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zebaldwin

Starting The Diet...need A Little Help

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All my bloodwork has been negative, and instead of wasting more time I've decided to just start the diet. (I believe it will help either way)

I have a few questions before I start, and I apologize if they are redundant...

First of all, I have had strange headaches (almost daily for years now) and on Tuesday my doctor put me on a low dosage of amitriptyline hydrochloride which is an anti-depressant he said was used to help migraines in low dosages. Should I wait until the end of the 2 weeks he wants me to take them before I start the diet?

Other than that, I was just wondering if someone could give me a quick rundown of what I should be eating at the start of this. Should I stick to just "whole" foods like fruits vegetables meat rice etc...or is it ok to eat the "gluten free" stuff. My school actually has quite a decent collection of stuff.

Also, how crazy should I initially get? Do I have to buy new shampoo, toothpaste, etc??

I really want to do this right so that I know once and for all if this can help any of the problems that are slowly ruining my life..

As always, I really appreciate any input at all.

Zack

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Diet may get rid of the headaches without the anti depressants. Beware of such, they are addictive and cannot be gone off of an on without care, plus some of them also have restrictions as to what you can EAT at the same time you are taking them.

By coincidence many of the side effects of said drug can mimic a gluten reaction (drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, insomnia) so if you add it at the same time you go gluten free you may mask your reaction to going gluten free.

From my experience it works best to eat simply as possible at first and then add in new foods slowly to gauge your reaction. Meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, good oils, maybe some rice.

Anything that goes into your mouth needs to be gluten free.

To find if an item is gluten free, google gluten free name of item and it will usually pull up a discussion where you can then find the latest manufacturer's info. Beware old info as this tends to change.

I don't use gluten bearing cosmetics, but this is because I have longer hair and women tend to use a lot more of this stuff anyway and we tend to not keep our fingers away out of our hair. No way do I want to be spreading residues from hair conditioners around. My skin is super sensitive and my eyes will weep and blur if I use makeup that has it. ( I also have a dog with a wheat allergy, not the same thing, but you never want to use human shampoo with wheat or oats on an allergic dog- really a bad idea :ph34r: ) My husband glutenned me a few times by using hand lotion, and then bare hands on ice cubes and while making salads, which is when we switched him over to gluten free stuff also.

Others report that they have no problems with topicals, so this may not affect you.

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Thanks for the response! so your suggestion would be to finish up the drugs I was recommended before starting?

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Before or after, just not a the same time.

Remember when you're testing out a hypothesis, just one variable or you can't tell which influences the outcome.

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hmm. I would start the diet now. There's a learning curve and you tend to mess up a lot in the first weeks anyway. Just don't fret over any lack of change while you're taking the drug. Or don't take it at all and see if the diet helps.

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I just don't want to go against what my doc is advising...I mean, I've waited this long. I don't want to have to repeat or backtrack if gluten isn't the problem...

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My migraines have totally gone away since I started the diet, I was also on various anti-depressants to "prevent" them for years, and at best they helped a little bit. Don't stop taking them suddenly. If you've decided you don't want to take them (and honestly I think they're pretty useless, at least that was my experience,) call your doctor. He can't make you keep taking them, and he should be able to tell you whether you need to reduce the dose slowly (if you've just started taking them, it probably isn't an issue, but it wouldn't hurt to ask).

When I started the diet I did a lot of shopping at Wegmans and Trader Joe's, there are people there who can help you figure out what to buy (both have lists online of all their products that are gluten free, if you have one near you, I recommend them highly). Anything you're unsure of, do a google search to be sure, and you can e-mail companies to find out what their policies are on declaring gluten. Don't eat anything you're not sure about, since even small amounts of contamination have to be avoided.

The hardest thing for me has been living in a house with gluten food. I always rinse my dishes and dry them with a paper towel before I eat off of them, and I have a separate pan for gluten free pasta and separate plastic spoons to cook with, etc, to make sure there isn't cross contamination. I also wash my hands after touching things that might have gluten clinging to them to make sure I don't contaminate my own food. As long as you're consciously aware of it, and see the mistakes you make and correct them, you should do fine. :) Best of luck.

