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CRashster

Gluten Free And Loving It.

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I'm CRash, I'm 46, male and live in Tennessee. I've suffered from hives of unknown origin for 10 years. They are/were getting worse and worse. I suffered depression and started getting iritis. I've had no energy and crawled into bed as much as I could. Been to allergy doctors at Vanderbilt and all they seem to do is increase my meds. They did a scratch test and no food allergies showed up. 4 Zyrtec a day is too much for me. I tried quitting dairy, meat, caffeine, nothing seemed to work. One day I started thinking about gluten. I didn't really know what it was, or how to quit. I overheard an old acquaintance telling someone he had gone gluten free. When I had a chance I went over and spoke with him. Basically, he told me how gluten affected him and how he went gluten free. Last weekend, I took the plunge. I quit gluten. I tried to quit 100%, but kept finding hidden gluten. It was in a probiotic I was taking. Other places, here and there. Last Thursday, the hives stopped. Yesterday, I stopped all my meds, no Allegra, no Doxepin. It was scary. I've kept Zyrtec and an Epipen close at hand. But, so far, so good. No hives. Better energy. My mind is unfogging. A swelling sensation here and there, but nothing ever shows up. My eyes are clear. I'm basically living on Chex, Scoops and ground beef on corn tortillas. But that's alright with me. In time, I'll try other things. I hope to be a gluten free success story. I hope to have some sort of life back.

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Welcome, CRash! Your story is one that is told here on a daily basis. Isn't it wonderful to finally know "the answer"? It sounds as though you're on the road to recovery and will have your life back shortly. What great news!!

You'll find that eating natural foods, rather than gluten-free substitutes, will help you heal faster and allow for less gluten cross-contamination. Because your rash may have been Dermatitis Herpetiformis (the skin disease associated with celiac disease) rather than an allergic rash, you might consider eliminating iodine from your diet for a while, too. For the rash to erupt for many of us who suffer from DH, we need to ingest both gluten and iodine.

If you like to barbecue, be sure to really clean your grill beforehand to get all remnants of barbecue sauce and bread off of it. Meat is a good food to eat, as are vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, beans, rice, potatoes, and dairy (if you're able to eat dairy). If you like soy sauce, wheat-free Tamari sauce is a good substitute. When it comes to medications, you can check them for gluten-free status at www.glutenfreedrugs.com . If, however, you don't see the drug listed there, you'll need to call the lab directly because they don't have to list gluten if it's used as a filler.

As for gluten-free breads, I can personally recommend Against the Grain Gourmet baguettes, Rudi's, and Udi's. They're usually found in the frozen-food sections of upscale supermarkets like Whole Foods. Remember, though, you need to use a toaster that has never toasted gluten-containing bread. One of the best gluten-free pastas is made by Tinkiyada, and there are gluten-free lasagna noodles sold by several companies. As for crackers, I like Crunchmaster best, and you can find them in the regular cracker aisle at most supermarkets. Glutino makes a good line of Ritz'like gluten-free crackers, but they're sold on the gluten-free aisle. Also, Cocoa Pebbles, Fruity Pebbles (not the ones with the marshmallows, though), and specially marked boxes of Rice Krispies are also gluten free. See's Candies are all gluten free except for the fancy flower frosting on the Easter eggs.

Good luck with your "new" life!

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I hope that keeping gluten out of your diet is the answer for you! You've suffered symptoms for quite a long time. It must be wonderful to finally be getting some relief?

Get a new toothbrush and only use pans that don't have a scratched non-stick coating. Get new wooden spoons for stirring things if you use them when cooking.

Gluten is hidden in a lot of things, so you'll have to read a lot of labels. Check your shampoo and whatever soaps, toothpaste, etc. that you use. I was surprised to see that my favorite shampoo had wheat as two of the ingredients!

If you stick to a strict diet you should see other symptoms that you didn't know you had..go away over time as well. :D

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Ive found dairy and iodine to be triggers for my skin. Congrats on solving the mystery!! Welcome! This forum has been SO helpful.

Don't forget your veggies and fruits :)

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Oh congrats! Here's hoping that you are a success story as well!

It's shocking to have this sort of thing just up and go away from one, little ingredient change, isn't it? Shocking but really, really great. :-D

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Glad you're feeling better! I'm in TN, too. FYI - found a GI, Dr. Christopher Lind, at Vandy. He is very knowledgable and easy to talk to and has also been a speaker for the local support group.

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Sounds like you may be allergic to wheat. I get hives from lotions and other personal care products with wheat in them. My scratch test did not show up any food allergies either but my IgE allergy blood test showed a wheat allergy. I also have other symptoms that indicate I have trouble with other forms of gltuen too (barely, malt, rye, etc) so I stay away from ALL gltuen not just wheat. My allergist said the blood tests and scratch allergy tests are not perfect and just because you don't show anything doesn't mean you can't be allergic. I am allergic to milk now to the point where my throat closes shut and i have to carry an epipen. However my allergy tests for milk ALL came back as negative. My allergist said to avoid it anyway and not to risk my life just because the test was negative.

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Ok, today, not so great. Had a hive on my back last night, went away this morning, and now two very small ones on my head. Also, a bit of depression this morning. Is this some sort of gluten working through my system, since it's only been like ten days, or am I on the wrong track? We ate dinner at a restaurant last night and although what I had was supposedly gluten free, I have my doubts. I had to explain to the waitress what gluten is. Energy was decent today, not as good as yesterday, but not as bad as usual. Also, thanks everyone for the comments and good tips.

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