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Hi everyone! I am new to these boards so I hope I am posting to the correct board. I am so overwhelmed with trying to convert my life to the gluten-free lifestyle. I am only 5 days into this, and I am tired, cranky, headachy, hungry, scared, etc. The only thing that seems to be a bit better, actually alot better, is my heartburn/GERD issues. I have been reading and doing quite a bit of research, but I have been so darned tired, I barely have the energy to hit the grocery store. I have been sticking to a meat and potatoes diet, and that is not me. I am not big on animal protein, but for now, it seems to be the only thing I can be sure of. I feel like I go to the kitchen, stop, and run to the Internet, or phone for information, before I can use even everyday items. Does this ever get any easier?? I miss eating out. I miss so much at this point. I didn't even want to try baking yet, so I went out and bought some gluten-free cookies, just to have that sweet taste. Oh, man am I overwhelmed and frustrated. If it was just a matter of taking the grains out of my diet, that would be one thing, but gluten is everywhere, and these products seem to change daily. I haven't even gotten to bath and body products, but I have at least gotten through meds. Can anyone offer some advice for this transition. Thanks so much!

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Welcome! You've found a great place for advise and commiseration. I've been gluten-free for 6 mos. I've been where you are. All I can say is take a deep breath and repeat after me, "this will get easier, this will get easier, this will get easier!"

The main celiac.com page has a lot of helpful information about shopping and foods/products to avoid. You are doing the right thing for your gut by sticking to meat, veggies, fruit. Shop the "outside" of the grocery store. This keeps the guess work to a minimum. Then start to discover that the inside aisles hold a lot of naturally gluten-free products (many of the chex cereals, many chips, corn chips, a lot of mexican and some asian foods especially thai (beware of soy sauce!). Then find and celebrate some of your favorites that you can still have (for me that's wine, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, my fave mint chip ice cream that was already labeled gluten-free, and fritos).

Unless you have DH then I would worry about personal care products later after you get the dietary issues in order.

It will get easier, I promise!

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It gets a lot easier. When I first started, I would go to the grocery store. Spend easily 1 1/2 hours there, getting so side-tracked reading labels of stuff I wasn't even there for. I'd get home and my husband would come to help me unload the groceries and I'd say "Nope, I got it. It's just this one bag."

First order of business is to get yourself a couple of staple meals and build from there. For us, it was pasta and tacos. . . Tinkyada pasta and Ortega brand taco stuff.

You said you weren't meat and potatoes before . . . what were you? We'll steer you in the right direction for the equivalent (and hopefully mainstream) products that are gluten free.

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It gets a lot easier. When I first started, I would go to the grocery store. Spend easily 1 1/2 hours there, getting so side-tracked reading labels of stuff I wasn't even there for. I'd get home and my husband would come to help me unload the groceries and I'd say "Nope, I got it. It's just this one bag."

First order of business is to get yourself a couple of staple meals and build from there. For us, it was pasta and tacos. . . Tinkyada pasta and Ortega brand taco stuff.

You said you weren't meat and potatoes before . . . what were you? We'll steer you in the right direction for the equivalent (and hopefully mainstream) products that are gluten free.

Well, before I would say I was a big pasta, bread, pizza, summer veggies, fruits eater. I never seemed to have much meat, eggs, cheese, milk, etc. Now, I am so unsure of everything the easiest for me is to stick with grilled meat and veggies.

I feel like now,I am into way too much animal products. I am probably not making much sense, but I am unsure of myself. I have had massive GERD/heartburn issues recently which PPI's, H2 blockers, and everything else you can think of, were not solving the issue. So that limits me food-wise also. But strangely, in the 5 days I have been gluten-free that seems to be easing somewhat, and I was on that crappy Prilosec for 10 years. I hope I am healing the damage I have done to my gut by staying on that crap. In the 5 days I have been gluten-free, I have had a headache every day, fatigue, brain fog, feel like crap. Could all this be withdrawal? I just don't have the energy right now to put into diet, so I stick with meat and potatoes. I have spent too much in the health food store, for gluten-free foods, and then throw them out because they don't taste any good. I guess I need my energy back.

