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mike10217

Deployed In Afghan With Celiac

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I know that I mentioned this possibility above....but it bears repeating. With regard to the brain fog, it can also be caused by malabsorption of certain vitamins, most notably Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid. These can easily be checked by your doctor there (I assume?). If not, ask if you can be given sublingual Vitamin B12 tablets to suck on. If Vitamin B12 is the issue, you'll start feeling better within a day or two. If these tablets aren't available, ask a family member to send you a bottle. Being low in Vitamin B12 can be dangerous, especially if your body isn't absorbing it at all. It's common for people with celiac to sometimes have to get injections of B12. Another possibility is a thyroid condition, which celiac tends to spawn. If you haven't already done so, you should ask that your thyroid be checked.

I'm so very glad to hear that following a gluten-free diet is helping to resolve your symptoms. It sounds as though you have your answer!

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My aunt has been sending me gluten free packages, like gluten free bread,peanut butter and jelly, just stuff like that, and I have bene eating salads, and meats mainly , I only have a month left here in afghanistan so im not to far away from home, I just really want this brain fog to go away it sucks! Everything else feels amazing, I have never felt so good and its only been a week and a half, if it wasnt for this brain fog I would feel perfect. Just wanted to see if it was part of the celiac disease.Also I know a lot of people are wondering if its possible to be in the military and deploy with celiac disease... and I strongly suggest finding another career path, military does not cater to celiac at ALL...

Yes brain fog is often part of celiac. As was mentioned sublingual B12 tablets may help with that. While I am glad the diet is helping you please be aware that if you need to be diagnosed when you get back to the states you will need to get back on gluten for about 3 months or so first. Please stay safe and let us know that you have come home safely. We worry about all you guys and gals even when we don't know you personally. Take Care and thank you for the tough job you are doing.

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Mike,

One more thing--you mentioned that you're at the end of your Afghan tour; however, will you be in the service much longer? My understanding (and if anyone knows that this has changed, please jump in) is that celiacs may not serve in the military...and they are honorably discharged. If this is something that you DON'T want, you may wish to seek a diagnosis after your military service has been completed. Obviously, the reason for banning celiacs is that they can't feed us properly. I met a retired U.S. marine at a celiac conference a few years back, and he told me how difficult it was for him to hide his celiac symptoms. A military doctor was kind enough to prescribe him Dapsone for his Dermatitis Herpetiformis (which is a skin condition caused by celiac) so that there were no obvious, outward signs of his disease. For those already in the military, a celiac diagnosis can ruin their future plans.

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I have 2 years left on this contract, I was already planning on getting out after the 2 years even before this celiac problem kicked in, so I think they will more than likely let me finish my contract then get an honorable discharge.Like you said about the marine, it is definately hard to hide having celiac disease haha...But anyways I just wanted to do one deployment and get out of the military, that was my plan from the very begining and its almost complete !

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I have nothing to value to add except cheerleading: that's great you're figuring this out. I hope this last month passes quick for you. Thanks again for all you're doing out there. I love our troops for the hard work you do, but to also do that in the midst of your health troubles, I think that's pretty tough. It doesn't go unnoticed.

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I have 2 years left on this contract, I was already planning on getting out after the 2 years even before this celiac problem kicked in, so I think they will more than likely let me finish my contract then get an honorable discharge.Like you said about the marine, it is definately hard to hide having celiac disease haha...But anyways I just wanted to do one deployment and get out of the military, that was my plan from the very begining and its almost complete !

There is a chance you may be redeployed. There are folks who have been deployed multiple times into war zones. When you get back to the states you may want to go back on gluten and get diagnosed. Some branches of the service will keep you but not deploy you to areas where gluten-free food is not available some will discharge you. Hiding the symptoms can be very difficult if not impossible at times and your symptoms may get much worse as time goes on. I hope things work out for you whether you want to stay in or get out.

