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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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I'm Back!:)

Well, I guess I haven't been on since around last Fall or sometime around there. Either way, it's been a while! I just finished my Sophomore year of college with a 4.0 :rolleyes: and am finally back home for the summer! Some of you may have heard about us on the news recently actually... we had quite a lot of rain a few weeks ago that basically destroyed half the town. My house is okay though! The roads, however, are not.

Last time I was on here I was still very much struggling with avoiding all things gluten, but I am very happy to say that I have been completely clean of it for at least 6 months now! I feel absolutely amazing :D

I have also almost finished my weight loss journey! I have lost almost 30 pounds and now weigh in at a nice 145lbs. SOOO overall it has been a pretty successful few months!

Oh and my mom has decided to do this low-carb diet and so she's avoiding gluten too for the time being. It makes my life at home a LOT easier and she's starting to understand how hard it actually is. It's about time she got some perspective on my life!! :P

Well that's it! How has everyone been doing?

I Need To Vent.

I think it's really sad, and I'm sure a lot of you would agree, that I am so elated to go back to college because I know people understand my needs there. This summer has been such a struggle being at home because my family just doesn't get it. I'm not sure they ever will. After being relatively gluten-free for over a year now I realize how much I was taking for granted when it comes to food.

This sounds a little silly, but food is amazing you guys. I mean, it gives us energy AND tastes amazing? God knew what He was doing when He made our food. I'm a hardcore food lover and being gluten-free has made life a little bit miserable for me. When I'm away at school though, I can make the right choices for myself because they are available to me. At home, everything I want but can't have is staring me in the face. And then when I do have things I can eat, my family members eat it all. :angry: Example: We buy Chex cereal for me to eat for breakfast and we buy random other brands for my mom, dad, and brother to eat. I have 2 boxes to last me two weeks until we make another grocery run. This isn't an issue for me because while I love food, I eat it in moderation because I'm terrified of being fat haha. However, my family chows down on MY cereal first and then when they are finished devouring it, they move on to their own cereal....leaving poor Lexi with nothing. And they just don't care.

Some of you may also have picked up on that I don't have a great relationship with my mother. Sadly, this is the case and I don't see it changing any time soon. She and I used to be really close when I was younger and she used to be more like my sister than an actual mother (she's only 18 years older than me). Then she got remarried and had my brother when I was 12 and our relationship died. This whole experience with Celiac has pulled us apart even more. Some days I feel like she is trying, and then some days she back to her old selfish self. I will refrain from saying any more. :)

I just feel like my family is so much more judgmental than the rest of the world and that shouldn't be how it is. I'm supposed to be comfortable in my own home right? I'm supposed to be able to be myself with my parents! Instead, I'm fearful of getting sick and self conscious about every detail that makes up who I am. Especially Celiac.

And then there are the other people out there who just don't get it or don't want to accept it at least. I tell someone I can't eat gluten and they act like it's just a phase I'm going through. One of my family members actually had the nerve to tell me that I cried wolf so many times growing up that people just don't believe me anymore. Don't they see that everything that was wrong with me leads back to my disease?? I wasn't crying wolf! I was a sick child who just wanted to feel better.

I just feel like people who know me could be a little more accepting and comforting. Celiac took things I love from me. It took the food I love, made my brain foggy, made me malnourished, and I was so sick my senior year that I missed my opportunity to play college volleyball (with the help of torn ligaments in my knee and a broken ankle). Now as an almost 20 year old college student I am trying to pick up the pieces and find my passion for life again, but it is pretty dang hard when everyone that should be supporting me seems to be against me.

Sorry for the rant guys. I just needed to get that of my chest.

