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Spidey Sense

Ensure Drinks, And My Introduction...

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Hi everyone,

I've been reading here for a few weeks now, and I want to thank everyone for all the great information. I haven't been diagnosed with Celiac or gluten intolerance- but I am currently waiting for my enterolab results to come back. I have a question. Does anyone drink Ensure, or any other drink with the goal of gaining weight and getting vitamins? Of course it needs to be gluten free. I went to the Ensure website, but I had no luck navigating it. Thanks :-)

-Wendy

So, since I'm new, I want to share my story. It is very long, so please skip if you have no time :-)

My problems started 3 years ago after a horrible stomach flu. I never recovered, and for the last 3 years I've had abdominal pain, some heartburn, feelings of fullness right after eating, nausea, tons of gas (from both directions) and constipation. I think many people, including my doctors thought my problem was from stress since it was my last year of college. I was diagnosed by my gastro doctor with dyspepsia (aka indigestion), and irritable bowel (although I never had diarrhea). I took zantac for a year, and then nexium for another year. The medicines did not work, but after taking acid suppressing drugs for so long, my body had adjusted to the drugs and somehow started to produce more acid. I had severe withdrawal effects from the nexium- something I would never want to go through again. I took myself off the nexium in Nov. 2004.

My quality of life has been getting worse and worse. For the last few months, there has been several times that I've been on the verge of a mental breakdown. My energy levels have declined so much, and it's depressing trying to convince doctors and strangers that it's not in my head, and that I don't have an eating disorder. Although, I'm very fortunate to have a job that allows me to work around my symptoms. Since I've been with them for over 3 years, my co-workers have seen my slow decline, so I get a lot of support from work. I arrive at work very early in the morning, before eating breakfast, and I rush around and do all the things that require patience or thought. Then I eat breakfast, and I usually spend 1-2 hours hiding in the bathroom feeling sick. Then I start feeling better, so I can get a few more things done.. but as my sugar levels drop I must eat again before passing out. So I eat lunch, and I spend 2 more hours in hiding, then another hour working, and then I go home. What a miserable employee I am!

So two months ago I got fed up with my gastro doctor, so I saw an acupuncturist. He actually listened to me, and during the first visit he was able to tell me that my problems originate in my small intestine, not my stomach. He also suggested that I might have a food allergy since I am so thin- I am 5'5" and 105 pounds. He told me that his treatments will not be very effective until I find the cause of the problem. He also gave me a recipe for an aloe drink that will help my small intestine heal quickly. After talking with him, I did some google searches, and came across Celiac disease. I am so grateful that there may finally be an explanation.

I started going gluten free 2 weeks ago, but since I am so new to this I have made so many mistakes. During my first week of being gluten free, I ate 2 super sized boxes of rice krispies. I didn't realize that malt flavoring was bad! I have so much learning ahead of me. It's been especially hard because before 2 weeks ago, my main food group was wheat. I actually spent the first week close to tears (as I was stuffing my face with glutenated rice krispies) because I thought I was going to starve to death without wheat. My boyfriend has always been very supportive, and he is happily embracing our new diet, and my parents are being very supportive too (they have been checking labels at the grocery store so I have things to eat when I visit them).

I am sorry this is so long, but I really felt the need to share my story. I will keep everyone posted on my enterolab results.

-Wendy

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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I have to get off the computer, so I couldn't read your story, but will later. Just to answer your Ensure question, it's gluten-free and many have used it to gain weight. Ensure Plus is also gluten-free.

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Guest Viola

Welcome Wendy, there is no need to appoligize as most of us have gone through similar stories. You will find lots of friendly, helpful people in this forum. Ask as many questions as you like and someone will have the answer for you. We will be waiting for your test results, but it certainly sounds like Celiac. Hang in there, and good for your boyfriend and family for being supportive! :D

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Yes I used Ensure Plus to gain weight when I really needed to and it really helped. Most of ensure is gluten free. I liked the Butter Pecan the best and the flavors are definitely better chilled.

You will learn so much information on here and so many people are supportive so if you have a question just ask.

Good luck :D

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I'm sorry about your story, but know that by trying, you're doing the right thing. It can take some time to get a handle on the gluten-free diet, particularly if you eat a standard American diet. The safe/unsafe list on the celiac.com message board is very helpful, but it's all about practice when it comes to reading all the labels. That's one of the reasons that I enourage the new folks (everyone, really) to eat simple, unprocessed foods - the ones that don't have labels, because they're the whole, natural food. Lots of fruits and veggies - including the starchy ones for carbohydrates - and meats. They don't really have to be "plain" since there are a lot of simple spices and herbs that you can use to make truely gourmet dishes. By eating naturally gluten-free, whole foods, you make it a little easier to start out. (There's no wondering if your soup is gluten-free if you made it from carrots and oranges or if your risotto is gluten-free if you make it from plain rice, onions, and mushrooms!)

I hope you find out what's bothering you soon!

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Hi and welcome to the board!!!!

Don't apologize for your story being long, believe me, we have all been down the long and winding road to diagnosis and well being. Many of us were on that road for many years before we got our answer...... ;)

It certainly sounds like celiac to me.... Slowly but surely, the medical establishment is realizing that celiac disease is not only a disease of children with distended bellies. Also, it is becoming more apparent that approx. 40% of celiacs main symptom is not diarrhea, but constipation.....

