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jswog

My Mother

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About the same time I went gluten free, my mother's (at the time) brand new doctor told her that she needed to be gluten free as well. He diagnosed through a hydrogen breath test on which anything below 10 was ok (0 is ideal). She was 20. She had been 'attempting' to go gluten free, but still INSISTED on doing certain things (fast food, buffets, etc.) where she would almost certainly be getting glutened. As I had been gluten free for about two weeks before she was and given that I had researched how to go gluten free for almost a month before that, she would ask me questions. I would give her an honest answer, which she usually didn't like, and she would give me tons of excuses on why she couldn't do that. My mother is almost 62 and VERY set in her ways. And then she'd call me and complain about how she wasn't feeling any better and that this diet was NOT working. I was getting incredibly tired of hearing her complaints when I had offered her solutions. She had another doctor's appointmet last week during which they were doing a follow-up breath test. She was totally sure that it was going to come back as no change and she was "going to tell the doctor where he could put this diet." Well, it had dropped 15 points down to a 5! Now she's been eating crow and has actually been more receptive to what she really needs to do. She still refuses to take the few steps to prevent CC at home (like even wiping counters before making her food after my father's bread has been on there, extra hand washing, etc.), but she's come around this far, so maybe... She still swears that because she experiences no GI symptoms that she's ok to cheat now and then, and then in her next breath she says that she 'tested' gluten the other day with a cinnamon roll and some other 'bread' treat and had horrible D, gas, cramping about 12 hours later. Mothers! lol

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Goodness, does this sound familiar! It was my daughter who convinced me to go gluten-free and I made the same comments and mistakes that your mom did at first. Maybe it takes some of us a little longer for reality to dawn on us. I am glad you trying to help your mother, she probably doesn't fully grasp this yet. I know it took me a while to get my head wrapped around it. Hang in there!

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About the same time I went gluten free, my mother's (at the time) brand new doctor told her that she needed to be gluten free as well. He diagnosed through a hydrogen breath test on which anything below 10 was ok (0 is ideal). She was 20.

Tell us more about this hydrogen breath test for Gluten....

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LOL! Your experience with your mom is similar to the one I had with my own mother. When my son and I were diagnosed with celiac, I happily called her up to inform her that I finally had figured out what was causing ALL of us to be ill (yes, I had suggested it to the doctor). You see, my mother had had celiac symptoms her whole life, and they'd gotten so bad, she thought she was about to die (she was 67 at the time). My son and I also thought we were dying, and the doctors were no help at all. However, when I told my mother about celiac, instead of being elated at knowing what was wrong and how easy it would be to fix, she indignantly told me that she didn't think she had celiac at all. I was flabbergasted! Apparently, she just couldn't stomach the idea of giving up wheat bread and pasta, her two favorite foods. She even insisted that she had NO celiac symptoms. Oh, yeah? What about the chronic D, joint pain, sinus problems, anemia, dental problems, muscle weakness, etc.?? After a year of pleading with her and getting nowhere, she finally received news from her doctor that her bones were 70% decalcified. She called me to ask me how her bones could have ended up in such a condition. When I told her that celiac could very well be the culprit, she broke down crying and admitted to having many symptoms of celiac but had chosen to eat gluten because she couldn't face giving up her favorite foods. After that heart-to-heart chat, she began to follow a strict gluten-free diet and became quite expert in preparing gluten-free meals and baked goods. She's been gluten free for almost seven years now, and her health has improved dramatically over that time--no sinus infections anymore, healthy bones and teeth, less joint pain, no D anymore, etc.

Hopefully, your mom will continue to remain gluten free. Sometimes people need to experience a scare or a certain level of discomfort to be motivated enough to stay on this diet. Had she waited another five years until she reached my mom's age, she might have really suffered from serious symptoms, so I'm glad her doctor caught it early.

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