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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? - 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 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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Hello, Well....to start am very new at this celiac, and I never really thougth I would end up needing help. I have been diagnosed with it has been close to two months now, I started off doing well then next thing I knew I cant control myself....its like someone taken everything I enjoy away from me , so I eat it more and I cant fight this no more. It has been difficult for me and Im so depressed because of it. Between being sick...which my main thing is the chronic fatigue, weakness , now im finding myself getting the tingling feelings on my fingers and my bones are beginning too ache. Some days I dont even want to get out of bed am so tired and I have been missing work and now Im thinking so much ...with that ....am getting stressed out. I almost feel Im fighting a battle I cant win. Am I in denial?....I dont know what too do anymore :( have been trying but ..cheating at same time so im just not getting anywheres...not too mention ...gaining weight which I dont need. Am wondering if anyone is going through what I am right now ....I do have a dr apt comin soon ....but I already know what I have too do just dont have the energy to do it :( or maybe the will power. any advice?

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Guest LisaB

Have you found that you normally have big mood swings as a matter of course? You might have to think about that, because if your like me, you may have lived with a mild to moderate case manic (or just plain depression) depression that you usually work around but now it is getting you for several reasons. One would be that when you have a lack of seritonin, your body will crave carbs to create as much of it as it can. You may be very used to self medicating with food (perfectly normal) to cope, now with your diet change you may have cut out many of the carbohydrates your body depends on to keep you as level as possible.

Does this sound like it could be a possibility in your case? If so, I'll let you know what has helped me.

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There are wonderful gluten-free goodies to help tide you over those cravings: cookies, cakes, crackers, wonderful things! Popcorn with "Earth Balance" spread is my own favorite comfort food. Consider stocking up on those and at least you will be getting physically healthier while you work on the emotional aspects.

Good luck!

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Though I've adapted very well to the gluten-free diet, there are times I also get cravings for non-gluten-free stuff. I find that the best thing to do in these situations is have plenty of variety of gluten-free foods that you know you like availabe at any time. Then, when you're hungry, you don't have to look at the other stuff. Minimizing the non-gluten-free items in your house can help as well. (My husband and I decided that only the non-gluten-free stuff that he eats really regularly and can't do without is in the house.)

Being emotional when having to learn this diet (and you're still in the learning phase where you're adjusting your whole life) is normal - don't think that there's something especially wrong with you. It's tough to mourn the loss of something we're taught to expect is practically a "right" (to eat what we want), learn to adapt with it, and find joy in moving on. I've likened it to mourning the death of a loved one before, because in many ways it is.

If you think that talking with a counselor would help you - not because you're crazy, but because they're a good sounding board who might have some useful cognitive and behavioral techniques that can help you cope - then give it a try. If not... well, we're here for ya! ;-)

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Hi - I'm new at this too and I too have dealt with and am presently seeing a counselor for, depression. Now that I'm working to get myself off all the gluten, I think my mood has gotten better and I'm beginning to think that the symptoms of the illness was what was keeping my so depressed. After all, when you're walking around worrying about when, where and how you'll get ill next, it limits your activiities and you're socializing with others.

So maybe the best thing to do is keep plenty of fresh fruits and veggies around and munch on them a lot and save the gluten-free treats for times when you just can't take it anymore.

Good luck and remember that we're all here for you!

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Hang in there. You can do this.

My advice is to admit that it is difficult to make changes in your eating habits and realize that you are making these changes to feel better.

Yes, everyone is stressing that you can substitute gluten-free food for the old ones you used to eat, but i started to feel better when i realized that nothing can take the place of going into any store and picking up any food i felt like eating.

Things change.

I have actually been enjoying cooking more instead of going to the store for processed food.

And, if you need more help, speaking to a psychologist does help.

Hope you feel better soon.

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Well ty all very much for you help and ideas :) its maybe im just cant believe I have this too....and yes I know I should try harder no doubt about it...feeling miserable is not worth it. Im a big bread person I love bread thats like a downfall for me lol. I have tried some bread from the health food store ...millet bread its good but can only eat it if its like toasted lol cant stand it regular...now I hate to be picky...guess I was spoiled lol. Well I decided Monday I will begin a whole new me and try harder and not give up....we all get sick and tired of being sick and tired lol.....I was just worried about my depression settin in and well with everything going on think I just got down a bit more than I thought. I really want too thank you all for your replies and your concern its nice too know Im not alone. Im still learning alot on this , and Im looking forward too continue my stay here with your wonderful help. Thank you once again :) *hugggsss

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Millet is gluten free according to almost all modern sources and tests. Some old lists still include millet (as well as buckwheat) as being unsafe, but those lists are out of date. All recent lists and tests I have seen show millet to be safe for celiacs in general, but of course, someone can still find themselves sensitive to millet itself.