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Welcome! You've found a great place for advise and commiseration. I've been gluten-free for 6 mos. I've been where you are. All I can say is take a deep breath and repeat after me, "this will get easier, this will get easier, this will get easier!"

The main celiac.com page has a lot of helpful information about shopping and foods/products to avoid. You are doing the right thing for your gut by sticking to meat, veggies, fruit. Shop the "outside" of the grocery store. This keeps the guess work to a minimum. Then start to discover that the inside aisles hold a lot of naturally gluten-free products (many of the chex cereals, many chips, corn chips, a lot of mexican and some asian foods especially thai (beware of soy sauce!). Then find and celebrate some of your favorites that you can still have (for me that's wine, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, my fave mint chip ice cream that was already labeled gluten-free, and fritos).

Unless you have DH then I would worry about personal care products later after you get the dietary issues in order.

It will get easier, I promise!

Thank you! I was really worried about the personal care products. I wondered though, they don't go in your gut, so maybe not worry so much about them now. I did check my toothpaste and motuhwash. I guess my concern is removing every speck of gluten from my diet, and see if the health problems I have suffered from for 58 years get any better.

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Thank you! I was really worried about the personal care products. I wondered though, they don't go in your gut, so maybe not worry so much about them now. I did check my toothpaste and motuhwash. I guess my concern is removing every speck of gluten from my diet, and see if the health problems I have suffered from for 58 years get any better.

I personally think paying attention to personal care products is extremely important. It doesn't make any sense to remove every speck of gluten by merely paying close attention to your food. Many, many people get hit with cross contamination by shampoo, conditioner, lotions, etc. True it doesn't invade your gut via your skin, but the problem is very real that you may wind up with shampoo or conditioner in your mouth while showering, or touching the areas that come into contact with the gluten-laden lotion and mindlessly putting your hand or fingers where the stuff will make it's way to your mouth and then into your gut. It doesn't take much and impossible to keep track of.

I've read so many posts of those who were still getting sick even though they were doing everything right, only to find the cross contamination from these products a very real (and painful) issue for them. While you are developing new habits, I think this is an important one, not just with toothpaste and mouthwash. Do a search on this forum and you'll see many alternatives that work just fine, or if you have a favorite, contact the manufacturer to double check.

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To help with the pasta, I use rice noodles a lot, found in the asian food section of the grocery store, much more reasonable on the budget. You'll want to boil water, put in some noodles and let them wilt and stir them into the water, bring it back to the boil for a couple minutes. Stir them to make sure they're not sticking together, or to the pan. Then shut off the heat and cover the pan for about 5 minutes. Not much more or they'll get too mushy... then drain and enjoy with sauce or veggies or I do meat and veggies sometimes.

Hope that helps, and you should start feeling a bit more energetic soon I think.

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I personally think paying attention to personal care products is extremely important. It doesn't make any sense to remove every speck of gluten by merely paying close attention to your food. Many, many people get hit with cross contamination by shampoo, conditioner, lotions, etc. True it doesn't invade your gut via your skin, but the problem is very real that you may wind up with shampoo or conditioner in your mouth while showering, or touching the areas that come into contact with the gluten-laden lotion and mindlessly putting your hand or fingers where the stuff will make it's way to your mouth and then into your gut. It doesn't take much and impossible to keep track of.

I've read so many posts of those who were still getting sick even though they were doing everything right, only to find the cross contamination from these products a very real (and painful) issue for them. While you are developing new habits, I think this is an important one, not just with toothpaste and mouthwash. Do a search on this forum and you'll see many alternatives that work just fine, or if you have a favorite, contact the manufacturer to double check.

Yes, I am agreeing with what you said. I wasn't clear in my post. I am a Newbie and overwhelmed, so another poster had said to get my diet straight first, and then, move to the personal care products. I want to get every speck of gluten out of my diet, but you have to start somewhere...you can't do everything at once. I plan on checking everything within time, but diet for me is my primary concern right now, and I will fit in the other items as I can.

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Yes, I am agreeing with what you said. I wasn't clear in my post. I am a Newbie and overwhelmed, so another poster had said to get my diet straight first, and then, move to the personal care products. I want to get every speck of gluten out of my diet, but you have to start somewhere...you can't do everything at once. I plan on checking everything within time, but diet for me is my primary concern right now, and I will fit in the other items as I can.

