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Everything posted by Keemra

  1. Thanks everyone for all your help. I have been able to find an online store that sells gluten free soy sauce. It doesn't help much when I go out to eat, but it sure helps my home cooking. I will be doing most of the New Years cooking at home this year. In the past, we have always just purchased it. It will be a fun new challenge for me. Joanna
  2. Yes, as I mentioned before, there is soy sauce in everything. I have been gluten free here in Japan with the exception of soy sauce for over 15 years, and it hasn't really been that difficult. But the soy sauce is a real big one! For all practical purposes it totally eliminates eating out. My wheat free soy sauce still has not arrived. I will see how it goes after that. One thing that is wonderful here is there certainly is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables - many more than in most parts of the US, and they don't come from the market with wheat in them. But you are right about the snacks. I have been reading labels like crazy recently looking for soy sauce, and even innocent looking things are contaminated. Joanna
  3. Thank you so much for the contact information for Ohara Sensei. My husband has actulally found an internet website for a Celiac disease reasearch center in Nagano. He has been trying for about 2 months to contact someone there with no luck. All e-mails and telephone calls go unanswered. Maybe Ohara Sensei will have a contact here (preferably Tokyo) who will be contactable. BTW I was able to find a company on the internet that makes non-wheat tamari soy sauce. We ordered 2 bottles and it should arrive today or tomorrow. The company that makes the dashi powder I mentioned is called Riken. I also use an all natural tea bag type dashi that isn't instant, but almost. You have to boil the tea bag for 3 minutes and your dashi is done. Its flavor is better, and it is all natural. The only ingredients are katsuobushi and kombu. It is made by Tsuyama and is called Tenzen dashi. Thanks, Joanna
  4. What a delight to find you here! I also am an American married to a Japanese man. 95% of our food is fixed Japanese style, and until just recently I have been just fine with that. (See my post to Sally) It is actually easier for me to avoid bread here - I just eat rice. I have never worried about dashi before, but I just went to check my label. I buy a kind that is made without monosodium glutimate, and it has potato starch in it, but no wheat. I sometimes make it from scratch too. It isn't that difficult, and really tastses a lot better. I am now on the lookout for non-wheat soy sauce. I will let you know how that goes. I am getting a lot of good help from this forum!
  5. Hi Sally, Thanks for sharing your experiences with me. Maybe my experiences will help someone here too, so here goes. I actually don't get lbm from wheat. I get it when I eat oats, but wheat gives me the other problem. I get constipated, and the worse problem is severe methane gas that gets trapped and burns behind the blockage. It is very painful. When the gas comes out it is toxic waste grade killer gas. I mean, everyone clears out of the room, especially me because I am so embarassed. I also have skin problems, muscle pain, and decalcification of my bones. I have been self diagnosed for the past 16 years, and have been able to eliminate the gas and constipation symptoms by staying away from obvious wheat products. But I am still having trouble with the other stuff. I didn't realize until just recently that they are symptoms of celiac disease too. So now I realize that I have not been truly wheat free. I have to start looking for "hidden wheat". One of those "hidden wheat" products is soy sauce. It is an ingredient in almost every dish here in Japan. I can't get substitutes for bread here, and I am ok with that. I just eat rice. I avoid western type deserts, and just eat Japanese rice/bean based deserts instead. It is fine. But I am feeling challenged by the soy sauce thing. My dinner menu for this evening includes 4 Japanese dishes plus rice. Three of the four dishes are traditionally made with soy sauce. How can I make them without soy sauce? Will my family be willing to eat them? But yes, somehow I will learn to deal with it. Maybe I will be able to find some wheat free soy sauce somewhere. I guess the biggest challenge for me here is really my family. I don't have so much trouble accepting the celiac thing, but my Japanese hubby and kids have much more trouble. It is unfair for me to force them to be wheat free too, so I don't, but it is a lot of work for me to cook my food completely separate from theirs. How do other people with families deal with that? Joanna
  6. Yes, you are right, Celiac is not very prevalent here. I went to a doctor yesterday who SPECIALIZES in stomach and intestinal diseases. When I told the receptionist that I was looking for a doctor who could help me with Celicac disease, she said, I've never hear of it. She went to the back and called the doctor, and he came out and said, "Celiac disease, Hmmmm, I think I remember reading about that once in a medical journal, but I have never actually seen anyone who has it. I am afraid I can't help you." At least he was honest. This is a rice culture, which has both pluses and minuses for me. I am glad for the internet, and I will continue looking. I will look for wheat free tamari too. Joanna
  7. Thanks Pauliina, for the info about glutinous rice. That is very good news for me. I am so glad I found this board and that you all are so helpful. Joanna
  8. Thanks, Laura for your help. Labeling laws here in Japan are not as strict as they are in the US. There are a few companies that volunarily state what kind of modified food starch they have used, but most do not. Most just say "dembun" which means starch. As you say, if I don't know, it is best to avoid it. As far as I know, there are only 3 companies that make soy sauce here, and all 3 use wheat. I will have to do more research. I was hoping that all the processing that goes into making it would remove the gluten. It seemed to me that beer and barley tea and other liquids also would be free of the offending gluten, but I guess that was just wishful thinking on my part. I still have a lot to learn. Thanks for the book recomendation. Joanna
  9. Thanks for your response. I really do need to find someone here who can help me with specific foods. For example, sweet rice (mochi) is just rice, but it is a special variety of rice that is very sticky. It is sometimes called glutenous rice. It is used for making Japanese sweets, New Years food, rice crackers and many many other things. Man oh man, if I cut out soy sauce and mochi rice in addition to all the other things I can't eat, I won't have anything left! We don't have all the gluten free breads and cakes that are available elsewhere. *sigh* I guess feeling better is worth it. I just now read about dermititus herpetiformis. I have that, and have been seeking a remedy for it for 20 years and nothing helps. I had no idea it was related to celiac disease!
  10. I am new here too. This is my first post. I live in Tokyo and have known for about 20 years that I have trouble with wheat. I suspected celiac after a friend was diagosed with it. But I need more information about what I need to stay away from. Bread and pasta, cakes, etc. are obvious, but what about soy sauce, modified food starch, sweet (glutenous) rice, Japanese barley tea? Are there any doctors here who know about this disease? Joanna
  11. Hello. I am new to this forum, and am looking for answers. I am an American who has been living in Japan for 30+ years. I have had digestive problems since childhood, and first suspected celiac when visiting with another American friend who had been diagnosed with it about 15 years ago. Since then I have eliminated all breads, pasta, cakes cookies, etc. from my diet, and my symptoms disappeared. However, recently they have been coming back. I basically am in the same state I was 16 years ago, so I suspect I am eating things that are toxic for me without knowing it. I eat soy sauce every day, barley tea, sweet rice, foods with modified food starch. Do all these things have gluten? I really would like to find a nutritionist or doctor who can advise me. It seems the disease is non existant here, so doctors don't seem to know anything about it. Is there a list somewhere of foods that have gluten? Does anyone know a doctor in Tokyo who is familiar with celiac disease? Thanks for any help. Keemra
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