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SusieC

Cheating On The Gluten Free Diet

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Hi....I'm new to this site and also fairly new to celiac disease as well. I was diagnosed in January of 2010. I started on the gluten-free diet right after my diagnosis. My symptoms (mainly gastrointestinal issues) did clear up quickly. I spoke with a nutritionist that recommended I stay gluten-free for 6-8 months, and then she said I could slowly start adding gluten back into my diet. She told me just to watch for symptoms, and I would be able to figure out what I could and could not eat. However, when I went back for a check-up with my GI doctor, he told me that he disagreed with this information, and that I needed to be completely gluten-free for life. I am struggling with this!! I have been cheating on the gluten-free diet pretty regularly I am ashamed to say. The problem is that a little bit of gluten does not cause any adverse effects. If I eat too much, I will see symptoms. However, if I eat pizza for lunch one day, I have no symptoms. If I eat a piece of birthday cake, I have no symptoms. So it is hard for me to adhere so strictly to the diet. However, my doctor did tell me that damage can still be done even if I am not seeing symptoms. Does anyone have any advice for me? I have tried lots of gluten-free foods that are pretty good. However, pizza is my favorite in the world, and no gluten-free crust has impressed me yet. I also haven't been impressed with the bread options--sandwich bread, bagels, english muffins.....I hate the texture and the taste is not great. Any help please? I would really like to be healthy and stay gluten-free but I miss gluten-filled foods!!! Thank you.

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This is going to sound harsh, but sometimes we all need a wakeup call:

A little bit of rat poison might not kill you, but how do you know when you've had too much before it's too late?

1. You do not have cancer. You have a manageable illness. Manage it properly, and you can have a nice long life. Keep doing damage to yourself, and how does dying early sound?

2. You can't even have a little. Do some research on autoimmune diseases. Just a little can set it off, even if you don't have symptoms every time. You ARE doing damage. Your nutritionist is wrong.

3. You need to try more things! There are so many good breads and muffins and rolls out there. You are missing out on the good gluten-free stuff. I eat pizza all the time -- thin crust is my preference. But if you want to make your own, you can make a thicker crust. I like zPizza and a local pizza place that offers gluten free. I don't miss out on anything.

4. Get off gluten for a while -- stay away from any gluten-free breads and cookies. Then add them back in after a month or so. Your tastebuds will won't remember what the gluteny items tasted like, and will enjoy the new flavors more. It took me a little bit to convert, but my breads taste better than any plain ol' breads I ever had before.

5. STOP CHEATING. If your boyfriend/girlfriend only sleeps around with a couple other people, is that okay? If you ingest a little raw chicken, is that okay? It's easy to see in other environments, but sometimes hard to see in the gluten-free ones. If you want to be taken seriously and feel better, stop cheating. What do you think your family and friends think of your "illness" when you are still eating gluten? Do you think they take you seriously? My family thinks I'm nuts -- but they know I'm serious about it because I never eat gluten.

You can do this. But you've got to get it out of your head that you don't have any control -- you do. and there are so many wonderful substitutes that will keep you healthy and encourage longevity -- which is pretty darn high on my list. And it's JUST FOOD. Don't give it power that it doesn't have.

oh, and just so you know, I asked the same question: I got very similar device that I've found to be very accurate. :)

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You are lucky to have found such a good doctor.

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Hi SusieC,

Your doctor is correct, you need to be on a gluten-free diet for life. Consuming gluten causes damage to your intestines regardless of whether or not you have immediate and recognizable symptoms. That damage can cause lots of other health issues including malnutrition, ataxia and even cancer.

The nutritionist gave you very bad and incorrect advice.

Once you go gluten-free and stick to it those gluten cravings do go away. You might pine for something but there's lots of great gluten-free alternatives out there.

People here on the board rave about Udi's breads. My store doesn't carry them but maybe they do in your area. I bought an inexpensive bread maker and make a loaf every other week, slice and freeze it. Kinnikinnik makes awesome gluten-free donuts that can be found in the freezer section. There are lots of pizza doughs and recipes out there, you can find one you'll like with a bit of patience and experimentation.

These are the sorts of things you may find yourself doing as you go down the path of going gluten-free. It takes time, it's trial and error, mistakes will be made but it's an essential life change as a celiac.

Something to think about: If you were diabetic would you continue to eat sugar? If you had cholesterol issues would you continue to eat fast foods? If someone put a tiny bit of arsenic on your food would you eat?

You can do it!