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I was misdaignosed by a doctor, he said I had IBS, for approximately 9 months ( he said everytime the pain got too much to stand, goto the ER, which turned out to be about 10 times in the year), finally ending up in the hospital for 6 days. Prior to ending up in the hospital, I started seeing another doctor who has actually started helping me. It is odd that if IBS is a diagnoses of exclusion, the doctor I was assigned in the hospital performed approx. 11 more tests for possibilities it could be. I have decided that if a doctor does not want to (or know to) test for other possibilities, they just throw you into the IBS category.

I have also since had my gallbladder removed and was very hopeful that I would be feeling much better by now...not happening.

I have been diagnosed with celiac disease for about a month.

I am still having a very hard time - and going through waves of being very depressed.

I have not enjoyed any type of food I have tried that is gluten-free.

Rice flour bread, Tapioca Bread, frozen pizzas, rice bowls, crackers and a variety of other foods that I got from Wild Oats Natural Foods. I am hoping that at some point I will have forgotten what good food tastes like, and I will be so hungry that anything will taste good...hasn't happened yet.

I have been staying away from anything that I don't know for sure is gluten-free...very hard. I actually read here that Heinz ketchup and French's mustard is gluten-free and am very happy to know that.

My friends are also having a very hard time really understanding what I am going thru and that makes it even harder. I'm tired of trying to explain and at the point that I don't care anymore if they understand. I will write more later...need a break.

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I have not enjoyed any type of food I have tried that is gluten-free.

Rice flour bread, Tapioca Bread, frozen pizzas, rice bowls, crackers and a variety of other foods that I got from Wild Oats Natural Foods. I am hoping that at some point I will have forgotten what good food tastes like, and I will be so hungry that anything will taste good...hasn't happened yet.

I have been staying away from anything that I don't know for sure is gluten-free...very hard. I actually read here that Heinz ketchup and French's mustard is gluten-free and am very happy to know that.

One thing to consider is to stop trying to find substitutes. They're not what you're used to and they're not going to taste the same. So eat a different type of food for a while.

Everything in the produce department (aside from the packaged, premade stuff they try to sell you, like croutons!) is gluten free. So have all the vegetable casseroles, vegetable soups, salads, and fruit smoothies you like! Rice and corn and beans and potatoes (not to mention the other, more expensive, gluten-free grains) are gluten free as well, so have refried beans and pilafs and burritos and polenta and hummus and bean soup and sweet potato fries. Natural, unadulterated meats and dairy are gluten free as well, so if you're not avoiding dairy, have yogurt and tuna salads and fajitas and chicken soup and grilled steak and stuffed cabbage and tomatoes with cheese.

There are lots and lots and lots of naturally gluten free foods, and they can be just as tasty as any food with gluten. In fact, a lot of things at fancy-schmancy restaurants would be gluten free if it weren't for fillers and shortcuts! (And cross-contamination!)

I shop at Wild Oats regularly, so here are some packaged products (if you really don't want to cook sometimes) that I've enjoyed:

Pamela's cookies (the butter shortbread ones - used them for a pumpkin pie crust)

Alexia frozen potatoes

Nature's Highlights Brown Rice Pizza Crust (make your own sauce and add cheese and toppings)

Bone Suckin' Sauce (for that grilled steak!)

Thai Kitchen's Rice Noodle Bowls

Ereowon Crispy Rice with Berries Cereal

Lundberg Farms Rice Cakes (with PB and Jam, yum!)

