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About Stu

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  1. Along with a sensitivity to wheat gluten, celiacs are often sensitive to other things such as annatto, a natural yellow food coloring that is often used in ice cream and yellow cheese, (Johnsonville Brats also contain annatto as a coloring agent, and I can't keep them down for 5 minutes!). Tartrazine, (FD&C Yellow #5) is another one that affects me, but it's made from coal-tar along with all the other AZO food colorings! Who would want to eat that, anyway? Unfortunately, it's very commonly used in foods, candy, medicines and vitamin pills. Ask your doctor when it's a good idea to ingest petroleum distillates, and he'll tell you, "NEVER!". Then, ask him why they put it in the medicines he expects you to take....
  2. IMHO, it's simple economics. When you can effectively treat yourself and eliminate 90% of your health issues by going on a gluten-free diet, your doctor doesn't get the perks from the big pharma sales reps for the bronchio-dialators, inhalers, omeprezol stomach acid reducers, anti-diharreals, laxatives, pain and nerve meds, skin emollients, anti-histamines, expectorants, steroids, and every other feckless anti-symptomatic drug they expect to bill you and your insurance company for. Doctors and Drug Companies aren't stupid, they KNOW they can't make any money by "curing" our problems, that's why they put us on life-long drug regimins to "control" them, as well as more drugs to control the side-effects caused by the drugs we're already taking! Example: My doctor wanted to start treating me for Diabeties. I have no family history of the disease, I am not overweight, neither are my glucose levels out of whack. He wanted to do it simply because one of the drugs he already had me taking actually CAUSES diabetes as a side effect! I stopped taking the drug, and started looking for a new doctor.
  3. Some people don't understand the difference between teasing and tormenting. Start spending time with those who do, and put this one on your "Fair Weather" list.
  4. I am able to tolerate oatmeal. I also will make grits, buckwheat, or quinoa for breakfast from time to time. If you have a waffle iron, gluten-free waffles are pretty easy to make, and you can freeze them easily. Warm them up in a DEDICATED gluten-free toaster, though! The same recipe for waffles can also be slightly modified for muffins - just add some sugar, nuts, berries, dried fruit, whatever, and bake them in cupcake shells. These also freeze well and can be warmed up in a microwave. I also make it a point to keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand for when I need to grab something on the run.
  5. I have a few rules I follow for eating out: 1. Stay with places that you know, and know you. I am a regular at our local Carl's Jr., and the manager knows I can't tolerate gluten. I usually order the Low Carb burger combo meals or grilled chicken salad, and have never had a reaction to anything I've eaten there, (however I avoid the milkshakes because they use one blender to mix all flavors). 2. Inform the people waiting on you of your food sensitivities when you order, in my case wheat gluten, annatto, and FD&C yellow5 (tartrazine). That means no wheat or anything with yellow coloring added. Most places will check, or let you read the list of ingredients if you ask them nicely. Many places now actually have a gluten-free menu if you ask them, and many servers and cooks have gone the extra mile to make sure my food is prepared without gluten - remember to leave them a nice tip! 3. There are still times you find yourself in a strange town eating at a strange place, (toss out rule 1), and the servers listen to your explanation with a blank stare, or rolling eyes, (toss out rule 2). Play it safe, order a salad with grilled meat, ranch dressing or cottage cheese, or a baked potato with sour cream. If the salad arrives with croutons on it, (for example), dump the dressing on it before sending it back to the kitchen, that way you'll know if they made you a fresh one instead of just picking out the gluten bits. Yes, this has happened to me. 4. Don't feel guilty or intimidated about asking for special treatment. If you ordered a burger without onions or a pickle, they wouldn't bat an eye. Ordering one without a bun should be no different! You're going to pay them good money for good food, it's their job to serve you what you want. I just had a wonderful meal with friends at a great restaurant I've never been to before despite the fact they had nothing on the menu that was particularly gluten free. The waiter was very professional about my requests, and made sure everything was right before he served me.
  6. Reminds me of the time I took my son with a sore throat to see the doctor. Doc was busy, so we got to see her PA instead. The PA sat in her chair and started rattling off a series of possible problems without so much as looking at my son. After awhile, I interrupted her, and said: "He's had this sore throat for 4 days, with no fever or other symptoms. Why don't we just run a swab to make sure it isn't something nasty, and put him on an antihistamine like Benedryl?" Her jaw fairly hit the floor for a second, then she repeated exactly the same thing I said and left the room. The swab came back negative, and they gave him some Claritin. An hour and $70 later, his sore throat was gone. I don't know what disturbs me more, the fact that the PA was an educated medical professional, or that I'm a maintenance man.
  7. The unfortunate case here is that many US doctors are basically salesmen for the big pharmaceutical and medical corporations that stand to lose tons of money when all us sick people find out we can effectively treat ourselves through diet and nutrition. You can say that I'm jaded, or that I'm some sort of a conspiracy nut, but all the same I would challenge you to find a single person posting here who hasn't wasted at least hundreds of dollars on specious diagnostic testing and useless medications before stumbling onto the truth. There's simply no profit to be made treating for Celiac, but millions to be had by calling it something else and treating it symptomatically. That is, of course, until they invent an expensive pill that Celiacs will have to take for the rest of their lives, then EVERYONE will be diagnosed with it!