P.S. I found this link and it explains my life perfectly and I suspect many of you feel similarly.
So my brother turns 8 this month and I was pretty excited. Until I realized I'd be expected to bake his cake like I always have. It's not really a problem, but it's just depressing. Obviously mom doesn't want it to be gluten free because she thinks people will notice. No offense to my mother but I have mastered the gluten free baking technique. They wouldn't know. Why do I know this? Because my mom doesn't even notice ;)

Anyway, I have to bake a brownie cake and then ice it and it's going to look awesome (I may post a picture when it is done) but the whole time I will be paranoid of getting glutened. Or falling into temptation.
On top of this, my brother's party is at a pizza place! So exciting right?? Ha. And the snackies? Oh there will be things like pretzels and cookies and some things I can eat, but the little gluten covered hands will be all over everything...so that's not happening.

We are also celebrating MY birthday this upcoming weekend even though my birthday is a month away. I leave for college though so we are having our family shindig early. I'm getting cupcakes from this amazing little place downtown called Oh Snap! And they have been so good to me:) But I can't be too happy because all my family members are in the background complaining.

Does gluten free food really taste that bad? I mean...I don't really remember what some normal stuff tastes like, but I'm a really picky eater so if it was gross I'm pretty sure I'd know. Why are "normal" people (I call them muggles for my enjoyment) so against eating gluten free food? It's not that bad!
So I am back from my vacation and I feel great! I feel so good that I've finally realized that all the food I wish I could have, but can't, really isn't worth it at all. I know everyone on here has been telling me this, but as a newbie it was very hard to come to terms with. This site has done a ton of good for me:)
I stayed away from gluten entirely, ate my fruits and veggies, and showed my family that I can do this (and it's really not as hard as it looks).
My digestive track is working beautifully, which I am extremely excited about. No more planning my day around the bathroom! And I also just feel good overall. Perfect timing too with school starting up soon!
I did get a massive headache last night (much like my gluten headaches) but I don't think I got contaminated. It might have been from the 8 1/2 drive home and I was just tired and possibly dehydrated. Or it could've been from me accidentally stabbing my eye with mascara that morning (I have a very sensitive right eye). I slept the headache off though and didn't notice any tummy troubles.
I'm just so happy:) and proud of myself for planning ahead and researching good places to eat! Yay!
Thanks for everyone's help and support!
Through my experience of totally messing my digestive system up this past weekend I have learned my lesson about messing around with gluten. I knew things were getting worse and that I was becoming more sensitive, but I think I just really didn't want to believe it. I've been going through this phase where I just can't stop thinking about how unfair all of this is and how I just want to be normal. My mom used to tell me when I was younger when my tummy was hurting or I felt sick that it was all in my head and that I was fine. So i just kept repeating to myself that all this is made up... I'm imagining the pain. Sadly, I am not and by having that mindset I set myself up for even MORE pain and discomfort. Never ever again will I let this happen.
I have to accept that this is my life now and the time where I could eat gluten-filled foods are in the past.

On the bright side, I am feeling much better today and am trying to start eating solid foods again. The past 4 days I have been living off of pears, prune juice, and carrots because everything else made me feel nauseous to even think about. Not sure what I will try to eat, as we don't have much in the house at all right now (we are going out of town in 2 days), but I am sure I will find something. Right now I'm snacking on gluten-free vanilla chex. Yumm! Hopefully I can get my system back on track in these next two days so I don't have to ride in a car for 8 hours super uncomfortable!

Thanks for everyone's help on my posts over the weekend:)
blog-0307457001374541649.jpgThis summer my goal has been to eat healthy, exercise, and lose weight! Weight was never really an issue for me until this year when I gained 20 pounds in 3 months. Which is insane and makes me feel totally horrible about myself. As someone who also struggles somewhat with anorexic tendencies, gaining that much weight was truly terrifying.

The first half of the summer didn't go as planned because, to be honest, it is really hard being home. Not having the food options I did at college causes me to stumble more and I don't have access to a gym anymore, which forces me to run outside. I live in Florida. I think I'd rather die than run outside.

