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Hi I am a 31 year old female and last year I started having trouble with my stomache. My doctor ran every blood test she could think of and the celiac screening came back positive. I had a biopsy in April and it came back positive. My GI doctor just told me and said I had to go gluten free and to come back in six months. That was is I was in shock and could not come up with any questions at the time. Now I have a million like where do I start. I have read books "gluten free for dummies" and "the gluten-free diet" but am feeling lost and overwhelmed. I have eliminated what I know has gluten in it and have started to clean out the cupboard of gluten infested food. I am a mom of two small children (5 & 2). My two year olds blood screening came back positive for celiac and I am waiting for a biopsy he has also been recently diagnosed with Autism. I would like the majority of my home gluten free like baking, snacks, ect. My husband is really supportive but can't give up bread which I don't expect but I feel so overwhelmed. What is the best advise you wish someone told you in the beginning.

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Hi I am a 31 year old female and last year I started having trouble with my stomache. My doctor ran every blood test she could think of and the celiac screening came back positive. I had a biopsy in April and it came back positive. My GI doctor just told me and said I had to go gluten free and to come back in six months. That was is I was in shock and could not come up with any questions at the time. Now I have a million like where do I start. I have read books "gluten free for dummies" and "the gluten-free diet" but am feeling lost and overwhelmed. I have eliminated what I know has gluten in it and have started to clean out the cupboard of gluten infested food. I am a mom of two small children (5 & 2). My two year olds blood screening came back positive for celiac and I am waiting for a biopsy he has also been recently diagnosed with Autism. I would like the majority of my home gluten free like baking, snacks, ect. My husband is really supportive but can't give up bread which I don't expect but I feel so overwhelmed. What is the best advise you wish someone told you in the beginning.

Relax. Breathe. Potatoes and rice are gluten free. Nobody has to starve. Soft corn tortillas are a wonderful substitute for bread; I've even been known to make egg salad sandwiches on them.

You're going to have to clean all your pots and pans and cooking utensils incredibly thoroughly or replace them. Anything plastic or anything with significant scratches will probably need to be replaced.

If you want to eat out, Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill (same parent company) have reliable gluten-free menus.

Gluten-free substitutes are available for just about everything under the sun, including pasta and pizza dough. They are, unfortunately, expensive. I like Tinkyada pasta and Chebe cheese bread (which has pizza dough directions, too). So far, everything I've tried from Pamela's Products has been great, particularly the brownie mix and dark chocolate chocolate chunk cookies.

Remember that you're 31 years behind on vitamin B12. This makes you naturally more nervous and rattled than you would be otherwise. As your reserves replenish, it's going to be a lot easier to face this calmly. Fortunately, this will happen in next to no time (for me, less than a week, after 45 years). But you might feel better if you get B12 supplements and take them daily. A multivitamin is never a bad idea either.

So try not to be overwhelmed. It's not as hard as it might look from here, and it gets easier fast. I've found going gluten-free to be rather a hoot, to tell the truth. You get to try a lot of new things (quinoa anyone?). Anyway, it's for the rest of your life; you might as well have fun with it.

Good luck to you and your family, and welcome to the tribe!

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........that marshmellows are gluten free :D

........that corn is hard to digest :(

........that dollar store allergy pills (from China?) could have anything in them :ph34r:

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Hmmm....

:mellow: Keep it SIMPLE at first, meat, veggies, fruit, rice, eggs, etc.

:D You can do this.

:huh: You will make mistakes, but will learn quickly.

:blink: You will be frustrated, but will learn quickly.

:rolleyes: You may have some improvements, then some setbacks...and eventually more and more improvement

:wacko: Take it one day, one shopping mission, one new recipe at a time

:P we bought small (1/2") round bright green stickers at the office supply store and stuck them on every food in the frig and cupboard that is gluten-free so we don't have to keep reading those tiny labels multiple times!

<_< separate butter, jam and pnut butter with the green dots so others can still use with gluten bread if desired

:ph34r: search items you aren't sure of....you can google &/or just search this site with ingredients, brands, etc. to instantly know whether it is gluten-free and whether others have had adverse reactions to the item

:o once truly gluten-free a body becomes MORE intolerant of the dreaded accidental gluten / cross contamination....we weren't quite sure we needed a separate toaster at first...but now we've made the toaster oven the gluten-free zone and the reg toaster the only gluten zone in our kitchen (ours was already positioned on the opposite side of our kitchen from most of our food prep)

;) i think you said you read the gluten-free Diet...it came out when I was about a month in and I wished I had started with that book...just remember that Elisabeth went gluten-free when there was not as much info on the internet...her book is a great launching pad...but I still google more than call restaurants and manufacturers

:) Welcome!

-Lisa

P.S. forgot to mention that at first I would bring nearly a whole meal in my purse when going to a restaurant / friend or family member's house. Now I only carry dressing and a few gluten-free snacks. Oh and I volunteer to bring desert -- I've got a killer chocolate cake and fantastic blueberry cheesecake right now and looking for more recipes. It has really helped me to eat desert with everyone at the table...funny because i used to pass or care less about desert!

