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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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Life Seems Hopeless
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13 posts in this topic

Well,

I feel helpless and hopless. My concerns were real...and now with all other "conditions" I have....here is another one. Already on a GERD diet now a gluten-free one. I have a family of 7 and shopping for a glutten free individual is time consuming, expensive and complicated. I already feel bad enough and wit this on top of me it hard to bear. Today ...it seems everything in my house has gluten and realistically it does!

Anyone have words of encouragement ....is there any light at the end of this tunnel?

In Care,

Leigh Ann

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There's a whole sun-lit valley fully of food at the end of the tunnel.

Once you get the hang of it, you'll find it really isn't that hard and - if you're willing to stop relying on prepackaged goods and do some cooking - doesn't have to be much more expensive. (Easiest tip on that one: we don't actually need bread! :-) )

Please, give yourself some time. It IS overwhelming at first. I was sad the day I threw out most of my baking cabinet. But I've restocked, and can move on. My fridge never had that much gluten containing stuff because I cook from fresh ingredients... Makes it much less worriesome, and there's always a healthy snack on hand.

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Tiffany is right that it's awfully sad to get rid of all the food you can't have. I gave like 8 pounds of pasta to my friend when I was diagnosed, because it had been on sale so I'd stocked up. And for a while, I just about cried every time I went grocery shopping. A few times I did cry. Now I'm fine almost all the time. Sometimes I just have to stick my tongue out at the frozen pizzas when I go by them.

I think Tiffany's point about not needing bread is also an important one! Maybe twice a month I eat some kind of gluten-free bread, but mostly not. Instead, I eat potatoes, I eat corn tortillas, I eat a lot of rice. Sometimes I eat rice noodles -- not so much spaghetti as asian rice noodles. And I eat more meat than I did (only because I also have or had high cholesterol, I try to keep to chicken and fish more than red meat). I've found shortcuts and easy meals I can make, and I eat more vegetables than I used to, which I know is good for a lot of things.

But a big part of the light at the end of the tunnel is that you'll learn the best way for you to eat gluten-free, and you'll develop a set of habits and routines around cooking. For me, the big problem was that the easy meals I made when I was in a hurry were pasta and pizza. Now I make big batches of vegetarian chili and freeze it in serving-size containers, so when I want something quick I heat one up, make a salad, and warm up a couple tortillas. Or I pan-fry some tilapia, bake a potato, and saute some green beans (I know it sounds like 3 things to make, but they're all so easy).

Plus, best of all, you will start to feel better. Things will be easier to bear, you'll spend less time sick, you'll have more energy. So come here to vent when you need to, and definitely come here to learn about products you can eat and recipes you can make (check out the flourless peanut butter cookies -- they're so good and so easy!).

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Leigh Ann,

Another point to keep in mind is that undiagnosed celiac disease might just have been responsible for your GERD! It IS possible that you may be able to reintroduce some of the foods that give you trouble now at some future point when you have the celiac disease under control.

As far as food goes, I make lots of stews and other one-pot meals that I serve over rice (or millet). I also make stir-fries using a prepackaged vegetable medley from Trader Joe's. When I am just feeding myself and I really don't want to cook, I open a small can of salmon and two regular-size cans of vegetables and eat all of them, at room temperature even since I don't mind that they're not hot. I have found an organic gluten-free trail mix (called Sun Raisin & Spice, although I can't remember the company that makes it) that comes in single-serving pouches, so I make sure to keep at least one in my purse at all times so I always have something with me that I know I can eat.

I'm not totally on top of things in terms of being stocked up so I can grab a frozen meal to eat at a friend's house, but I have managed to collect enough meal ideas that my day-to-day life is not culinarily boring. Cooking for seven undoubtedly makes everything that much more challenging, but if it were me, I would feed everyone a meat-and-vegetable stew or a stir-fry over rice. Easy, healthy, and gluten-free--and with celiac disease being hereditary, it certainly won't do anyone any harm!

Good luck! You'll get the hang of cooking gluten-free!

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Leigh Ann, Also take heart about bread, eventually you will find something you like. I loved to bake my own bread before gluten free and in the last three years have learned to make a really good gluten free English muffin, and hot dog bun. It really took a while. Eat simply at first, then graduate slowly to more sophisticated foods if you like. But don't for the first few months. Then introduce new things one at a time. Pretty soon it will be second nature. My favorite snack was popcorn, which I can still eat. So count your blessings, at least you don't need a whole bunch of expensive medications right now. And learn to really enjoy food in it's natural state, at least for a few months. Stir frys are wonderful and cheap. Good luck, Shirley

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Leigh Ann,

Welcome, and I'm sorry things are hard right now. It's hard on everybody in the beginning, and just about everyone on this board can sympathize and relate to what you're going through (although maybe not the cooking for 7 part!). I just wanted to say that although I do not have as many people as you to cook for, I do have 2 children and a husband (and my children often have friends over). I was only diagnosed about 6 weeks ago, but I figured out pretty quick that I did not want to be making separate meals all the time. Since I am the primary cook, I figured everyone would just have to get used to what I was eating, and to tell you the truth, nobody has really noticed much, except that my husband did say he thought we'd never eaten better as we do now that I'm gluten-free.