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Just wanted to let you guys know, its super weird to be able to eat a sandwich and not get sick from it haha. Like I said before my aunt sent me a bunch of gluten free stuff, she sent me gluten free bread, and peanut butter and jelly, so I have been makin sandwiches over here, and im so used to being sick after eating bread, it just doesn't seem normal to me! Once this brain fog goes away, ill be feeling so good, its awesome that I finally found out what is wrong with me

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Just wanted to let you guys know, its super weird to be able to eat a sandwich and not get sick from it haha. Like I said before my aunt sent me a bunch of gluten free stuff, she sent me gluten free bread, and peanut butter and jelly, so I have been makin sandwiches over here, and im so used to being sick after eating bread, it just doesn't seem normal to me! Once this brain fog goes away, ill be feeling so good, its awesome that I finally found out what is wrong with me

Did your dizziness go away with your other symptoms? The brain fog will go away too, it just takes awhile.

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Just wanted to let you guys know, its super weird to be able to eat a sandwich and not get sick from it haha. Like I said before my aunt sent me a bunch of gluten free stuff, she sent me gluten free bread, and peanut butter and jelly, so I have been makin sandwiches over here, and im so used to being sick after eating bread, it just doesn't seem normal to me! Once this brain fog goes away, ill be feeling so good, its awesome that I finally found out what is wrong with me

It's great you are feeling so much better. Your aunt deserves a big hug and a nice dinner out at a restaurant that has gluten free food when you get home. My personal favorites are PF Changs and Outback. Stay safe and let us know when you get back to the states.

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I feel for you. What a rough time you must be having. Chow Halls are filled with wheat/gluten.

A while back I googled and studied the heck out of Celiac's in the military and came to the conclusion that you can be retained. There are other Celiacs serving on active duty. However, a person like me with a food allergy cannot stay active, too risky, we get medically booted (honorably).

They have an MRE line called "My Own Meals" that have a wide range of special diet meals. Most are for religious purposes. They have Gluten free, vegetarian, kosher, ones with no pork, and many others. The military has a contract with them to provide these special diet meals. I wonder if you would need a diagnoses to get those meals shipped in. I wonder if they exist on your base, along with where they keep the stockpile of MRE'S? It might pay to do some snooping. I also wonder if there are any religions that require gluten free food. If so, I would change my paperwork to that religion, then you would HAVE to be accommodated....LOL

I hope your month goes fast and safe, and like others have said, please give that sweet Auntie a big hug when you get back....

P.S. I just looked up those MOM meals and found that the the kosher meals are gluten free. They have 5 different ones. They must have some of them on the base for soldiers who require Kosher meals.

http://www.myownmeals.com/spec.html

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Well guys just another update on whats going on in case anyone was curious. First of all, thank you all SOOOOO much for the support, I couldn't thank you guys enough for all the advice and answers you have given me. I have never felt this good in my life, I am constantly full of energy and this brain fog seems like it is going away, I am going to the gym full time again and i've gained 8 pounds in the last 2 weeks,I have been completely gluten free for about 2 weeks now ( as far as I know that is... army food is sometimes hard to tell) But I havent been sick for about 2 weeks now. Its the best feeling in the world to feel like this, thats all I have to say. Only one more month left in afghanistan then im home!!! Can't wait :) Its going to be tough to adjust to this new diet at home, but its WELL worth it, I can definatel go without eating pizza and drinking beer for this . I've heard there is gluten free beer though, wonder if its any good! Definatel will have to try it, anyways just wanted to say thank you all for everything, I will write again soon... Hopefully I will be home the next time I write ;) Should be home a little after thanksgiving. For now bye guys and happy holidays!

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That sounds great! Have a wonderful holiday with with your family!

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Such good news!!! And I'm so happy for you!!

By the way, Redbridge beer is excellent...and I also like Bard's Dragon's Tail beer. There are also quite a few pizza parlors that offer their pizzas with a gluten-free crust. The crust is provided by Still Riding Pizza, and places like BJ's Bar and Grill and other chain restaurants offer their pizzas on this crust. You'll see--there are lots of choices! Glutino and Against the Grain both make good frozen pizzas that can be found at stores like Whole Foods.

Best of luck to you!

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well... so much for feeling better. the army randomly decides now that im feeling good they want to take care of me, By the way army is really bad for taking care of medical problems apparently, anyways they want to send me to bagram now to do the colonoscopy, they told me this 3 days ago, so i was like oh crap i better start eatin gluten again so it comes up positive, because i was gluten-free for 2 weeks and if it came up negative the army wouldn't think I had it. So now for the last 3 days i've been back to eating gluten, and wow the symptoms took about 1 day to come back, its terrible...so now lets see how long they keep me hanging around before they want to send me to get the colonoscopy.