I understand your thinking at this early point in the process for you. Believe me, I've been there! :) It is just important that you keep in mind that shampoo/conditioners/lotions, etc. that contain substances that will make you react, will keep you reacting as long as you are using them. If your system is still coming into contact with it, especially on a consistent basis, it could undermine all your good efforts to remove gluten in every other way.

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Feeling worse at first is totally normal (and not very motivating). You are experiencing withdrawal.

I had all my usual symptoms plus a giant headache that simply wouldn't go away no matter what. After about a week, the headache stopped and I gradually started feeling better. By two weeks I was amazed at my energy level, stopped taking my ppi (2x a day) and my GERD was completely gone.

It gets better (much better) and the shopping and planning gets easier. Be sure to keep some snacks (nuts, Lara Bars, etc.) with you at all times for when you get caught out of the house with no healthy food choices. That was my problem. I would forget to bring something, then get delayed, get hungry and end up eating junk from 7-11 (snickers are gluten-free) for lunch.

I think you are smart to stick with natural, whole foods at first. Grilled vegetables over brown rice with tomato sauce and cheese is quick and easy. Trader Joe's frozen brown rice is handy. At first I was buying gluten-free pizza crusts and stuff, but now (a year later) I prefer "alternative" crusts (zucchini boats, portabella mushrooms, etc.) It tastes better and is much healthier.

For pasta, we like Ancient Grains Quinoa Pasta.

Quinoa is great too. I make a big batch of salad (just like pasta salad, but with cooked quinoa) and eat it for lunch for several days. (tomato, feta, cucumbers, red onion, olives, peppers, whatever . . .with oil and balsamic vinegar) You can add meat to it or not.

I've found lots of good recipes on sites for "paleo" cooking (I don't follow that diet, but everything is usually gluten free) and even some "low carb" diet sites.

Haven't mastered gluten-free baking yet, but there are good mixes available for brownies and cupcakes.

Hang in there. You can do this.

Cara

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Feeling worse at first is totally normal (and not very motivating). You are experiencing withdrawal.

I had all my usual symptoms plus a giant headache that simply wouldn't go away no matter what. After about a week, the headache stopped and I gradually started feeling better. By two weeks I was amazed at my energy level, stopped taking my ppi (2x a day) and my GERD was completely gone.

It gets better (much better) and the shopping and planning gets easier. Be sure to keep some snacks (nuts, Lara Bars, etc.) with you at all times for when you get caught out of the house with no healthy food choices. That was my problem. I would forget to bring something, then get delayed, get hungry and end up eating junk from 7-11 (snickers are gluten-free) for lunch.

I think you are smart to stick with natural, whole foods at first. Grilled vegetables over brown rice with tomato sauce and cheese is quick and easy. Trader Joe's frozen brown rice is handy. At first I was buying gluten-free pizza crusts and stuff, but now (a year later) I prefer "alternative" crusts (zucchini boats, portabella mushrooms, etc.) It tastes better and is much healthier.

For pasta, we like Ancient Grains Quinoa Pasta.

Quinoa is great too. I make a big batch of salad (just like pasta salad, but with cooked quinoa) and eat it for lunch for several days. (tomato, feta, cucumbers, red onion, olives, peppers, whatever . . .with oil and balsamic vinegar) You can add meat to it or not.

I've found lots of good recipes on sites for "paleo" cooking (I don't follow that diet, but everything is usually gluten free) and even some "low carb" diet sites.

Haven't mastered gluten-free baking yet, but there are good mixes available for brownies and cupcakes.

Hang in there. You can do this.

Cara

Thank you, Cara! You give me hope and inspiration. I came home from work today so foggy brained and tired, I just wanted to sleep. I had no idea I was being affected in this way. The only thing I can say has really improved is my GERD. I am down to an occasional Tum now, and I am so amazed at this. I did a step-down, if you will, from PPIs to H2 Blockers, to just Tums. The heartburn has been tremendous and nothing was helping till I went gluten-free.

Again thanks!