For dinner, I mostly make chicken, meat, or fish with a rice or potato (or sweet potato) dish, sometimes polenta (corn), and a vegetable or green salad. You can get pretty creative with dinner even being gluten-free (for example, I often served breaded or floured chicken cutlets since my kids like them, and now I use either organic cornflake crumbs that I crush myself, or corn flour mixed with seasonings like basil and paprika). I always cooked pretty much from scratch anyway, and I honestly think the adjustment seems harder on people who've relied more on packaged or prepared foods. And yes, eating out is still hard. Also, gluten-free doesn't mean tasteless! My in-laws were nice enough to make a whole dinner I could eat, but they were so nervous that they just served all the food plain, which of course is unnecessary.

Things I use more of now include fresh lemon juice and different flavored vinegars (just be sure not to use any malt vinegars), and if you can tolerate lactose, you can do a lot with cheeses in terms of sauce or fresh Parmesan cheese. Since my children, like most children, are big pasta eaters, I will sometimes make a pot of pasta for them to supplement the dinner, especially if I have some leftover rice or whatever, but some of the rice pastas on the market are pretty decent (try Tinkyada, available in many health food stores and probably on line).

Finally, there are some very good cookbooks by Bette Hagman, available online or in big bookstores, and I've found many mainstream cookbooks have plenty of gluten-free recipes in them as well. Just read, read, read all you can to get ideas, on this website and others. People share recipes all the time and they're great. Also check out the good gluten-free food sources, like kinnikinnick.com and the glutenfreemall.com -- they are especially good for mixes for those things it's hard to re-create by yourself, like pancakes, muffins, and cakes (some of them are excellent, believe it or not). You really will be fine, it'll get easier.

Good luck,

Ellen

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I have several relatives who felt healthy but had GERD. After they heard I was diagnosed with Gluten Sensitivity they gave up wheat and their GERD went away.

I just had my 13 yr old tested (she looks fine) enterolab shows she is sensitive to gluten/yeast/dairy and eggs. I am glad I was diagnosed first (almost a year ago). She has been able to see my health improve and see the other foods that are available and taste good. Believe me she still wants to continue with pizza and I still have work to do but what are the options?

I truly love my new way of eating and if tomorrow they found a cure, I probably would not eat much different as I feel tons better than before this whole thing started. Start off very simple, vegetables, fruit, rice, fish/meat and then slowly you can add to your collection.

You can do it! :D

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I would to share a sucess story that encouraged me. This past weekend I went on a trip with my Youth Group (I am a Youth Pastor). Of course with youth there is always A LOT of fast food involved. I actually found it quite easy to stay gluten-free, I simply paid close attention, and didn't let it get me down. In fact we had one young person on the trip who was quite health food concious. She insisted on ordering the Yogurt Parfait every trip to McDonalds (thier Grilled Chicken Salads are wonderful). Since we were having breakfast there, I grabbed one of thier nutrition facts sheets to see of thier sausage was safe (they were so I ordered the breakfast platter with no buscuits). Anyhow this young lady was quite shocked to see her beloved yogurt parfait had more fat than a McD's hamburger. I found that to be very amusing. Education can make life more interesting, don't you think????

Also remember that there is a God, and if we put our hope in Him, we can know that He will take care of us. :D

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Hi there!!

I am so sorry that things are hard for you. I totally know how you feel. I've been gluten-free since Halloween, and have been truly blessed because I now feel so much better. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't love to tear into the home made lasagna that we make, but I have found other ways to enjoy, like using Portabella mushrooms instead of pasta ( YUMMY!! :D )

It has been difficult at time, but, again, I guess I am blessed, I have a supportive husband, who is glad to have his wife back again, although he does make comments about cooking for me, from time to time.

I think things will be easier for you as time goes by. This site has been heaven sent for me, I can rant and rave, and no one thinks I'm nuts!!

Good luck, and feel free to email me if you want to talk.

Blessings to all.

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Thanks to all who replied....I have had a rough start, slowly I am getting use to things. I hate looking at the foods I can no longer eat. Thanking you all who cared enough to lend support....

In Care

Leigh Ann

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HI! Sharon You said you use portobello mushrooms, what do you put them in cause I love mushrooms!

Beth

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Also, it's important to know that celiac disease can often cause (or trigger) depression, sometimes severely. Seeing a therapist at least a few times can be enormously helpful, and sometimes antidepressants make all the difference. You'd be amazed.

I wish you the very best! It does get easier. It's great that you found this venue for support - that shows that you're already doing the important things for yourself.

And I really do recommend you start really exploring different recipes or gluten-free products (online, especially, there are great sources) because once you feel like you're not so limited, and you can actually eat food that you like, the relief is enormous. I recently went to a Gluten-Free market and practically cried. I will post some good links in a second...

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