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Reagan

Mom Is Gluten Intolerant, Am I?

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My mom figured out she was gluten intolerant about three years ago by going gluten-free on a whim. She'd had stomach problems her whole life, and within three days they were gone. She fixed her problem pretty much instantaneously.

I have stomach aches and headaches every day, asthma, and several other symptoms of food intolerances. I already know I can't have milk products, but I don't know about gluten. I tried the "diet" for two weeks when my mom first started, but accidentally cheated a lot. I couldn't tell an immediate difference like her, so I gave up. Over the past year, all of my problems have intensified and often get in the way of my everyday life. I tried going gluten-free again for a week recently, but once again could tell no difference. My mom doesn't think I have it because we don't have the same reactions, but I've read a lot about gluten intolerance and can tell that different people respond differently. I'm going to try eating gluten-free once again, but how long should I try it for? I've heard that sometimes the first week or two are worse because your body has to adjust to eating differently.

Obviously, I really don't know. The main reason I'm still concerned about gluten is that the intolerance might be heriditary. I've tried so many medications and diets (dairy-free, organic, MSG-free, sugar-free...), and I'm incredibly tired of it. I just want something to work!

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Not everyone feels better right away. It can take weeks for any improvements to show up, depending on the severity. You also need to be completely strict with your gluten-free diet. Read every label, sanitize/decontaminate everything (counter tops, baking stuff, pots/pans- though if you have non-stick pans that have been cooked with gluten, you need to have another one for your gluten-free stuff I believe), avoid cross-contamination (which means eating at restaurants will be difficult). You need to put a real effort into this and stick with it instead of giving up after a week.

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The first thing you should do is get celiac testing done while you are still eating gluten. If those come back positive then you do need to avoid all gluten forever. There are false negatives on testing so you need to try the diet when all testing is finished. Healing time can vary for different people and if you have different systems effected, like GI along with muscle or joint pain, one system may heal faster than another.

When you do try the diet for a few months you do need to be very strict with it. If you have any questions just ask and I hope you are feeling better soon.

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Thanks to both of you. I'm not that worried about knowing how to eat gluten-free after seeing my mom do it for a while, it's just discouraging when nothing happens. But I will give it a (considerably longer) shot this time.

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I agree with ravenwood that it would be a good idea to get the celiac testing done. If positive, this can reinforce for you the necessity of eating gluten free. If the testing is negatove, then you can "give the diet a shot" (and a real one where you are meticulous about elimimnating gluten), in case you have a gluten intolerance / sensitivity that is not celiac diagnosable, or your test results were false negatives. Those who have the actual diagnosis are usually more diet compliant in my experience; those who 'don't know' (making a big generalization here :P ) seem to feel more entitled to be less carefull what they eat.

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