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Gluten Withdrawls

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We are a family of 6 who have recently discovered we are gluten intolerant through an elimination diet. I am very overwhelmed at tring to prepare meals for all of us and deal with all of us experiencing withdrawl symptoms at the same time, Help!! Should I try to wean us off gradually like a mother weans a nursing child? It is taking time to completely change the diet of 6 people all at once while struggling and not feeling well myself.The hardest part is the excessive hunger and hypoglycemia related to it all.Also worry about the kids at school getting enough to eat all day long. I have 2 teenagers who are bucky me on this and refuse to pack extra snacks. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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I am hypoglycemic and gluten intolerant myself. There should not be hypoglycemia or hunger issues on the gluten-free diet! There are plenty of other sources of carbohydrates besides wheat, even for picky eaters. Potatoes, rice, corn, dairy (milk is a good source of sugar), fruit (will your family eat bananas, apples, oranges?). I have not found a really great-tasting gluten-free bread, but the Tinkyada rice pasta is excellent, if your family likes spaghetti. If they're hot cereal fans, try some of the other grains--buckwheat, quinoa, there are others. If they were used to cold cereal for breakfast, Corn Chex and Rice Chex are gluten-free. I will briefly say that if you truly have hypoglycemia issues, you should phase out a lot of the 'simple' carbs--the sugars, and the highly-starchy things like corn, rice and potatoes, out of your diet, because they make the blood sugar swings worse. But that is a whole other topic, and you want to tackle one major change at a time! So, for the hypoglycemia, start with one basic rule--whenever you (or they) eat, you should include some protein, even if it's just a handful of nuts along with a snack. That will help smooth their blood sugar out.

As for withdrawal symptoms, some people have them and some don't. I did, with a vengeance. 48 hours after I went gluten-free, I woke up and discovered I was so exhausted I couldn't walk more than about 30 feet without stopping to rest and catch my breath. I finally decided to taper off. I ate half a slice of bread every time the symptoms came back, which turned out to be about every 36 hours. I did that maybe three times, and then I was fine.

So, genuine withdrawal symptoms do occur, and I don't see anything wrong with doing a gluten taper to deal with them. But if you are thinking of the hypoglycemia as a withdrawal symptom, it is not. It just means you need to replace the missing gluten with some other sources of carbs.

As for getting your kids on the bandwagon, that's tough. How old are they? You are not going to be able to control what the kids eat who are in school. They are going to have to understand why they need to eat differently and what the health consequences are; if they are not willing to change, they can always get other food from their friends or from the vending machines or the cafeteria.

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It is not unusual to feel hungry on the gluten-free diet initially. To counter act that and any hypoglycemia you need to add more protein to the diet. The hunger will go away once your body adjusts. In the meantime you need loads more protein for the body to feel satisfied.

Eat more frequently throughout the day and add which ever of the following you and your family can tolerate - eggs, cheese, peanut or other nut butter, nuts, tuna, meat for between meal snacks.

I would concentrate first on what you and the kids are eating at home, and get the gluten-free routine at home down, then work on the kids diet outside the home. It will all get easier as time goes on. You need to be feeling better before you take on too much.

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I just wanted to say, I think the udis bread is very good. I always grill or toast it, but it tastes good enough for my children to like it (and they only like wonder bread)... Also I have had really good luck with bobs red mill all purpose flour...When I make choc chip cookies(I follow the recipe on the back of toll house), I just sub that flour and add a teaspoon of xanthum gum, and I throw in a cup of chex (corn or rice) in and they taste better then gluten cookies. Good Luck

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