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well... so much for feeling better. the army randomly decides now that im feeling good they want to take care of me, By the way army is really bad for taking care of medical problems apparently, anyways they want to send me to bagram now to do the colonoscopy, they told me this 3 days ago, so i was like oh crap i better start eatin gluten again so it comes up positive, because i was gluten-free for 2 weeks and if it came up negative the army wouldn't think I had it. So now for the last 3 days i've been back to eating gluten, and wow the symptoms took about 1 day to come back, its terrible...so now lets see how long they keep me hanging around before they want to send me to get the colonoscopy.

Love it and know exactly what you mean. My husband was AF 27 years. We did have to depend on Army medical a couple times depending where we were stationed and I totally agree but I can't say AF is that much better unfortuantely! I am seen at Landstuhl, one of the biggest hospitals in Europe, and I find I get better care on the economy. The system is whacked. I person could easy dye before getting a diagnosis because of all the steps you have go thru, it's like jumping thru hoops.

Good luck with eating gluten again. I am sure you already know but make sure everything that you are dealing with is documented. If you cannot see the gluten thru make sure you go back to the doc before going off and make sure doc has it in your records what you are dealing with. Your sitaution is a little different as your career is pending on these results but many of us have not been able to go back onto glutens with success. I made it to day 12 and was so sick. I personally don't think it is the back-track in health but realize you have to go thru with it. Don't let it just go though.

Testing is not accurate in the first place and even if you do have celiac, it doesn't mean that your tests are going to show it. So you may go thru 2 months of misery to get negative tests results. Read on it and become informed. If you find your health becoming unbearable go back to your doc armed with info. This is what helped me with my diagnosis. I was one of those who had the nuero symptoms first, went on a gluten-free diet before I had the tests. Going back was impossible but with everything that was documented and I was not a regular doc visitor before but I wanted everything down and they were able to put the pieces together for my diagnosis.

Good luck with the rest of your tour. Husband is retired now, ina civilain job working for the AF now. We are in Germany, have been for 10 years. Visited US this past summer and was really amazed how many restaurants have gluten-free menus and how much is available there, you are going to love it!

Take care of yourself!

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well... so much for feeling better. the army randomly decides now that im feeling good they want to take care of me, By the way army is really bad for taking care of medical problems apparently, anyways they want to send me to bagram now to do the colonoscopy, they told me this 3 days ago, so i was like oh crap i better start eatin gluten again so it comes up positive, because i was gluten-free for 2 weeks and if it came up negative the army wouldn't think I had it. So now for the last 3 days i've been back to eating gluten, and wow the symptoms took about 1 day to come back, its terrible...so now lets see how long they keep me hanging around before they want to send me to get the colonoscopy.

To test for celiac they need to do an endoscopy rather than a colonscopy. Do be sure to tell the doctors how much being gluten free helped and insist that they do testing for celiac first not last. Good luck.

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Just wanted to let you guys know, its super weird to be able to eat a sandwich and not get sick from it haha. Like I said before my aunt sent me a bunch of gluten free stuff, she sent me gluten free bread, and peanut butter and jelly, so I have been makin sandwiches over here, and im so used to being sick after eating bread, it just doesn't seem normal to me! Once this brain fog goes away, ill be feeling so good, its awesome that I finally found out what is wrong with me

Hi mike,

Just want to mention...celiacs can't do dairy at first! due to damage of the villi in your intestinal lining...also a lot of us develope an intolerants as well. I noticed that when I stopped gluten and dairy the brain fog went away...but when I cheated and had some icecream...massive brain fog!!! not to mention severe diarhea and muscle pain,headache! just throwing that out there!

The last thing you need right now is brain fog!!! tell your superiors that.you can't be forgeting your orders or how to do something crucial in a clinch sittuation! I've personally had it so bad I can't remember what I was talking about in mid conversation! try explaining that to a higher up! not something to fool with...not to mention the blow to you self estem! Brain fog makes following instructions or remembering combinations allmost impossible! try cutting back/or out dairy. good luck

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As the poster above indicated, a colonoscopy will show NOTHING related to celiac. Please ask them to do an endoscopy instead of, or in addition to, the colonoscopy. Regardless of the results, though, you should definitely go gluten free for life. I'm so glad that eating gluten free helps you!

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