You must remember not to knock yourself over the head every time you make a mistake. They will happen. They happen to the most seasoned of us! (Just a few months ago, I realized that the Gas-X Chewable Tablets that I was eating like candy due to my gas pains, actually had gluten in them!!!) :o

Our motto here is that there is no question "too stupid" to ask. So feel free to ask away! And don't be embarrassed to post about "bowel movements", we are more than used to having that as our main discussion!!! ;)

Karen

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Thank you everyone :-)

It's a good feeling knowing that if I have a question, I can come here to ask. I went out last night and got some Ensure- chocolate, since I've been craving chocolate! It tastes yummy. I also bought some vitamin gumballs, which say gluten-free on the package. I love chewing gum, so I know that I won't forget to take my vitamins now.

Starting with whole foods is good advice. I am sort of doing that now, although it is hard because I am so used to cooking things like pre-cooked breaded fish sticks, and creamed corn from a can. Last week I cooked several new things, like acorn squash and fresh fish.

It's been a tough 2 weeks, I think because I haven't seen major improvements. My abdominal pain is gone almost all the time now, and so it that swollen-tounge gagging feeling. But, I've been extra tired and depressed. I know that it will take time to get back to normal.

-Wendy

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My symptoms where gastrointestinal and also further up, including swelling in the throat and mouth, trouble breathing, dry eyes, low blood sugar, back and neck pain, to name a few. My symptoms started going away immediately but I was a amazed when symptoms I did not realize were connected to gluten went away as well, like low blood sugar and neck pain and dry eyes.

I'm glad you have gone through testing with Enterolab and we all are waiting to hear what they come back with. Which test did you do? Did you do the panel with milk sensitivity and gene panel? When you are sensitive to gluten and it has damaged the small intestines the damage (until it heals) will keep you from breaking down dairy products too so you might be sensitive to dairy for awhile. I advice a calcium supplement if you have to cut out dairy. I use Citracil because it is easily utilized and can be taken on an empty stomach. You must take calcium supplements throughout the day because only 500mg. can be utilized at one time.

I was a big wheat eater but feel my diet has expanded since going gluten-free. I love nuts and dried fruit, rough cornmilk cooked with cranberries and soy milk, corn chips with avocato dip, tortillas and beans, gluten free breads from the natural foods refrigerator case, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and rice cakes. What is harder is knowing what to eat when eating out or reading those labels, especially the drug labels that don't list things. I google just about everything I eat with the item and gluten free and usually I find it listed on the web. This forum has a good database and good lists, too. Just use the search bar at the top.

I shed a few tears at the beginning when I felt overwhelmed but it really does get easier and there are people at this website and elsewhere who understand.

Leslie

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From enterolab I got the whole set of tests for gluten, milk, and the gene panel. I can't wait to get the results! Over the weekend I became very ill, and I think it really worried my parents since I was over there house when it happened. I could barely move because my belly and guts hurt so much, so I layed on the couch all weekend. I took off work today, and went to see a doctor, and the doctor kept ignoring my idea of a food allergy, or Celiac disease, and he ordered all these other tests for me. I will go ahead with the blood tests for liver function and thyroid, but I really doubt that I need a chest x-ray!

I am just so fustrated because doctors try to make things so complicated. Since I am young, and healthy (other than my GI problems), I probably don't have anything seriously wrong with me. And since I only have problems after eating certain foods, then the simplest explanation would be a food allergy or intolerance. I also told the doctor that after going gluten free, I felt like a different person for a few days. My brain fog had lifted, and I spent the first few days without any pain. The next few days I seemed to go thru a withdrawal period, where I sat here crying (and laying on the floor in the kitchen wondering if I was going to starve to death). After my "gluten-withdrawal" I've been having intestinal pain- lower down than before. I really wonder if I am allergic to some new food that I'm eating, like corn (from all the grits). My dad is allergic to corn and he breaks out in rashes if he eats any. I also seem to have problems with sugary things too. I drank 4 of those Ensures before I got sick this weekend (yes, I overdid it but YUM! chocolate!). Those are packed full of sugar. I also noticed that I had stomach pains after eating fruity pebbles and chocolate chips. Maybe I will cut back on the sugar and see how I feel. The doctor did say that I should try to eat a diet with only meat, no carbs at all until my poop sinks. I think I will die if I only ate meat (and be REALLY constipated).

Oh well, time to go make some meat for dinner :-(

(I was almost a vegetarian before two weeks ago)

Leslie- I actually bought rice cakes for the first time, and I put peanut butter on them, and it was like eating a sandwich. Those were so good! I also like the sound of corn chips with avocato...

-Wendy

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Does anyone drink Ensure, or any other drink with the goal of gaining weight and getting vitamins?

I tried Ensure but I found it had chalky texture that I didn't like. I drink Boost, and all boost is gluten free EXCEPT chocolate malt. My favorite is chocolate and it tastes best when it's chilled. You can get boost in extra calories, extra protein, and extra fiber.

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I also seem to have problems with sugary things too.

I am actually noticing that sugar makes me sick too. I am now gluten free, lactose free, and trying to eat less sugar (Although it is hard) ;)

Try not to get discouraged with food... I know it's hard at first (we've all been there). But I love the way I eat now, it's very healthy :D

If you ever need any recipe ideas or have any questions about food feel free to ask!

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