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About andreagrant

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    Star Contributor

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    Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Happy birthday and may God bless you today!

  2. I eat about half the amount I was eating before I went gluten-free, and also have much more stable blood sugar, so if I'm a bit late in getting a meal I no longer have meltdowns. I also dropped a couple sizes, although I think that was mostly due to the bloating being gone rather than weight lost.
  3. I have a wonderful, well meaning friend who tries to cook for me nearly every week. I've told her flat out so many times that I'm just not comfortable eating other people's cooking at this point, but she continues to push things on me. I can see she's doing it from a place of kindness, but I'm amazed at it--which part of "no, thanks" isn't coming across?? What has me far more worried is my dad and his wife. My dad was diagnosed celiac in 2000, so I was looking forward to being able to eat at his house when I move back to the US (I live abroad and was just diagnosed this year). Well, they came to visit me this spring and I was horrified to watch my dad digging the filling out of an apple fritter while his wife ate the crust. He says he's not very sensitive--if a restaurant screws up his order and it comes with regular sauce he just scrapes it off and keeps eating. I wanted to cry when I realized that I will never feel comfortable eating at their house, knowing the measuring cups go from wheat flour to gluten-free flour and back, etc. He's been totally symptom free since going gluten-free except for during our visit when we were served spelt bread and told it was gluten-free--we both got really sick. People really do have different sensitivity levels, and I seem to be super sensitive like my Grandpa was. Andrea
  4. Someone just sent me some Harry and David truffles as part of a craft swap, and I see that CYA disclaimer on the package. I never really know what that means--just that they want to avoid lawsuits, or that they really DO have a big old dirty, messy plant with wheat flour floating all over.
  5. The last couple times (grrr) I've been glutened I've had this weird pain in my upper left abdomen. it's mostly a dull ache just up under the rib cage, but also a sense of there being something extra there--like I can't figure out how to hold my ribcage because something is in the way. the only thing i could figure out was an enlarged spleen, which might be sort of reasonable if my body is seeing the gluten as an 'infection/toxin' and pulling out all the stops immune-wise. i certainly feel like i have the flu (tired, achy, brain fog, almost feverish) and sometimes had bright green D (bile, i guess) and the other time just lots of intestinal cramps and soft poo. oh and plenty of bloating and gas and headaches--this abdominal pain is not gas (I think I have a master's degree in gas!) because it's always in exactly the same place and lasts almost a week, and is worse when I eat, breathe in, and lay on my left side. Just curious if anyone else had something else like that. The only good part of feeling crappy when I get glutened is realizing I used to feel this way *all the time* and that most of the time these days I don't feel like that anymore! Just gotta keep trudging up the learning curve.... Andrea
  6. I had no signs of damage in the 2 (!) samples the GI doc took during my biopsy (and he was a jerk in person too). I went gluten-free anyhow, as my father and grandfather both have celiac and I was having classic symptoms. It's been 5 months and I feel like a new person--totally miraculous change (except the couple glutenings...). When I described my family history, symptom, and dietary response to my new house doctor (the old one got fired for reading my "negative" biopsy to me and suggesting I eat more WHEAT BRAN for my "IBS"), he wrote "celiac" in the chart and we moved on to the next topic. Even without that I would have stuck with it since I feel so good!
  7. What is the potential problem with deli meat? I've searched but all I can find are lists of brands that are gluten-free. This is not so helpful to me as I live abroad-- I'm wondering what *ingredients* I need to watch out for that would have the hidden gluten. Is it just artificial flavors and modified food starch (no idea what the content law is on that where I live).
  8. Oh no! I didn't think about the gluten-free crackers having traces in them. They've become a staple because I can keep a package at my desk/in my bag--the only other perpetual food I can think of like that is nuts, which I can't eat an endless amount of. They also started selling a gluten-free cake at one store here, and they placed the package right by the 'bulk' bins of croissants/rolls, which meant that the cake boxes were literally covered in wheat flour. I noticed after a few weeks they moved the gluten-free cake to the other side of the shelf..... I realized this weekend I'm at a total loss about what to eat--I had thought I was adjusting to this thing really well, but I don't think I am. I've just lost all interest in cooking and can't seem to think up anything to eat. I clearly need to get a cookbook that I like with Gluten-free Casein-free recipes. I think the dairy free is harder than gluten free, actually! I'm also not getting enough fiber (I'm actuallly C this past week--kind of ironic after years of D) and I think just not balanced diet in general. But now that I think about it I don't even know what a balanced diet is. Guess I need to do some reading!! At least this thread inspired me to clean my entire kitchen this weekend--wiped off all the spice jars and everything! I just can't get over how friendly, patient, and helpful you all are--I've been on some other (non celiac) boards and newbies get treated to the flame thrower. Switzerland--wow I didn't know about the 100 years of food, but I have to admit I don't pay attention to the regs very much (for example, I run my water during the forbidden hours of 10 pm to 7 am, and do laundry on Sunday!). They do do an awful lot of renovation here---I always assumed it was some kind of make-work to prop up the economy??? But it is beautiful and clean, and when I call the doctor I get an appointment within a week! They ignore me like American doctors, but at least I don't have to wait around for it!
