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mcbeez

Symptomatically Diagnosed Today

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Hi all,

Just got back from the doctor after a 2 month long gluten challenge. I suppose I'll briefly tell my story -

I'm a 22-year-old (as of two days ago!!!) full-time college student/part-time server and bartender. Needless to say, I'm booked nearly 24/7. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with mono, which lasted 8 months. I never felt 100% after that. Extreme joint pain and weakness started in my left knee and moved to my fingers, wrists, and ankles. Continued fatigue, abdominal pains, you guys know the drill.

My mother and uncle had Celiac as children and were fortunate enough to outgrow it. According to my first doctor, I must have been predisposed for Celiac, and my weakened immune system during mono sparked it. She recommended I go gluten free, which I did for four months. After that, I began to realize that I needed an actual medical diagnosis. My university doctor told me to eat a gluten rich diet for two months, which I did.

It was hell. The last two weeks, especially, I've been dealing with menstrual-like cramps and night sweats, in addition to the usual fatigue, irritability, gas, depression, headaches, brain fog, and issues with balance. Needless to say, I've been kind of a mess. Today, I was diagnosed based on symptoms with Celiac and told to begin my gluten-free diet again immediately. My tTg tests will be back in two weeks. Since I don't have insurance, that's all I could afford right now. Still, having that verbal diagnosis is really helping me to restart my gluten-free diet tonight. I didn't do it perfectly the first time, but I'm absolutely determined right now.

Is anyone else both a vegetarian and living gluten-free? All of my favorite processed non-meat options are out the window now, so I'd love some help starting over.

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Hi mcbeez.

That had to be hard to go back to eating gluten again. It sounds like your Dr. is trying to help you and it's good to hear you are headed in the right direction.

"My mother and uncle had Celiac as children and were fortunate enough to outgrow it"

This used to be believed to happen. If you have celiac you will always have celiac. It is a lifelong disease.

I also wanted to add that celiac is an inherited disease.

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Hi all,

Just got back from the doctor after a 2 month long gluten challenge. I suppose I'll briefly tell my story -

I'm a 22-year-old (as of two days ago!!!) full-time college student/part-time server and bartender. Needless to say, I'm booked nearly 24/7. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with mono, which lasted 8 months. I never felt 100% after that. Extreme joint pain and weakness started in my left knee and moved to my fingers, wrists, and ankles. Continued fatigue, abdominal pains, you guys know the drill.

My mother and uncle had Celiac as children and were fortunate enough to outgrow it. According to my first doctor, I must have been predisposed for Celiac, and my weakened immune system during mono sparked it. She recommended I go gluten free, which I did for four months. After that, I began to realize that I needed an actual medical diagnosis. My university doctor told me to eat a gluten rich diet for two months, which I did.

It was hell. The last two weeks, especially, I've been dealing with menstrual-like cramps and night sweats, in addition to the usual fatigue, irritability, gas, depression, headaches, brain fog, and issues with balance. Needless to say, I've been kind of a mess. Today, I was diagnosed based on symptoms with Celiac and told to begin my gluten-free diet again immediately. My tTg tests will be back in two weeks. Since I don't have insurance, that's all I could afford right now. Still, having that verbal diagnosis is really helping me to restart my gluten-free diet tonight. I didn't do it perfectly the first time, but I'm absolutely determined right now.

Is anyone else both a vegetarian and living gluten-free? All of my favorite processed non-meat options are out the window now, so I'd love some help starting over.

1) Congratulations (on being on the path to good health) and welcome.

2) Gluten Free Goddess has a free, wonderful website/blog. She is (mainly) vegetarian and sometimes vegan. WONDERFUL cakes and cookies. She also has a primer on how to go gluten-free. Can't say enough good about her (try her carrot cake). http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/

3) FYI If your mother and uncle "had" celiac as children, they still have it (it's just asymptomatic). No one outgrows celiac. They most likely are still doing themselves damage.

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Thanks to both of you. I just forwarded that information to my mom, and I really hope she takes it into account. And thank you for the gluten-free goddess website! Looks fantastic!

