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bridgetm

New To The Gluten-Free World

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I started getting abdominal pain while taking 2000+ mg/day of Ibuprofen for over a month for knee pain. I finally connected the two and stopped; replaced it with Glucosamine. I was ok for a while but the pain came back. Stopping the glucosamine didn't have any affect on that pain. I did notice that it was worst after eating, especially bread products so I cut wheat from my diet for a week and started to feel better. My doctors ran all sorts of tests, all normal: urine analysis, pelvic exam, ultrasound (upper and lower abdomen), blood (thyroid, lipase, amylase, ESR, CRP, white count, hemoglobin, celiac-sprue). All negative. The only questionable result was a low hemoglobin count of 10.8 compared to my usual of around 13.5. I have since been taking iron and vitamin C supplements and will have labs rechecked next month. But I'm still struggling with the pain/discomfort (my doctor gave me Prilosec, doesn't seem to make a difference).

I'm in college and eat 15 meals/week in the cafeteria. I've been avoiding anything that obviously has wheat in it, but still eat some of the meat, rice, salads, etc. Mainly I have fruit and salad in the caf and then go to my stock of Uncle Ben's, microwavable pad thai, clif and lara bars for the more substantial part of the meal. With all of this, I'm still getting pain and discomfort. Starting today, I'm going to avoid coffee. I usually have at least one cup a day, but sometimes 2, 3... maybe 5. I stopped drinking pop in October because I decided it was time for a change. Coffee and Gatorade are my new vices.

At the start it was just lower-left. Now it's usually an ache all over my abdomen but tends to start in my stomach and work its way down after I eat accompanied by bloating and gurgling. I often feel most hungry right after a meal. When I press on the lower left, it feels like there's a hard mass there. The pain is really bad when I press on my abdomen, almost shooting from one side to the other.

This diet would be easy if I were still living at home where we live off of rice, stir-fry, salads and peanut butter (my stomach feels best when I spend weekends at home), but I'm stuck with a cafeteria and no refrigerator. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Try speaking with the college food service director. Many schools now have alternative menus for people with food allergies. They need to be aware of your food issues to be able to better help you....for some things it may be only leaving out or off 1 ingredient to make it safe for you.....

another thought would be buying your own gluten-free foods & asking to store them in the school freezer. Do you have a micro?You could heat them up in your room or even ask to have them heated when its your cafeteria turn....

There are many gluten-free ready made meals, pizza, chicken nuggets & so on available. Protein bars would be another good item to keep on hand...

As always there will always be a risk .......

hth blessings

mamaw

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Mamaw,

Thank you for your reply. I had been planning to talk to the food service director but have been putting it off... Denial, perhaps? However, I just sent him an email with some general questions and asking if we can meet. Until then, I will continue eating only the good fresh food and returning to my room for rice, rice noodles, rice cakes and the many other rice products that I didn't know existed until I actually paid attention to the gluten-free aisle at the co-op a few weeks ago. I do have a microwave... my room now permanently smells like Uncle Ben's and Taste of Thai. Another question though: Is all peanut butter safe? Are there some brands that may cross-contaminate or use wheat/gluten products in the roasting process? The labels on my Skippy and Jiff look safe to me (according to the Avoid list on this site) but I'm not sure.

Thanks again.

Bridget

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