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New At This & Frustrated

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My daughter has been having lots of gas & has been throwing up each morning for months. After much back and forth with her doctor, we seem to have arrived at her being gluten intolerant. I did an elimination for several days while she was home & removed everything containing gluten from her diet & she was fine in the mornings with no throwing up & no gas (burping).

She's 16 and is not thrilled about this diagnosis although I think she's resigned to it if it helps her stop throwing up each morning. The problem is getting her to understand what she can & cannot eat. She wants to be "normal" and eat what her friends are eating. She wants to go to McDonalds & the mall & eat like she used to. So she'll think to herself... Well an iced coffee would be fine. Of course it isn't & she'll throw up the next morning.

She also doesn't like the taste of much of the gluten free foods I've found for her - pasta, bagels, breads, etc. She doesn't want to bring a lunch to school because that isn't cool & about the only thing at the school she can eat is the salad. Then we had to get into the discussion of salad dressings, shredded cheese, etc. that can all have gluten in them.

How do you deal with this? We are not a gluten free home although I am very careful what I make for her is not contaminated by what others eat. I have no control over what she does at her friends houses or while she is out. Last night she went out & had sausage, McFlurry & iced coffee. Of course she was throwing up this morning.

How do you get them to understand when they are old enough not to be under your control for what they eat? Is there a book that lists foods? Is there some kind of definitive list that shows which name brands she can eat & which she can't?

Any suggestions or advice? :(

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At 16 you cannot control everything she eats, as you pointed out. You are going to have to get her involved in food preperation and shopping so she can learn for herself. After all, she will soon be out on her own and needs to know this stuff. If she will come on this forum, there is a lot she can learn. You can teach her to go to the McDonald's website and look up what might be gluten-free. ( I usually order double cheeseburgers with no bun.)

When my daughter was dx'd lactose intolerant, she had an adjustment with what all she could tolerate. The turning point was when she bought a milkshake and had to pull off the road to vomit. I just let her pick her foods for herself after we had an initial talk about what was safe and what she needed to look out for like homemade frosting. I was willing to talk with any time she wished, but she really needed to want to follow her restrictions and as a teen close to going to college, I knew she needed to decide herself about her committment.

She probably won't like the taste of gluten-free things like bread. They really are totally different. Sometimes a period of not eating any then trying some will do the trick. For pasta, try Tinkyada. I think it really has an authentic taste. The basic PB cookie recipe and Betty Crocker mixes are very good. If she's going to a friend's house and can take a gluten-free treat to share, she won't feel left out.

I wish you good luck, it's very hard with a child. She's nearly and adult and that can't be easy for you. She's lucky to have such a caring Mom!

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I'm so sorry, that must be so hard as a mom starting this at that age when kids are really testing their independence. My daughter is 9, and we just started gluten free. At the beginning she made comments about sneaking the foods she loves, but she's still young enough that I can control most of what she does. I'm surprised that your daughters throwing up hasn't been a deterrent (that would do it for me). My daughter got gluten, and one her side effects is extreme anxiety. After feeling better and then feeling the anxiety so strong that she kind of decided then that it may be worth the sacrifice.

My daughter is not crazy about the gluten free substitutes we've found, pasta has actually been the easiest substitute. Breads and things don't fly with her. We've made yummy treats that are naturally gluten free like Chex's Muddy Buddy's.

Good luck, I think your daughter will "get it" eventually.

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Maybe you could help her focus on what she CAN have, instead of what she can't have.

My dentist's teen daughter just doesn't want to be different, to make a big deal of it, etc. To stand out.

School would be the hard part, but with a bit of research you two could probably identify safe items at most of the places she's going. Then instead of always having say "I can't have that" she can just say I'm really hungry for a _______ (whatever her safe item is). There's almost always going to be something she choose (except maybe for Dunkin Donuts!)

Pick up one of those gluten free restaurant guides and/or identify the places she and her friends frequent and get on their website -- if they don't already have gluten-free items posted, you can call or email them to select safe choices.

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