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Hi there (I'm new to the boards so hello all),

I've also been struggling for the last few years with the issue of 'cheating' even unintentionally in that I've not been paying enough attention to what I'm ingesting - which is a rather foolish thing to do to myself!

I'm currently 'glutened' because I had a barbequeue and didn't check the ingredients of some mince kebabs - the result - I've shat myself in public twice in three days (nice...).

So Susie C I think that you and I need to 'suck it up' and accept that 'cheating' is not allowed. I am now so sensitive that even cross contamination can make me ill for days, and it's a bit embarassing being late for meetings because I've woken up vomiting in my sleep or had an accident (if you catch my drift) on the way to work!

Oh and to encourage you not to continue damaging your intestine to the point that I have:

- I vomited on a lover three days ago mid sleep

- I have farted so loudly in a queue at the bank that people behind me left the bank

- I have had liquid emerging from my posterior unannounced whilst sitting in a meeting

- I have DH currently so I look like a leper...

Sorry to be harsh - and graphic, but I'm trying to suggest that you stay strictly gluten free to avoid doing such damage to yourself as I have - it's tough, but it's worth it (hopefully).

Good luck xx

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Well, as a result of being undiagnosed for a lifetime up until a year and a half ago I was unknowingly cheating every day of my life.... as a result I was ready to die as a result of the complications of long term cheating. Now that I am strictly gluten-free my body is trying its best to heal but it is going to take a long time and I now have permanent complications I have to deal with every minute of every day of my life.. and yet I am so grateful just to have another day of grace with which to practice being vigilantly gluten-free that I no longer worry about all the stupid little food temptations that I thought I would miss.. get in the habit now and live a good long life.

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You have gotten some great responses. As you have seen cheating is not an option, unless of course you would eventually like a signature like mine. Be glad you were diagnosed while the condition was at a point where you can heal fully. Cheat and eventually it won't.

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Hi guys.....thanks so much for the quick responses and great advice! It was just what I needed to hear :) It's nice to hear it from other people going through the same thing as me. Soooo, I will stop cheating and be healthy.....and will continue to be in search of a great pizza crust :)

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Soooo, I will stop cheating and be healthy.....and will continue to be in search of a great pizza crust :)

It might help you to try the Katz Gluten Free Pizza crust. They're not crumbly, perfect size, and great taste as well! You might even wonna try their yummy challah rolls and honey muffins!

I am not sure where you can buy them in your area but if you can buy it online or search through their store locator at www.katzglutenfree.com

Good Luck! :rolleyes:

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Hi guys.....thanks so much for the quick responses and great advice! It was just what I needed to hear :) It's nice to hear it from other people going through the same thing as me. Soooo, I will stop cheating and be healthy.....and will continue to be in search of a great pizza crust :)

I like the Kinnickinnick crusts for a ready made one. Gluten Free Pantry makes a great french bread mix that makes a really good pizza crust if you want to make from scratch.

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For a thin, crispy pizza crust, we use Udi's frozen pizza crust (we buy at Whole Foods but you can buy online..) For a thicker, homemade crust I make Gluten Free Pantrys French Bread mix and make it into pizza crust. It does not roll out like regular pizza crust, it is sticky, so I pat it in the pan with a spoon, but I like it thick and it works good.

Udi's makes a great whole grain bread that taste very similar to gluten breads. ALso the Udi's blueberry muffins are wonderful. They taste so much like my old recipe I used to bake prior to going gluten-free.

Being gluten-free 100% of the time is challanging, but it does get easier. You don't want to ever start the auto-immunne response in your colon if you can help it. You may not have outward symptoms, but a tiny bit of gluten does damage the colon.

Good luck! We also like Pamela's pancake and baking mix. I use it in my old gluten recipes to replace the flour and it is very good. The best we've tried.

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"Does anybody have any advice for me?"

_________________

Why of course. Report the phony "nutritionist" to the state licensing commission. <_<

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I am actually about to make some pizza with Udi's crust. That and the Kinnikinnick crust are my favorites. My family loves them, and I actually enjoy pizza now when I never did before.

I felt the same way at first, but soon realized there is no choice. And once you get the hang of it, you won't feel like you are missing out at all. *We* are the ones with the good foods ;)

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"Does anybody have any advice for me?"

_________________

Why of course. Report the phony "nutritionist" to the state licensing commission. <_<

Follow your doctor's advice. You are lucky to have a doctor who really knows about celiac disease. No gluten period.

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