If you keep the cooking simple (my lunch: can of tuna with a bit of coconut milk (I'm avoiding dairy at the moment) and some baby basmati rice with a touch of gluten-free soy sauce (San-J's gluten-free tamari) and a smoothie with orange juice, a banana, a dozen strawberries, and some coconut milk), it's easier to make it gluten free. And simpler means it takes less time. ;-)

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Guest ~wAvE WeT sAnD~
Hello, Well....to start am very new at this celiac, and I never really thougth I would end up needing help. I have been diagnosed with it has been close to two months now, I started off doing well then next thing I knew I cant control myself....its like someone taken everything I enjoy away from me , so I eat it more and I cant fight this no more. It has been difficult for me and Im so depressed because of it. Between being sick...which my main thing is the chronic fatigue, weakness , now im finding myself getting the tingling feelings on my fingers and my bones are beginning too ache. Some days I dont even want to get out of bed am so tired and I have been missing work and now Im thinking so much ...with that ....am getting stressed out. I almost feel Im fighting a battle I cant win. Am I in denial?....I dont know what too do anymore :( have been trying but ..cheating at same time so im just not getting anywheres...not too mention ...gaining weight which I dont need. Am wondering if anyone is going through what I am right now ....I do have a dr apt comin soon ....but I already know what I have too do just dont have the energy to do it :( or maybe the will power. any advice?

JD1961, I hear you loud and clear. I have been depressed for five months and am exhibiting other such symptoms related to Celiac's Disease...hang in there.

I'm a sensitive person, but I think I cry almost every day now...not necessary because of sadness, but because it feels as if I'll lose the respect of the people I care about (namely my boyfriend, who has stood by me for a year and a half) if I tell them about the emotional/psychological aspects of what I'm experiencing. I also feel like people are unhappy with me sometimes, as if they can tell I'm forcing myself to smile and I seem like a "plastic" version of my true self. I feel hopeless sometimes, but it's mostly because of the uncertainty of my diagnosis. It makes me nervous at this point to go out to dinner or to the family reunion I've just been invited to because people may ask questions about the bunless hotdog on my plate, etc. I haven't met my bf's family members at this reunion, and I don't want them to think I'm an invalid.

*Sigh* that's a mouthful....but I thank you wholeheartedly for listening...feel free to add my AIM screenname if you want to talk, or email me whenever you'd like.

~Jill

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I don't actually have depression, but before being diagnosed, I felt depressed and down all the time; the gluten-free diet actually made me feel better and happier! :D I can see why you wouldn't want to tell people about it, though....

I've just been invited to because people may ask questions about the bunless hotdog on my plate, etc. I haven't met my bf's family members at this reunion, and I don't want them to think I'm an invalid.

I can entirely relate to what you mean on this.......I HATE to eat out or eat differently with people other than immediate family and have to answer questions like that....it kind of makes me feel alienated, different, and as if I've got some sort of problem or I'm screwed up........I can entirely see why you wouldn't want to go to this reunion....I feel self-conscious around people even if I hardly even know them.......it must be ten times worse for you eating with people who you are consciously trying to make a good impression on. :)

-celiac3270

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celiac3270, I totally relate to what you are saying. When I was starting the gluten-free diet, I'd be trying to order in a restaurant, & I would get terribly frustrated as I struggled to explain to the waitress what I could/couldn't have. Since I would already be pretty hungry and maybe feeling a bit faint, this task would drain me & sometimes I'd have to go to the restroom after ordering & just weep. I felt so alone & tired of being sick.

It's a good idea to keep some snacks in the car, like nuts or candy, so that if you find yourself in a social situation where there's not much food you can eat, you won't totally starve. Also, it's good to not be totally famished when you go out to a restaurant, unless you go to an Outback or someplace you know has a gluten-free menu, you're always taking a risk when you eat out.

Angel

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Guest ~wAvE WeT sAnD~

Thank you celiac3270 and Angel for listening... *Hugs*

I figured I'll just tell my bf's family members that I'm allergic to wheat....my bf told his dad about Celiac's and he's already making judgements about it. His parents haven't really gotten to know me and have made a lot of assumptions based on hearsay.

I guess I'll just ignore them all and have fun.

Outback has a Gluten Free menu! Sweet! What other restaurants carry them? An Eat and Park waitress was rather rude when I asked her, and a lot of restaurant employees seem confused.

Thank you very much!!!

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It makes me nervous at this point to go out to dinner or to the family reunion I've just been invited to because people may ask questions about the bunless hotdog on my plate, etc.

The bunless hot dog thing happened to me just recently! I was at a "moving away" bbq for a friend, and was eating hot dogs with no buns. Everyone just assumed I was following the Atkins diet plan. No one thought anything odd about it!

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Guest ~wAvE WeT sAnD~

Me too--it was at a picnic at my grandfather's nursing home and no one said anything...I had two bunless hotdogs, fruit cocktail, and vegetables on my plate. That was all--my mother went to get corn for everyone, so I didn't have to explain to my relatives (who have no clue whatsover that I'm sick).

Yay for the bunless hot dog people!

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