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Welda Johnson

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About Welda Johnson

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    Star Contributor

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Escondido, California

  1. Here's hoping you have an easy time with your endoscopy and with staying gluten free. I've been on this diet for years, and it gets easier and easier. Eating the same groups of foods certainly helps us be more creative with our menus. Meats, fruits & vegetables comprise my diet, and I have to agree with Tarnalberry that it's all about reading labels, endlessly. It takes time, but it's worth it. Food additives cause some people more problems than they realize, so be careful of things like casein, whey, egg whites, yeast, etc. Being intolerant of all grains, all milk & dairy, egg whites, yeast, casein, whey, etc. means being diligent about every food I eat, but that's okay, because I'm healthier than ever before. Best wishes to you on this journey. Welda


  2. Hi,

    I don't eat bananas because I have a really hard time digesting them. The diet is adapted from an old-time book called, The Beverly Hills Diet by Judy Mazel. It was a hit in 1981. Macmillan is the publisher. You might want to see if you can find the book (I always see it in thrift stores and at library sales since it is so old). She does list bananas with kiwis, persimmons and the other enzymatic fruits, but cautions that they should be very ripe, soft and speckled with brown.

    I am under five feet tall and was able to lose about 20 pounds once I started digesting my food properly. It really makes a big difference! The best part is being able to eat all you want, and to always feel full. If you have any further questions, I'd be more than happy to see if I can answer them. Welda


  3. I think having a "healthy appetite" is okay. If you're worried about gaining weight, let me share with you the diet I live on. What makes it different is that you eat one enzyme-producing fruit every two hours or so during the morning (pineapple, strawberries, papaya, mango, kiwi, persimmons, etc.). You can eat them all day if you want, as much as you want, one at a time, waiting 2 hours between DIFFERENT fruits, but eating continuously if its the same fruit.

    When you switch to starches or proteins you don't eat any more fruits until the next morning. Low-starch vegetables (lettuce, asparagus, etc.) digest well with protein. Once you start the protein, don't mix it with high starch vegetables (potatoes, corn, popcorn, etc.) because then your food fails to digest. If you find a list of low-starch vegetables as opposed to high-starch, that will help.

    I eat lots of pineapple each morning and sometimes sweeten it with Stevia. I sometimes then switch to asparagus and chicken, broccoli and fish, and other vegetable/protein combinations. The key is to wait 2 hours between different fruits, and 3 hours before starting foods other than fruits. Once I start the vegetables and protein, I usually just eat until I'm full, all afternoon. It is great to be able to eat all you want, all day long, and maintain a normal weight. I hope this helps. Welda


  4. Hi,

    Welcome to the site! A couple of years ago I ordered the "Full Spectrum" test for my newly-born grandson. That tested for Celiac/gluten intolerance/intolerance to milk & dairy. I ordered the "Celiac Only" tests for my 3 grown children, and my sister and brother. My 3 children didn't take the test and send it in, but my sister and brother did. My sister has it, my brother doesn't. My grandson showed intolerances to all grains and all milk & dairy. I am 64 and have had symptoms since age 8. After using all my money for doctors, specialists, allergy testing and shots, with no success in getting rid of my symptoms, I started conducting my own elimination diets, rotation diets, and anything else I thought would work. When I went for a Colonoscopy a few years ago the nurse said, "Oh you have Celiac!" after looking at my history of food allergies, and I said, "I knew there was a name for it!" because I had heard that term before. I came to this site, began to learn more, and eventually eliminated all grains, all milk & dairy, egg whites, yeast, casein, whey, maltodextrin, modified food starch, and msg. Those are the foods and additives that send me into bronchial spasms and lead to bronchial infections and eventually pneumonia. I was happy to find those tests, and was personally quite satisfied with the results. I have read that there is now a test that uses your saliva to determine Celiac. You might want to check on that. Best wishes for your success. Welda


  5. Hi, I'm so glad that you are finally on the right track for getting healthy. I say, "Halleleujah!" everytime someone discovers what the reasons for their problems have been. I want to encourage you that you WILL continue to feel better and better as time goes by. Learning what is going on with your system, and discovering that it is gluten intolerance and possible intolerance to other foods is the beginning step on your journey to renewal. I'm 64 and have had symptoms since age 8, so, of course, I've become ecstatic at knowing what was causing my problems. In the beginning it was difficult to change my ways of eating, and I would cheat when I felt better, but now that I am aware of which foods to eat, which to avoid, and what the consequences can be, I am ALWAYS diligent about eating right . I think that other people have such a hard time with learning about our diet because they can see the self-discipline it takes to stick to this diet. With time, with sharing, and with caring, I hope that we can help others as we've been helped. Welcome to the site, and best wishes. Welda


  6. I must commend you for loving your family so much that you want to spare them what you've gone through. I hope that they will respond favorably. I also hope that you will put YOUR well-being first no matter what. I bought 5 of my family members actual tests that cost over $100 each from Enterolab, and I bought one person a test that was $345 because it tested for dairy intolerances as well. 3 out of 6 took the test. Of the three, two had Celiac and one didn't, but of the two that did, both are still on the same diet as everyone else in the world, not a Celiac diet.