I am trying to make the best of my situation and stick to natural foods, rather than stuffing my face with gluten-free alternatives that are loaded with sugar and starch (I still need my chocolate pretzels though!). I already don't drink soda or snack on many sweets (other than the pretzels) so I don't need to worry about that. I'm also cutting down my portion sizes, which I probably shouldn't be doing because they were adequate to start with, but I NEED to get this weight off me.

So other than cheating the other day, I've been doing great! I'm down 7 pounds thus far and have 15 more to go.

And just to clarify so no one assumes that I'm trying to lose weight when I really shouldn't be, I am 5'6 and 155 pounds. The ideal weight for someone my height, age, and gender is 135.

I Cheated

Tonight my mom decided to go to Church's and bring home a bucket full of fried chicken, mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, and biscuits. Needless to say I totally fell of the wagon and now I'm paying for it not even 2 hours later. However, that mac-n-cheese was amazing after not having it in over a year.

So now I'm just lying here researching magic ways online to ease my symptoms and of course there's really nothing I can do other than to rest, stay hydrated, and let it run its course. I need a magic pill or something.

On the bright side, the intense craving went away (even though it is replaced by pain) now that I've got my fill of the yummy evil gluten.
When I was younger it seemed like I always felt bad. Like most "normal" little kids, I enjoyed the multitude of gluten-filled foods that the world had to offer me. I was a hard-core lover of macaroni and cheese, peanut-butter brownies, and fried chicken. The only problem was that my stomach was always kind of off, but this was my norm so I never thought much of it. Apparently neither did my parents, that is, until my junior year of high school.

I was 17 and sick. I had suffered from depression throughout most of middle and some of high school. Now that I had almost defeated the depression, I was dealing with an entirely different problem: I couldn't eat. I hated putting food in my stomach. I knew it would only make me sick and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with it anymore. I was constantly dealing with head colds, insane migraines every night, and spending the majority of my days on the toilet. It sucked. I could feel it when I was going to get sick: the hot flashes started, things began to get a little dizzy, and then I'd have to sprint down the hallway to the bathroom in fear that I wouldn't make it in time.

The worst part was that I was fighting for a chance to play college volleyball while constantly feeling like utter dirt. My parents began to complain and notice that I was struggling when they noticed I was "stinking up the house." My mom told me it was because I was unhealthy (which I definitely was not). It was only when I started coming home from practice and going straight to bed that my parents began to worry.

At first we thought it was lactose intolerance. I tried an elimination diet and cut all dairy out. Not much changed. I still had headaches, stomach problems, and body aches... just not every single day like they had been. I stuck with this elimination diet (because at least it helped a tiny bit) for around 3 months until the migraines got so bad that I couldn't focus on my school work or sports at all. There was one time when my team was out of town for a tournament that I had the worst headache I have ever felt in my life. I was in tears, rocking back and forth on our bus trying to make the pain subside. One of my coaches got in touch with my mom and got permission to give me some of her prescription migraine medicine. I don't remember what happened after that because apparently I passed out.

After much research, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't the milk in my amazing frosted mini-wheats every morning that was causing all the trouble; it was the cereal itself. I began a gluten elimination diet the second I came across a list of symptoms I had come across on a website geared towards intolerance and allergies. It only took one day for me to notice a difference and it was the first day I hadn't had a headache in over 2 years.

While I was overjoyed at my discovery, I knew that the struggle had only just begun. Eating gluten free was a pain and I was starving. In the first 2 months I lost 20 pounds. It wasn't until I began to experiment with recipes and research for more options online that I finally felt like I could successfully keep this lifestyle change.

The only issues? My parents could care less about what I can and can't eat and they can't comprehend the concept of cross contamination. I am the ONLY person in my entire family (including extended) that has this problem or anything even remotely similar. I still have bouts of stomach issues because I also have IBS. And I crave every single food I can't have and it sometimes drives me mad.

But the pros outweigh the cons and I am so happy that the majority of my symptoms are gone!

Continue fighting the Celiac fight!