridgford Original is OK, Kroger Peppered Beef jerkey is OK) I have this in my desk at work and it is a lifesaver--great for camping, too.

Fruit: fresh, canned, dried

Tortilla chips and bean dip

Hard boiled eggs

leftovers from last night

Several Progresso soups are gluten-free: Creamy mushroom (a lifesaver for me in cooking quick dinners), chicken and wild rice, etc. READ LABELS.

Snacks:

Fritos

Cheetos

Tortilla chips

Most potato chips

popcorn

Hard boiled eggs--this is a great instant power snack for a breast-feeding mom

mixed nuts

trail mix (read labels)

gluten-free candies I mentioned above

Lara Bars

Some flavors of Zone Bars are gluten-free (Fudge graham, chocolate coconut crunch, chocolate almond raisin) and these pack 15 grams of protein--again--a great instant power snack for a lactating mom.

Dinner:

Main dishes: omelets, baked salmon with olive oil/salt/pepper, baked chicken with Progresso creamy mushroom soup with a little sour cream stirred in and poured over, grilled hamburgers (use giant lettuce leaf as a wrap, tacos with corn tortillas, split pea soup, etc.

Starchy sides: baked potatoes, any other kind of potatoes, too) rice pilat, polenta, grits, steamed squash, creamed corn.

Veggies--steamed, with a little butter on top is yummy.

Dessert: chocolate mousse, creme brulee, rice pudding (you can make this with soy mild or almond milk if you are avoiding dairy), ice cream (read labels--avoid ice creams like cookie and cream, birthday cake, cookie dough flavors, but all the chocolate, vanilla, sherbets, coffee flavors are generally OK. Go for Rice Dream or Soy ice cream if you're avoiding dairy.), chocolate dipped strawberries, flan, custard, most puddings, gelatin. Sometimes for dessert, I put a block of high quality lovely chocolate on a cutting board with a knife and pass it around the table. My guests love that.

Convenience foods:

Amy's rice crust pizza

Many Amy's frozen entrees are gluten-free--read labels--I get these at Kroger, Safeway, and the health food store

Thai kitchen--many of their rice mixes are gluten-free, and you can get these in mainstream grocery stores

gluten-free bread mixes make great gluten-free bread--if you don't have a bread machine, get one--you can usually pick one up for cheap at second hand stores.

When I was breast-feeding, I was STARVING much of the time, and needed lots of food that was immediately available--meaning, no prep time required, so make sure you have lots of ready made stuff, or leftovers in the house for her.

Good luck!

Susanna

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Some simple things I would suggest to help your wife and baby are:

Chicken and rice soup: it is really not that hard to make homemade. Boil a chicken thighs or legs (including the bone), water for an hour, remove the bones and add carrots, celery, onions, potatoes and any other veggies lying around the house. Let simmer for 10 minutes then add rice. Continue to let simmer for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit for an hour to cool. You can dish out portions in Tupperware and freeze them for easy meals. This is really easy on the stomach and good for the baby.

The Dying Dog Diet (fyi: I would NOT tell your wife it's name). This is the last thing that dogs can digest when they are terminally ill and I swear by it when my stomach is sick. Buy 1 lb. cheap hamburger and in a large pot at 3 cups water and one cup rice and boil until cooked. It is very soft and easy to digest, which is why my dog lived 2 extra months and why I got through finals. You can also sneak in a couple carrots and some finally chopped spinach to get extra nutrition. It is packed with iron which will make her feel stronger.

Corn Tortilla chips, they work just like saltines.

I hope this helps and your wife feel better!

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I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right area but . . . my wife and I just had our first child about 3 months ago and not too long after his birth my wife Emily began having chronic diarrhea and vomiting almost everything she ate. She had a test that took some biopsies of her intestine and the doctor said she had Celiac Disease. We just found out last week.

Our doc told us even a small amount of gluten is bad so I stopped eating it too and we tried to get anything with gluten out of the house. Now that Emily's gluten free she's not vomiting anymore but her stomach is still very upset and still chronic diarrhea. It is very hard because she is breastfeeding and we're afraid her milk supply will dwindle because she has trouble eating. I don't really know what to make for her. Before the diagnosis I was giving her toast and noodles because that is what she like best when she had morning sickness but now I realize I was poisoning her! We are seeing a nutritionist next week so hopefully that will help.

We are having a very hard and stressful time right now. It is hard to see Emily struggling. I try to be home as much as I can so that she can rest. Any info or ideas would be very helpful for us. Should she start feeling better soon?

Andrew

Andrew - Make sure your wife stays hydrated - that has a lot to do with milk production - and the prenatals are so loaded with vitamins that should help, too.

It takes awhile to feel better (still working on it, months later). A gluten free fiber supplement can help with the diarrhea - I take 'Renew Life' Fiber Smart, but there are others. Also, a probiotic formula can help heal her intestines. Her system is also still working out the post-pregnancy hormones, too, so she may be dealing with that, as well..

The rice noodles usually are okay - I cook them in gluten free chicken broth to add flavor (Imagine and Pacific Foods have that, and other gluten free soups as well).

If you have any Whole Foods near you, their gluten free bakehouse breads are not bad, and make good toast, so that would be a good substitute. Don't think you were poisoning her during her morning sickness - I read that pregnancy / childbirth can actually be the trigger for a celiac gene to become active, so it may be that is why you're seeing it now.

Cooked vegetables are better than raw, sometimes people have difficulty digesting raw vegetables at first. And soymilk, if she can get used to the taste (I use the vanilla SILK in my tea) is loaded with protein, which is also important for breastfeeding.

I'm sure the nutritionist can give you some more suggestions.

Good luck; she will be okay in time, and congratulations on your new baby....!

Sheryll

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Welcome. Just wanted to mention that if you buy chicken or turkey, you should get the kind without broth injected into it. Broth usually contains gluten and it's sometimes added to meat to make it juicier and plumper.

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Wow, thanks for the responses. Someone at work directed me to this board and said it was a very active and informative forum and I see that is very true. At first we were thinking that Celiac disease was some strange, rare disease but after meeting someone in my very workplace dealing with Celiac and all the people here, I realize that is not true. It is much more common than I thought and this is comforting somehow. I did a bunch of reading of posts here and got lots of ideas. We hadn't even thought about getting a new toaster, cutting boards, etc, but we will definitely do that.

It is wonderful to know that there are still many, many things we can eat. I am feeling much more positive and less worried now. I'm posting at work right now :ph34r: so I better go.

Many thanks

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This site has so much information and I'm discovering new sources of gluten contamination all the time. It's tricky to get used to this new lifestyle, but I'm learning.

Medications can definitely be a source of gluten contamination, especially those prenatal vitamins. A previous post mentioned Wild Oats, they are an awesome place to buy the vitamins!

Wild Oats also sells a frozen bread dough named 'Chebe' that is made from tapioca flour and it's crusty on the outside and super chewy on the inside after baking. I serve it with the pasta made by Tinkyada and a nice gluten free marinara sauce once a week.

I had a lot of disappointing pasta dinners since December when I began gluten free living and I had almost given up on eating pasta again. Most of the gluten free stuff was smelly and slimy and a total turn off. The Tinkyada pasta tastes just like wheat flour pasta and the bread is quick and very close to the real wheat thing. Eating it cuts down on the depression episodes from not being able to enjoy the things I love anymore.

The most helpful thing I've learned from the informative and very helpful people here is: Remember to check every label and when in doubt, avoid it!

I hope she feels better soon and just keep reading and researching for fun and safe things to eat!

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