  8. IME, the best way to deal with a psychologist is to be completely open, honest, and rational with them. It drives them NUTS!
  9. It strikes me odd that any other business would at least offer to refund their fee, but somehow that doesn't apply to doctors, (not in the USA anyway)
  10. A few of my personal favorites: (Loud, cackling laughter)... "VITAMINS!?... Vitamins don't do ANYTHING!!!" "It's an extremely sensitive and accurate blood test! It doesn't matter if you've been Gluten Free for three years..." (next visit...) "Well, the blood test came back negative. I'm putting you on omeprazole for your Acid Reflux" "Just because you don't have the symptoms of Acid Reflux doesn't mean you don't have it!" (Note: some generic omeprazole uses wheat starch as a dispersant. I found out the hard way) "Next time, I think we should start treating you for Diabetes..." (My glucose levels have never been abnormal. That was the last visit, I'm afraid to go back!)
  11. There are definitely different levels of sensitivity to gluten. True story: I go to the doctor's office. The nurse/receptionist hands me a pen and clipboard, and I take a seat in the waiting room to fill out the forms. Within a minute or so, I get a nasty tin-foil taste in my mouth and my lips begin to burn. First stage of gluten exposure? Nah... Couldn't be. I'm in a DOCTOR'S OFFICE for cryin' out loud. Must be my imagination or something. I continue to fill out the forms. Then, I start to cough and gag - DEFINITELY gluten exposure, but where and how is it possible? That's when I look around and see the nurse/receptionist who handed me the pen and clipboard sitting at her desk noshing on a baggie full of banana bread. Geez! At least she could have wiped her hands off before she handed me the forms, that's just good hygiene! I quickly finish filling out the forms and hand them in. The nurses all back away from me because the reaction is now so strong they are convinced I have the dreaded Swine Flu... I excuse myself, then go to the bathroom to throw-up... I explain this to my doctor when I see him. He scoffs, and tells me I have Acid Reflux... I never went back for the follow-up. The dermal immune system in your skin is the first one to react, and it happens so quickly and effectively that researchers believe they can improve the efficacy of vaccines by mimicking that response as the vaccines are administered. For this reason, there is no doubt in my mind that an anti-gliaden immune response can be initiated the moment someone simply comes into contact with a source of wheat gluten. It has happened to me many times, just coming into contact with bread crumbs or an empty pizza box. It can be a real pain in the neck, but on the positive side I never accidentally ingest wheat gluten when I can "feel" it before I'm at risk of becoming seriously exposed to it.
  12. Yes, it makes sense to me now. I suppose I really don't need a Doctor to tell me how I'm feeling, and I see no direct benefit from a "confirmed" diagnosis, (unless I can then declare "food" as a medical expense on my taxes? HA! THAT will be the day!...). Thanks for your input. I will cancel with the GE (not looking forward to the Biopsy anyway), and contact Enterolab myself. I have another question. One of the first things I notice after I've eaten something containing Gluten is that my saliva seems to get "foamy". Has anyone else had that symptom? Thanks, everyone!
  13. Ok, there's NO DOUBT in my mind about it, now. Yesterday, I bought a small crock pot, and made some Pinto Beans using Corn Starch to thicken the sauce. I ate almost half the pot myself, and suffered no ill effects. I wanted to try this because I'd often blamed beans for my problems in the past, and unfairly so, it would seem. I felt fine all day. Later on the same day, my kids decided we should go out to eat at Chili's. I ordered Coffee, a bowl of chili, and had maybe a half dozen french fries. Within an hour, I develop the following symptoms: -Bloating to the point of difficult breathing -Hot, wet Flatulence (sorry there's no polite way to describe it...) -Abdomonal pains - especially just below the right side ribcage. This was a near constant pain before I went Gluten Free. -Mild Nausea with *bitter* reflux - NOT acid -Dizziness and loss of mental focus -Unexplainable fatigued feeling -All followed by numerous trips to the bathroom. Does any of this sound familiar? If I didn't know better, I'd think it was a mild case of Food Poisoning. Does Chili's use Gluten in their Chili? Or, perhaps the French Fries were cooked in contaminated shortening?
  14. Thanks for all the advice. Needless to say, I am not thrilled about returning to my normal diet! I've begun referring to ordinary bread as a "White or Whole Wheat Pain", and I've gone from about 12-15 cigarettes a day to 3-4 without making any significant effort to stop or slow down. That in itself simply amazes me. I'm also finding Gluten Free eating more satisfying than my usual fare, and I actually look forward to mealtimes again. I'm hoping the GE will opt for an Enterolab Stool test which I hear is more accurate than either Blood Antegen or Biopsy, and can be done even after a few months of being Gluten Free. I guess I'd better call them and find out what they want, but spending a whole month going back through GI hell is not a path I want to take!
  15. I've only been at this for a few days now, but here's a few things I've noticed: slight headaches, some gas, but not enough to cause discomfort (not to ME, anyway...). Both are much less severe than what I had before going Gluten Free, and I'm thinking they will diminish as my body adapts to my new diet. Mostly, I feel somewhat light-headed, which I'm assuming is due to my brain not quite knowing what to do with all the extra nourishment and oxygen it's been getting (I've practically quit smoking as well). Otherwise, I feel Great!
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