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I took the antidepressants to treat migaine headaches too. It never worked. Instead, whenever I complained of chronic diarrhea, they said that was due to the anti-depressants and nothing to worry about. Turns out years later I have Celiac disease.

I don't think there is anything wrong with trying out your gluten hypothesis. It isn't going against medical advice if you don't take the medicine yet. You are just trying to help yourself. Your Dr. is trying to help you too. Maybe you can discuss it with your Dr. if you feel better about it. Gluten causes major headache problems. you may just find that your headaches go completely away. I found My Grain Headaches went entirely away when i dropped the gluten. That would certainly be preferrable to having to take medication every day.

I think you have a great reason to try being gluten free. You can tell your Dr. about your experiment and maybe then you won't feel you are going against your Dr.'s advice. Patients are supposed to be involved in their own treatment, so I think you have options. Eliminate gluten and if it doesn't work then you can take the medicine.

Headaches are no fun. I hope you find relief.

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When your doctor told you to take the medication did he know you were going gluten free? I do not think it is a good idea to do both at the same time. As others have said, getting rid of the gluten may do more for you than the drug.

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I was planning on waiting until the 2 weeks he recommended was up. But my doc did know that my plan after that was to start the diet. He also said that if things don't improve or get worse to stop the medication, and 3 out of the 5 days I've been on it have been pretty bad. So I'm thinking about just stopping tomorrow and starting the diet Monday.

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I am starting tonight...so please keep me in your thoughts! (really need this to work)

I go to school right now. Would it be OK to eat vegetables from a salad bar type setup or would there be cross contamination? I have a meal plan and I am having a very hard time figuring out how I am going to be able to eat...

As far as nuts go, are regular salted nuts that would buy at the store OK or do I need to buy special ones?

Special toothpaste? Soap?

I just need to do this right.

I appreciate all your help so far.

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I am starting tonight...so please keep me in your thoughts! (really need this to work)

I go to school right now. Would it be OK to eat vegetables from a salad bar type setup or would there be cross contamination? I have a meal plan and I am having a very hard time figuring out how I am going to be able to eat...

As far as nuts go, are regular salted nuts that would buy at the store OK or do I need to buy special ones?

Special toothpaste? Soap?

I just need to do this right.

I appreciate all your help so far.

I would start by vegetables, fruits, and meats. Stay away from wheat, flour, and oats. Eat simply. Don't worry to much about cross-contamination. However, I would also recommend you keep a food log to start. That way when you check in with your doctor you can all be on the same page. Hang in there!

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I am starting tonight...so please keep me in your thoughts! (really need this to work)

I go to school right now. Would it be OK to eat vegetables from a salad bar type setup or would there be cross contamination? I have a meal plan and I am having a very hard time figuring out how I am going to be able to eat...

As far as nuts go, are regular salted nuts that would buy at the store OK or do I need to buy special ones?

Special toothpaste? Soap?

I just need to do this right.

I appreciate all your help so far.

Anything from anywhere other than your own kitchen could be cross-contaminated, eating out is always a risk. For example, did the people who filled the lettuce bins just handle croutons? You don't know. Is there gluten in the salad dressings? Again, you can't know. Did someone accidentally drop bread crumbs in something, or did they slice the tomatoes on a non-contaminated cutting board? Most people are totally oblivious to gluten contamination, that includes restaurant staff. There are some places you can trust (most of the time,) where they specifically do "gluten free" food--but even that can be a challenge... California Pizza Kitchen has a "gluten free" menu but then at the bottom of it they say all their workspace and fryers are shared, so they can't actually promise anything--obviously whoever created the menu doesn't know anything about a REAL gluten free diet. Mistakes are going to happen, so you want to be as careful as you can. Even somewhere that has "gluten free," like Pinkberry--last time I was there, I saw an employee using the tongs from the crackers to pick out blueberries.

