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Is There A Lazy Phase?

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Hi Wise Forum Folks,

I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity about a week before Thanksgiving. I've been doing really well in following a strict gluten free/dairy free diet and overall have been feeling SO much better! I'm learning how to cook new things and got through a birthday without feeling too deprived, thanks to yummy Mariposa Bakery only a couple miles from my apt. But over the past month or so I've slipped up. Went out to eat on a date and was too embarrassed to quiz the server about my black bean salad. Went into Whole Foods and automatically popped a Belgian chocolate candy sample into my mouth without thinking that it could have something cake-like inside (it did). Bought a carton of soy milk on a trip and didn't read the label, only to discover the hard way that it contained gluten. All of these slip-ups have left me feeling ill, and all could have been avoided if I would have just stopped to think.

Has anyone else had a slip-up phase? I feel like I've been so attentive for so long, and lately I just got lazy. And pay for it each time I screw up.

Just wondering if this is typical and if it is, how have folks gotten themselves back on the bandwagon.

Thanks in advance....

PS, another dumb mistake yesterday. At a family member's house...she was so nice and found a gluten-free baguette, made a salad for us, but added breaded chicken. I ate a bite or two thinking (or not thinking) 'amazing she found gluten free breaded chicken strips,' then realized that no, I probably shouldn't assume such things, and I shouldn't have. She said, 'Oh you can just pick that stuff off, can't you?' I shouldn't have eaten any of the salad, but I felt guilty that she went to so much trouble. Where is my back bone?

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My lazy phase lasted about 4 years, after my doctor said "you tested negative for celiac, but you should still be gluten free" and didn't follow up with any additional testing. I had something suspiciously similar to DH, but it never came back. My severe celiac-like symptoms (it appeared classic celiac; GI issues, rash, the whole thing) were attributed to hyperthyroidism and I stopped taking gluten-free very seriously, especially since my symptoms of gluten sensitivity tend to be vague and diffuse and many are not immediate so it's easy to not take them for being gluten issues. It didn't take long for me to completely fall off of being gluten free, especially since my work made it difficult to adhere and I didn't have much social support for being gluten free, nor was my partner particularly supportive.

Though i didn't have the classic celiac symptoms after that episode abated, I still had a lot of things that seemed totally disconnected or unrelated. Joint pain, swollen ankles, severe periodontitis, my teeth seemed to be dissolving (I was constantly back and forth to the dentist for broken teeth), and bad brain fog. The brain fog ended up chalked up to ADHD and I was on Adderall for a while. Increasingly, I was suffering from terrible fatigue. My brain fog became so bad last semester that I ended up failing a math class after about two years of straight As.

My doctors have not been much help because once I was dx'd with Graves Disease and written off from having celiac, they stopped looking at anything else.

It was suggested to me by some various people, recently, that a gluten free diet might help my graves disease.

I started back up with gluten free lifestyle and am already noticing a lot of improvement from the vague symptoms I had AND improvement in my thyroid symptoms (am off of my thyroid meds and I'm hoping I can avoid having radioactive iodine). I actually have energy again, can get up a flight of stairs without being wiped out, and my muscle tone is coming back. The puffiness is gone from around my middle and I notice that I actually have a WAIST. I also notice that as long as I eat a very simple diet and no gluten, I have no brain fog.

I wish that I had just stayed with gluten free.

I realize that you get immediately sick after eating this stuff, but I don't feel very distinct GI symptoms, which made it very easy to cheat. I just feel vague "bleh" (bloating, acid reflux, C, brain fog, itching). Just because you don't feel immediately sick doesn't mean that your body isn't unleashing an autoimmune onslaught. Many of those kind of symptoms set in after you're even sicker than you realize.

You will get better at this.

I simply do not eat ANY food that I cannot account for. I eat very little Pre-prepared or packaged food (the gluten free Indian tv dinners from Trader Joes have been fine) and I beg off of restaurant food unless it's Thai or BJs. I only eat out at very specific places and I always order the same things. I do not let other people feed me unless I really trust them to know what they are doing and the only person I trust with that is my friend who has celiac. I simply say "multiple food sensitivities" and leave it at that because I don't want to argue about whether or not I can eat something that might have CC or hidden gluten or whether I can pick something off. It's easier just to beg out of food from other people's kitchens, altogether, than it is to try to quibble over whether or not I can eat something that comes from their kitchen.

I still socialize. I just don't eat, and I do eat cheese and fruit but I make sure to take my share just as it's been set out, not after all kinds of grubby gluten fingers have gotten to it.

It helps admittedly that I have next to no extended family so guilt trip festivals known as family get togethers are non existent in my life.

I did eat out the other day - and ordered something "safe", I thought - and my entire GI system has been messed up for the three days since.

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It has been a while since I posted on this forum and I have been gluten-free for about 11 months and made some mistakes along the way. Anytime you try to change a habit like eating gluten-free that you will encounter moments when you make mistakes. Think of it like a war or a football game. You may loose a small battle or yardage but you must remain vigilant and focused on making forward progress in your battle with staying true to your gluten-free diet. Never give up and never give in!

Additionally, never feel embarrassed about your condition. You have to be your own advocate and look out for your own health.

I wish you the best on your continued positive efforts to make yourself healthy.


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Thank you both!

Tuxedocat, I really like the easy "multiple food sensitivities" statement for certain social gatherings. I just have to remember to be as meticulous when I'm around other people as when I'm on my own. And remember how cruddy I feel if I slip up.

Never give up and never give in for sure - thank you RL! I'm an athlete; I should *know* this!

Just as they say, "think before you speak," I s'pose we should also "think before we eat!"

Wishing good health to both of you! - Heather

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