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I can't imagine going back to gluten now, so that must have been horrible. I'm glad you are back on the right track. I am not fully vegetarian, but do not eat a lot of meat, so I eat vegetarian often. For convenience foods, I have seen a lot of stuff in the freezer section of Whole Foods or local natural foods stores (I live in a small town, so the little local store is all we have). Though, convenience foods can be expensive. We usually make large meals so we have leftovers which kind of make convenience food as we are both really busy, also.....you could probably freeze some stuff. If you haven't tried it, quinoa has become a big staple in our house and is delicious and marginally fast to cook. Also, if you do not have a soy allergy, edamame is good. We like to buy the individually wrapped small packages for snacks. Both have a complete set of amino acids and are good meat replacers. There are a lot of gluten free blogs out there that are full of recipes. Also, don't discount the non-gluten-free sites, too. Once you get the hang of it, you can figure out which recipes are naturally gluten free and many of them are fast for a person on the go. Good luck!

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tTg test came back negative. Doc says to stay gluten-free and come back in to see her, but I'm so confused and frustrated.

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Good on your doc for telling you to stay gluten free. There are oodles of people who should not eat gluten, celiac diagnosed or not. And very few doctors who will tell them not to eat gluten. But in fact, celiacs are in the minority of the gluten intolerant group. They just happen to be a group for whom tests have been devised. :P How were your mom and uncle diagnosed? Did they have the biopsy?

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I'm a 22-year-old (as of two days ago!!!)

IThe last two weeks, especially, I've been dealing with menstrual-like cramps and night sweats, in addition to the usual fatigue, irritability, gas, depression, headaches, brain fog, and issues with balance.

first off, Happy Birthday! :)

Also, your symptoms sound a LOT like mine. I don't have a Celiac diagnosis (yet) but I feel pretty sure that I have it or something like it. I'm just starting the gluten free thing now that the majority of my tests have been run. I'm only on day 2 but I was very pleasantly surprised how many gluten free things there are in the stores. You've made me remember that there was a time (about 18 years ago) that I didn't have these symptoms and I was vegetarian at the time... thus I was probably eating a decent gluten free diet without realizing it (I'm not a big carb lover so was lots of fruits, nuts and veggies).

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It can be very frustrating to not have an official diagnosis that is easily proven. Trust me, I know. I have been experiencing many health problems for a very long time. I have been gluten free for 2 months now, and I seem to be getting better and better. My results were negative (if not slightly iffy) as well. All I can say is if it's working for you, there must be something to it. Some things they simply cannot test for, and if they can then they are not always accurate unfortunately. Go with your gut (:D) and you should be on the right track.

I am (was) also vegetarian. I haven't eaten beef in 20 years, chicken/pork/turkey/etc. in 15 and (until recently) fish in 5 or 6 years. I caved and have begun eating fish. This was due to nutritional problems and finding intolerances to so many things that I have been eating in place of meat. There are, however, many wonderful foods you can eat as a vegetarian; you just need to think simply. Beans, nuts, seeds, yogurt, grains like quinoa and rice, tofu, fruits and veggies obviously... there is also a brand called Quorn that makes a couple realy yummy gluten free 'meats'. Not sure how sensitive you are, but they do produce products that contain gluten so keep that in mind.

It can be frustrating and rough when you have a situation like yours, but keep going. Trust yourself and your instincts. ;)

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tinkity - I actually started eating fish again as well! As for the brand you mentioned - I'll definitely check it out. I'm trying to stay positive about all of this, since it's kind of forcing me to stay away from processed foods (though I'm still a sucker for Envirokidz Panda Puffs!!!!)

Above all else, though, I'm so thankful to have found this forum. It's great to know that I can get responses from people dealing with the same thing, especially since I don't have insurance and couldn't afford it otherwise. You guys are all rockstars!!

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Mushroom - Good question! My grandma didn't mention, but I'm going to ask her tonight.

NancyL - Thanks so much for the birthday wishes! I hope you start seeing results super soon. :)

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mcbeez- How have you been feeling? I am two months gluten-free today actually, and things are still up and down- but better and better. There are so many things that seem to be improving that I couldn't have fathomed would have been related.

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I'm not overwhelmingly improved yet. I still get horrible nightsweats every night. But, I am noticing a bit more energy than I've had over the last two months. So glad to hear that you're starting to feel better! Here's to it continuing even more in that direction. Congrats on the two months :)

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