As far as nuts go, do a google search for the brand / product name of everything on your normal grocery list. Usually you will find websites (make sure they're RECENT posts, as formulas change,) that will tell you whether certain brands are cross-contaminated or contain wheat, or whether they're okay. Apparently even frito-lay products that don't have added gluten still make some people sick... so it's best to see what others have experienced before you try it yourself (especially in the beginning when you won't be sensitive enough to be able to tell when you've been exposed).

I'm not sure about the shampoo, I googled my toothpaste and it was okay but I'm not sure if a lot of toothpastes use gluten. You can do google searches for anything you're not sure about... anything that touches your skin could get in your mouth (touch your hair -> touch your food,) so cutting out as much gluten from everywhere as you can is the best approach. If you live in an environment where food containers are shared, you also have to be wary of things like butter and peanut butter (knife -> peanut butter -> spread on bread -> dip back in peanut butter = no bueno). Best to get your own containers and label them just to be safe.

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Thanks for the responses ,

Aerina, like I said, I'm at college....I don't know if there is any way (starting out) I will be able to be that critical...I know I probably have to...but if that's the case bananas and apples will be all I can eat. I'm paying for a meal plan and definitely cannot afford buying my own food on top of that.

Is there a cheap, simple diet I could go on just to see if gluten really is the culprit??

Sorry, I know I'm asking a lot

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To add to that,

I am pretty skinny (135 and 5'8") and I eat ALOT (but never gain weight)...I am really worried about not having enough food to eat...i.e. protein and such.

I live in dormitories and don't have the means to cook meat or anything.

So I would appreciate any input on that as well.

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I am starting tonight...so please keep me in your thoughts! (really need this to work)

I go to school right now. Would it be OK to eat vegetables from a salad bar type setup or would there be cross contamination? I have a meal plan and I am having a very hard time figuring out how I am going to be able to eat...

As far as nuts go, are regular salted nuts that would buy at the store OK or do I need to buy special ones?

Special toothpaste? Soap?

I just need to do this right.

I appreciate all your help so far.

You do not need to buy "special" toiletries . . . but you need to check that the ones you are using are safe. Many name brands are OK. Crest is OK. Dove soap is OK. Suave shampoo is OK. There are a lot more that are safe . . . those are the ones I know because that's what we use here. You can google your brand (plus the words gluten free) and see what pops up. Most likely, it is a post/thread from this board where someone else has asked the same question. You can also just list it here in this thread and maybe someone can answer. Good luck.

BTW . . . would you be able to get hard boild eggs from your food service? Those would be hard to cross contaminate. Can you have any kind of a food prep item in your dorm room . . . like a little microwave or the small george foreman grill? I know you want to use your meal program, but if once in a while you feel the need to cook yourself some protein, some grilled chicken would hit the spot.

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Thanks Darn!

Ya, my biggest concern right now is protein...

I think I might just hard boil some eggs...but the foreman grill is a good idea (even though we're not supposed to have them!)

Right now, I am living off fruit basically...which for someone who usually eats a lot...I feel like this might make me more sick than if I was eating gluten...but hopefully that isn't the case.

How long should I be on the diet before I see noticeable changes? (my symptoms are mostly neurological)

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Thanks Darn!

Ya, my biggest concern right now is protein...

I think I might just hard boil some eggs...but the foreman grill is a good idea (even though we're not supposed to have them!)

Right now, I am living off fruit basically...which for someone who usually eats a lot...I feel like this might make me more sick than if I was eating gluten...but hopefully that isn't the case.

How long should I be on the diet before I see noticeable changes? (my symptoms are mostly neurological)

I started to feel better after about two weeks, after the withdrawals went away. You might feel them sooner or it might take a little longer, I know I probably messed up with the diet a few times at first.

By the way, if you can get a microwave, you can scramble an egg in a dish and microwave it for a few seconds... I do that at work in the mornings. You should check with your school to see if they can make a special exception for you somehow, gluten intolerance is not uncommon so they must have other students with similar problems. So much of the gluten free "normal" pre-made food is frozen, also... I would hope the school would be able to accommodate you in some small ways to make life easier for you. People who are gluten intolerant don't have a choice about it, at this point I wouldn't just feel worse if I ate wheat, I'd get sick (which I just found out the hard way). In the meantime, fresh fruits and vegetables are good, there are crackers and snack foods available, crackers or apples with peanut butter make good protein-filled snacks. I'll think about it and see what else I can come up with :)

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Thanks so much :)

So peanut butter is safe?