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I completely feel what you're going through - I was diagnosed three weeks ago and have been diligently trying to remain gluten free but most of my diet prior to the DX was all gluten. I've had several mini breakdowns - especially when I realized that I wouldnt be able to eat all the wonderful food at my own wedding next year. I was most embarassed when my biggest breakdown/temper tantrum occurred on Mother's Day when we walked into a fudge shop (inherently gluten free) and they told me that they make the fudge on shared equiptment. No fudge for me. Me, a 28 year old woman, cried all the way to the car and then half of the 45 minute car ride home with my family in the backseat. I feel like crap a lot of the time due to the withdrawl and often cant even get work done due to being so foggy. The worst is when after telling people you've been diagnosed you are confronted with the response, "Well that's not bad at all! All you have to do is change your diet and you'll be fine!!" Easier said than done.

Luckily my family has been extremely supportive and my fiance has been incredibly wonderful as well, fielding all the awkward and embarrassing questions to resturants about their cooking processes. Its been a hard adjustment and I dont know how long it'll be until this just becomes a normal part of my life. I've found this site extremely helpful and comforting. We feel your pain - its not easy, but I'm slowly coming to realize its do-able. I hope that you find some of this comforting, and if not, at least you know you're not alone. I find it very ironic that my day job is being a therapist to children and adolecents needing to cope with life, and my new evening job is trying to help myself to cope. Best wishes!

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I personally think paying attention to personal care products is extremely important. It doesn't make any sense to remove every speck of gluten by merely paying close attention to your food. Many, many people get hit with cross contamination by shampoo, conditioner, lotions, etc. True it doesn't invade your gut via your skin, but the problem is very real that you may wind up with shampoo or conditioner in your mouth while showering, or touching the areas that come into contact with the gluten-laden lotion and mindlessly putting your hand or fingers where the stuff will make it's way to your mouth and then into your gut. It doesn't take much and impossible to keep track of.

I've read so many posts of those who were still getting sick even though they were doing everything right, only to find the cross contamination from these products a very real (and painful) issue for them. While you are developing new habits, I think this is an important one, not just with toothpaste and mouthwash. Do a search on this forum and you'll see many alternatives that work just fine, or if you have a favorite, contact the manufacturer to double check.

Yes, yes, yes! Unless you have a gluten free soap and scrub the dickens out of your hands after shampooing, the never touch your hair... you get the picture. I glutened myself so bad one time with a leave in hair treatment that had wheat in it. I was absent mindedly running my fingers through my hair while working on the computer. Then I snacked on some chips and CC'd myself. I got so sick all of a sudden and it took me a little bit to realize what had glutened me when I had not eaten any gluten.

Shampoo in the shower gets all over the place. It runs down your face and all over your hands.

Wheat is clearly labled in hair care and soaps, etc. It's easy to find out which products have gluten by looking for the wheat. They're always so proud of their wheat in products.

You can PM me if you want a list of what I use and what I've found. Hardly anybody actually labels their products gluten free and the ones who do sometimes have hydrolyzed wheat protein which I don't touch with a ten foot pole.

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It does get easier I promise!!! 5 days is a very short time. You will likely go through withdrawals. If you use the search function on these forums and look for withdrawals there are lots of threads to read.

I was 6 months before I had one symptom free day. Now I'm 2 1/2 years out and doing great. Those first few weeks my body went wacko. There was a period about week 3 where I couldn't eat anything. My whole gut was a mess. Then it got better.

Read these forums. Search. Read old threads. Ask questions.

Eat a lot of fruits and veggies, rice, potatoes, simple foods. Let your body heal.

Tinkyada pasta is good.

Gluten Free Pantry Basic Sandwich bread is great bread and easy to make. I bought a bread loaf pan online. I let it rise about double what they say because it doesn't rise enough if I do it only half hour like the instructions say. \

Trader Joe's has gluten free bread now and they have some great chocolate chip cookies.

Better Crocker cookie and cake mixes gluten free are great.

Gluten Free pantry has great cake mixes too.

Get some of these and try them for the sweet tooth.

Everything Glutino is really yummy. Crackers, pretzels, cookies, all of it is awesome.

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