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KFShimmy

New To Celiacs

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So this all started for me about two and a half years ago. I started getting very sick every morning. Vomiting and diarrhea every single morning. For a while, I thought I was pregnant, but I ruled that one out pretty quickly. At first, I didn't think much of it. I smoke marijuana everyday as well, and it seemed to help with the stomach pains and vomiting. After about a year, I started getting concerned and saw a doctor. After some tests they just said I had IBS and sent me out the door. I turned 21 shortly after that and lost my health insurance. I started reading up on Celiacs after a friend had mentioned that I should look into it. And sure enough, it explained many of the symptoms I have. So far, I have had many symptoms. Besides the stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea... I have experienced bloating, hair loss, thick white vaginal discharge, excessive sweating (even when its cold outside), irregular periods... At this time I believe I am infertile. Also, I have this pain in the joint of my shoulder for about three years. As a child I would have seizures, but they went away as I grew older. And I've never been able to gain weight my whole life. No matter how much I eat. I have not been properly tested for Celiacs, but whenever I stick to a gluten free diet for a while, I feel better almost instantly. I am only 22 now, and just trying to cope with this. It is not easy, and I find myself cheating on the diet constantly. The gluten-free diet is just so expensive sometimes, and I'm just a kid pretty much. Working an $8.50/hr job part time. To me the hardest part of this is constantly trying to keep track of what has gluten in it and what does not. I find myself googling things on my phone all the time, and I feel like an idiot when I am at the store checking the back of the bag.

I guess the point of my little rant is that I am in need of some support. How can I fight the impulse to indulge in the gluten blur? It is like an addiction for me. Also, since I have never been tested, do you think I even have Celiacs?

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I'm not a teen or young adult, so I tried to send you this in a private message (system wouldn't send so I'm responding on your post). Hope you don't mind.

If you are looking for support, you should consider posting where all ages of gluten challenged can help.

As for your question about whether you have Celiac Disease -- your symptoms are consistent with many of the symptoms of Celiac. It is extremely difficult to obtain a diagnosis under the best circumstances -- so I point to the test that you have already completed that is probably the best one out there. You felt better gluten-free.

I do hope it becomes easier for you...let me know if you'd like some money saving pointers...I've got gluten free teens in the house and I'm still recovering from serious illness so I'm only working part time which puts on a very tight budget.

Good Luck to you.

-Lisa

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Stop smoking marijuana. It could make you feel better but really make things worse, and it can be expensive. Also, don't actually shop in the gluten free aisle. They jack the prices up there. Rice Chex are gluten free. So are Corn Chex and most of the flavored Chex. Wal Mart puts wheat allergy warnings on their store brand food products. Cook mostly for yourself. Fully processed meals are expensive anyway. Eat lots of fresh veggies or steamer bags. Most of them are gluten free and the ones that aren't will tell you. Cheetos are also gluten free. Clip coupons to save money. Read the ingredients list on products. You'd be surprised at what is naturally gluten free. Buy your pasta and rice flour in the international foods section rather than the gluten free aisle. It's cheaper. Just avoid eating the stuff you can't find gluten free outside of the gluten free aisle altogether. Believe it or not, you do not need bread and the rest is really just cookies and pizza. I know this because I'm simply a cheapskate and refuse to pay for that stuff. The main thing is, something doesn't need to be certified gluten free to be gluten free. Oh, and Wegmans marks all there gluten free store brand products as such and the store brand is usually a decent price.

As far as the urge goes, when you think of eating that nice fresh baked piece of bread or that tastycake you know you shouldn't, think about exactly what gluten does to the digestive tract of a person with Celiac's. Think about your villi shriveling up under the onslaught of your immune system. Google some images of a scope Celiac's intestine if you need help with visualization. Then think about the symptoms that you've experienced. Think about the stomach pain. Think about the vomiting. Think about the diarrhea. Think about your symptoms in every gory detail. Then think about losing your job because you were sick too often. It happens. There's actually a topic on it in the adult forum. And if you do more than cheat once in a while, it could happen to you. Trust me, those visualizations work even when faced with chocolate cake in the middle of your period.

As far as you really having Celiac's. You have the symptoms, and eliminating gluten makes you feel better. Go with the assumption that you do until you can actually see a doctor and talk to him about it. And make it a specialist if you ever do talk to a doctor.

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I know what you mean about it being very hard to resist things with gluten in them. I was at my parent's for about two weeks over christmas...surrounded by gluten cookies, and snack stuff, and peanuts with gluten, it felt like everything I wanted to eat had gluten in it! I did make some gluten free christmas cookies, but everyone acted like they were contaminated with the plague which upset me and made me feel even more left out.

It is alot easier if those things aren't there. Just get them out of your house (if you can) at the very least in a separate cupboard. I don't miss bread at all, just baked goods and to get around that I've got a great cookbook and I started making my own. I know exactly whats in them this way, and I actually bought my gluten free flour at Bulk Barn, some people might be too sensitive for that, but it works for me. The scoops are marked, and the gluten free flours are no where near regular flours to get mixed up.

But you can find alot of stuff in the regular aisles of the grocery store. You'd be surprised at the stuff you can find that is labeled "gluten free" like Cavendish potato patties things in the freezer section, it says right on them gluten free! I buy the store brand of corn tortilla chips with no problems. there are some great rice crackers out there called "riceworks" which i just discovered, they are a little more on the expensive side i guess...but so delicious. I can also eat lays potato chips, and ruffles were fine too. Popcorn, smart pop, dont feel stupid staring at labels in the grocery store. I do it all the time, and go back and forth around the store and probably look like an idiot but i know that i'm not taking home anything with gluten in it that way.

Just learn what to look for on labels, and when in doubt put it back. cereal is the hardest thing for me to find so far. alot of them have malt something or other in them, which is gluten. just be careful, and ignore what everyone else thinks! I'm pretty sure some of the older people shopping in the grocery stores think its cute that a teenager is standing there reading food labels with a cart full of veggies and fruit.

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