Yes, but if you share a house with gluten eaters get your own jar to prevent CC. You may want to find one without soy oil as some of us do have problems with soy.

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Yes, but if you share a house with gluten eaters get your own jar to prevent CC. You may want to find one without soy oil as some of us do have problems with soy.

I always check brand names to make sure they're not processed with wheat, too... never know what the peanuts might have touched before getting squished @.@ --not that I know anyone who's had a problem with it, I just check EVERYTHING. Also found out a lot of peanut butter has added trans fat and other things. I couldn't bring myself to buy it once I KNEW what was in it :)

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Is there a way to know if something has been processed with wheat? I've seen a lot of things I would like to eat, but I'm not 100% sure (beef jerky, cracker jacks, planters cashews. etc). Is the only way just to call?

Thanks so much for the help! this definitely has a learning curve...I would be much more enthusiastic if I knew for sure gluten was the problem :/

The second and of my brain fog goes away I am switching over 100%!

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Is there a way to know if something has been processed with wheat? I've seen a lot of things I would like to eat, but I'm not 100% sure (beef jerky, cracker jacks, planters cashews. etc). Is the only way just to call?

Thanks so much for the help! this definitely has a learning curve...I would be much more enthusiastic if I knew for sure gluten was the problem :/

The second and of my brain fog goes away I am switching over 100%!

Unfortunately the FDA doesn't define "gluten free," which causes two problems : gluten can be considered a "natural flavor" or a thickener or any number of other things, and they don't have to declare it on the label (I'm still shocked that Mrs. Butterworth's syrup has gluten in it). Also, products that contain no gluten are not always labeled "gluten free" because according to the FDA, there's no such thing (not holding my breath for that to change any time soon). Google is usually pretty reliable. Type in "planters cashews gluten free" and it will usually link to a site here or on another celiac website where people post responses they've gotten from companies. If you don't find one, e-mail is usually available, or calling works if you need an immediate answer. Just know that if you call you may have to have a product number handy.

When you do enough google searches you will learn which brands label gluten. I have read that Giant brand always declares gluten, and I've seen it, so I believe it. Lots of other companies like General Mills and ConAgra have lists, and so do Wegmans and Trader Joe's, of all their items that they know to be gluten free. Be careful about package sizes, as well--something that is gluten free in one size might not be safe in others, as the other sizes might be packaged in a different plant.

It's a lot to take in, but I'm sure you'll learn quickly--being sick and finding a possible solution are GREAT motivators. Don't worry if you make a few mistakes, that's part of the process. I hope you start feeling better soon!

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Thanks again Aerina...

It's just so hard feeling the same...I want immediate results! (even though its only been a day and I dont know for sure this is the problem)

I feel like I have exhausted every other possibility and I am really started to lose hope and feeling like I'm never going to get my life back...

I know people say it takes about 2 weeks...just hoping that's my case!

Thanks again for all your help. It means more than you know.

zack

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Thanks again Aerina...

It's just so hard feeling the same...I want immediate results! (even though its only been a day and I dont know for sure this is the problem)

I feel like I have exhausted every other possibility and I am really started to lose hope and feeling like I'm never going to get my life back...

I know people say it takes about 2 weeks...just hoping that's my case!

Thanks again for all your help. It means more than you know.

zack

Hey, I've totally been there. I felt like I was living in a haze that was getting thicker, the migraines were getting worse, and nobody seemed to have any answers. I wasn't that hopeful about the diet honestly, I hoped I would absorb my medicines better, but I had no idea it would have such an awesome effect and fix so many things. Your symptoms sound a lot like mine did. It is so frustrating. But the two weeks will go by faster than you think, and the more days that go by, the better you will feel (hopefully). :) Keep me posted!!

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