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Mara10

An American Celiac In Germany?

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After two separate tests done on myself, I'm pretty sure I'm gluten intolerant, if not Celiac. I've spent my teenage through now years searching for the Holy Grail of Energy. My young alcohol and drug free life was ruined by a constant drugged out and exhausted feeling. I have been painfully thin my entire life, and eating massive amounts of calories never did a thing (trust me, my grandmother tried to fatten me up). I am also constantly anemic.

Last summer, aged 22, I went into the clinic for some bloodwork because my condition was baaad. I was sitting on the couch barely conscious every day and felt like death. The results came back with nothing wrong with me except massively high levels of white blood cells and low platelets. "You have an allergy" she said. "Its either that or cancer. Doubt it." She told me to come back if I was still feeling bad. I didn't because visits to her are expensive.

So recently I left for Germany in order to find a job in my field. I started to feel really exhausted at work every day, and didn't want to be making a bad impression on them. Germany happens to have been feeding me a lot of pretzels, beer, bread coated meats, and great pastries. So in my searches for things that cause exhaustion and brain fog, I found gluten intolerance. I tried the diet for one week, and felt a little better, but not enough to convince me, so I had pasta for dinner.

I was a bag of migraine, groaning stomach, confusion, brain fog, and weakness for the rest of the day. This all started within an hour of eating the pasta. So I went another week and a half on the diet, adding vitamins to help me heal. Still was not feeling great, and then was feeling worse. So I tried to retest myself by eating a handful of cereal. The previous test's results did not happen again, but for the next three days after the handful of cereal my insides turned to painful mush. I also now get headaches within minutes of drinking or eating lactose.

I realized my vitamins had gluten in them, so I've switched to gluten free ones. I mean glutenfrei, which I scoured the stores for. My job here pays almost nothing, so I stick to fresh produce from produce markets, which is really cheap here. (5 Euros for a week's worth of fruits and veggies is great!) I've also cut out coffee, which is said to inhibit iron absorption.

I'm incredibly new to this. Basically my life has flipped upside down within a month. On top of that, I'm in a foreign country working for the first time, and I'm completely alone. Most of my coworkers have heard of gluten intoleranz, and all of the stores carry glutenfrei products, but they are expensive.

I suppose it doesn't quite seem worth it to test for Celiac, obviously eating gluten affects me violently enough that I'm not going to touch it anymore. I'm not going to suffer for (two months?!) on gluten just to get positive blood results for a condition who's "cure" I'm already following. For now I'll call myself gluten intolerant, but its possible I'm Celiac.

I'm infinitely grateful that this forum exists, and that everyone here is supportive and willing to offer their stories. Much love.

-Mara

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I'm sorry you're not feeling well and that you're in a new country without a support system.

I use these dining cards in foreign restaurants in the US. They're free and they have cards in German. http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/

This board has an International forum with a search function. I found this advice: I recommend you to get in contact with the "Deutsche Z

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