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I was in your shoes. It's so overwhelming but it does get much easier. My son is the one with "official" Celiac but my daughter and I are also gluten free. My husband is gluten free at home with the exception of bread and Doritos (he can't give up the Doritos!). He keeps the bread and chips away from the rest of the food. Other than that, our home is gluten free. Take small steps at first, don't try to change everything at one. If you can shop at Walmart, their house brand Grand Value will state gluten free on products if it is. These are some of my kids (ages 9 & 2) favorite gluten free foods that can be purchased at your local grocery store; Ore-Ida Fast Food Fries and Tator Tots (states gluten free on the package), Hormel Natural deli meat (states gluten free on package), Oscar Meyer wieners, fruit cups, string cheese, applesauce, dried fruit, the new Betty Crocker cookie, brownie, and cake mixes are really good and according to my nine-year-old they taste "real" :lol: . Some specialty products that we love include Tinkyada gluten free pasta, K-Toos cookies (they are like Oreos), Amy's frozen mac and cheese, Annies boxed mac and cheese, Glutino cheese pizza. There is a list of companies that will clearly label gluten (wheat, rye, barley) and not "hide" gluten in terms like "natural flavor" or "starches". I carry that list with me while I do my shopping. Some of the companies include UniLever and Kraft but there are many, many more. I find it much easier to use that list rather than search the mile long list of ingredients that contain gluten (I printed that list and it was 5 pages long!).

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Here are some of my most memorable moments in my year of being celiac:

- being diagnosed from the blood test -- there must have been a mistake...

- walking into a grocery store for the first time after the biopsy. It's a real "now what" feeling. Over time I have learned what ingredients and products are safe and what are not. I also learned to check and recheck the ingredients because it is easy to miss something and the ingredients can change.

- Eating in a restaurant for the first time and giving my little speech to the waiter.

- Realizing after the fourth cookie that the ginger snaps I was eating were not the gluten free variety -- another "now what" moment. Mistakes happen, no big deal...

- I never reacted to gluten before but now I am quite sensitive -- very surprising.

- Being catholic and having a reaction from the communion host -- no more communion bread for me.

- Going to Disney World -- truly a celiac's paradise.

- Eating with extended family. I have learned they try and often miss but in general it is best not to expect too much. Remember to eat something before attending any function with food you have no control over.

- After a few months of dealing with this diet I entered the the anger phase and then the depression phase -- it gets better after that.

- It is nice not to be sick.

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Hi...newly diagnosed and I'm curious why you would need to replace your utensils. If you clean them well do you have to replace them? Does that mean tupperware, bowls, plates? Thanks. I'm really new to this. Only a week and I've got so much to learn. Pam

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Hi...newly diagnosed and I'm curious why you would need to replace your utensils. If you clean them well do you have to replace them? Does that mean tupperware, bowls, plates? Thanks. I'm really new to this. Only a week and I've got so much to learn. Pam

Welcome Pam!

We did not replace our utensils, pots, pans, tupperware, etc. We ran everything possible thru dishwasher on longest heat cycle and washed other items very well those first few weeks.

I did buy a second cutting board for our gluten-free items. Our house has less and less gluten, but my husband and one of my kids still eats reg bread -- so our orig cutting board remains the gluten board.

We already had both a toaster and a toaster oven located on opposite sides of the room -- At first we did not completely buy into the toaster talk -- but it is very true that those pesky toaster crumbs can make you sick -- so I cleaned the heck out of the toaster oven and it is now our gluten-free toaster.

Now that I've said this -- please be aware that there are many people that have changed everything in their kitchen -- this step would be of major comfort to know that there is nothing left in your kitchen to make you ill -- it just wasn't the path we chose.

-Lisa

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My advice to newbies is always the same; start simply. I think that's especially true in a household with small children. You are already busy and preoccupied and now you have to learn a whole new way of life. I say start first eating whole foods that you prepare yourself, meat, vegetables, fruits, rice, potatoes and beans. Before cooking anything, go through your spice rack and throw out anything containing gluten and anything you might have dble dipped with a gluteny spoon. When you have mastered gluten-free meals with whole foods for about a month, then start adding new foods. Only add them one at a time every few days. That way if you are going to react to them, you'll know right away which food it was.

This method makes your shopping easy too. You know how to buy whole foods, that's easy right? The only thing I would caution you is on frozen meats like chicken parts, they can be coated with broth. The package will say that so check the ingredient lables on frozen meats.

Many cannot tolerate dairy in the beginning so you need to restrict that. If you do, don't worry, you might be able to add that back in later after you heal a bit. I couldn't do fruits for awhile but eat any of those now without a problem.

All the advice above was good. Just slow down and do a little planning, a lot of reading and ask anything you want here. Your dr might not have told you but we will, just ask,

And welcome!!

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All of the above!

But one more thing, no one mentioned that there are grocery shopping guides out there to make your life WAY easier at the store:

Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping Guides

http://www.ceceliasmarketplace.com/

http://www.triumphdining.com/?gclid=COPJ4f...CFdVL5QodHR95Bw

There another out that can also be downloaded to your PDA device, etc., by Clan Thompson.

I bought the Cecilas guide, it was about $25 and worth every dollar. Put an end to standing in the aisle and reading packages!

There are also restaurant guides out there, too.

Trust us, after a few months you'll have it down. Just take it one step at a time.

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Thanks for all the good info. I had muscle tests done yesterday and I had no intolerance of issues with wheat/gluten. Not sure how both tests can be completely opposite of each other. I've heard you can get false positives from other autoimmune diseases or just false positives. I pushing and pushing to get my doctor to get my the referral to get the biopsy because I've heard the bloodtest are not reliable.

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Here's a great informational video from UCSD's Celiac Center -- warning it is nearly one and half hours long, but worth a watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR2LvQmoF1Y

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