  9. I am eating gluten-free crackers--are they suspect sometimes? Thanks everyone for all the tips--it would appear I should have another go at *cleaning* my kitchen. I was wondering about my old cookbooks too--some of them are pretty dirty.
  10. I don't have a toaster. I am using my same baking dishes--they are all glass pyrex so I assumed they don't have scratches (because the would have broken already!). I was just thinking about the probiotics--I ate kefir for several years but have had to give it up. I live in Switzerland and find it hard to get a hold of many OTC supplements and things (because I'm American and don't really understand the system here, nor do I speak fluent German, and its not allowed to import any OTC meds by mail), so I have been putting off finding probiotics here. The yogurt was a milder reaction (just some bloating) than milk itself (which doubles me over with cramps and pain) which I don't dare try! But this is the kick in the pants I needed--surely this stuff must be available here somewhere!
  11. My sudden (secondary) lactose intolerance was part of what finally clued me into checking out Celiac, so I have been dairy free as well. I tried having some yogurt several weeks ago hoping I was cured already, but it was a no go and I bloated up instantly. But I've bloated up 2 days this week with no dairy in sight. I'm hoping its just part of the healing process.
  12. Hi All, I've been gluten-free since 3 March 2007 and on the whole feel a billion times better than before. My D is totally gone and most days I have clear brain (no fog) and lots of energy, etc. But the last month I've had more tired days than I'd like, along with some 3-4 day headaches and stuff. I suspect I've cross contaminated myself somehow because I'm still on the learning curve. But I'm kind of stumped. I feel like I'm getting CC'd at home (I never feel ill after eating out). I checked all my skin care stuff (i don't wash my hair and i made my own soap from scratch, and i don't wear makeup or anything besides burts bees lip balm from a new container). I replaced all my wooden and plastic kitchen utensils, and consigned my beloved cast iron skillet to the basement. I also took all the gluten containing foods out of my house (I live alone so I can be 100% gluten-free). I'm using my same stainless steel silverware, ceramic plates, glass glasses, and stainless steel pots. Is it possible these are the culprit? I hate to replace every single appliance/piece of cookware in my kitchen (I already got a new skillet and stick blender thingy) but I'm at a loss. I keep my knives (another item I don't want to replace if possible--good quality Henckels) in a wooden drawer that is part of a wooden butcher block in my kitchen. I haven't replaced the butcher block, but I use a (new) plastic cutting board on top since I assume the wood is filled with gluten residue in the cuts. I cleaned out the drawers when I went gluten-free, but is it possible there's some in the corners that is getting out somehow? I'm just frustrated, because I can't tell if this is just normal ups and downs--I know it can take months to years to totally heal, OR if I'm unneccesarily suffering because of CC that I could take care of. I'm kind of driving myself crazy obsessing about how I might have CC'd myself (in case you couldn't tell that from the post...) Is there something else obvious that I'm missing??? Thanks!!!
  13. I went gluten-free on 3 March and the edema stuff was gone by the end of June (possibly earlier--memory is not so good, but I have an email to a friend from 30 June stating the bloating/swelling was all gone).
  14. I had terrible swelling too, especially in hot weather. My face would puff up and my fingers would swell up (2 ring sizes larger). My stomach has also changed--I've gone from 16's being a bit tight to 14's being a bit loose in pant size. Oh and my ankles aren't swollen anymore. I also have a lot of neuro symptoms--brain fog (sometimes outright confusion and can't carry on a conversation), dizziness, fatigue, headaches, depression, anxiety (wow has that really gone away!).
  15. Thanks for the encouraging words! I guess some of my fear is just from being new at all this still. I study the climate and was at a station in Antarctica. My pessimism about future fieldwork is partly because they have a very strict medical exam before you can go (even my asthma was an issue last time around), and I haven't even looked into that. But I think its also a fear that I would get glutened and be so sick I couldn't do any work. These stations have a cafeteria where meals are provided and there isn't really an opportunity to cook (and the cooks are not always accomodating). But I think you are both right--in another 6 or 12 months I might feel differently! Most days I'm just so grateful that I feel better that I don't care, but I guess it was getting to me the other night!
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