    It's been a good lesson for me. Some people aren't interested in making drastic changes, though we've had to. I'm 64 and have had Celiac symptoms since age 8 though I wasn't aware during most of those years that Celiac was the cause of my distress.

    Take good care of yourself. Be prepared for the days when you may be taking care of those in your family who also have Celiac. You'll be the expert! Welda


  7. Hi Jason,

    I'm so sorry that you're feeling so lousy! I'm 64 and have had celiac since age 8, so I've had a lot of time to live with this condition. It WILL get easier and life will get better. I can't remember the last time I got glutened. It sounds as though you have adhered to the diet 100% and it is ironic that a piece of gum can send us into such a tailspin, but that is the nature of this disease.

    Please keep in mind that you may have intolerances to foods other than all grains as well. Milk & dairy, egg whites, yeast, casein, whey (milk derivatives often used in soy products), msg and a few other additives also bother me. It took a long time to figure out just which foods were causing the problems, but now that I know I avoid them like the plague. I sleep well, have lots of energy, stay happy, and weigh in at a normal weight, rather than carrying around 20-30 extra pounds on my petite frame.

    You are right that celiac does change your lifestyle. I've become more of a homebody, but that is working for me because I'm studying for a Real Estate Broker's License. When I go out with friends now I ALWAYS tell them to pick their favorite place, because I've learned that the food in most restaurants doesn't taste as good to me as the food I cook myself. What a change. I used to love to eat out. I have overcome the stigma of carrying food with me, and barely care what others say or think, because only I know the foods I can tolerate. They are, simply, meats, fruits and vegetables. A basic diet. Not so hard really, if you think about it.

    What can I do to help? Please keep coming back here, because those of us who have struggled so hard feel good about sharing what we've learned with others. It makes all the suffering worthwhile. As a mom and grandma I can tell you that it feels good to help family members who are just beginning to wake up to the fact that they, too, have celiac. welda@att.net


  8. Hi,

    I just sent you a response for your first post, then saw this one. I've had celiac since age 8, so I've had many years to identify the foods that bother me. Wheat, oats, barley, rye, of course--that's celiac. But I'm also intolerant of all milk & dairy products and anything with casein or whey, which are milk derivatives. I learned this the hard way, trying soy cheese, but it contained casein and whey. Also egg whites, yeast, msg, maltodextrin and modified food starch. It took a lot of reading of ingredient labels and searching to discover my own particular intolerances, but it has certainly been well-worth it. Having celiac flattens those little hairs in your stomach (villi) that make it possible to absorb nutrients, so it makes sense that as damaged as our stomachs are, we might be unable to tolerate other foods as well.

    I want to reassure you that once you start to focus seriously on the foods you eat, you will begin to quickly discover the foods and additives that cause you distress. The more foods I have eliminated, the more sensitive my system has become, but that's alright, because I am healing. Now I look at the diet as a challenge to create new food combinations with the meats, fruits & vegetables that I CAN eat, and focus on new ways to prepare and combine those foods, as well as spices, seasonings, herbs and condiments that will enhance their flavor.

    I think it is good for those of us who have had celiac for a long time, to connect with newly-diagnosed celiacs such as you, because after reading your post I feel so grateful to be this far on the journey of getting well. I think knowing that my body speaks to me loudly and clearly is one of the most fortunate side-effects of celiac. I just have to learn to listen. Many of us have grown up taking care of others but never learning to take care of ourselves. Having celiac means we HAVE to take good care of ourselves first, or we will be in no shape to help anyone else. Again, best wishes as you take one day at a time to learn more about yourself. We are here for you! welda@att.net


  9. Hi,

    I'm 64 and have had celiac since I was 8, though of curse it took years to identify what was happening. I think the reason so many family members and those close to us have such a hard time is because us having celiac means that THEIR lives will change. No more pizza parties? No more beer? No more cherry or apple pies? Egads! See how your predicament affects the lives of others? You are willing to change in order to become healthy, but maybe they're not willing to embrace that same change. Even people in my own family who have been tested and HAVE celiac have not adopted the diet. Hmmm. It IS a challenge, that's for sure. But look how many people are battling cancers, lymphomas, etc. We at least have a solution to our condition. And I hope and pray that you will quickly see the benefits of your new way of eating. I've seen depression flee, moods stabilize, energy increase, complexions improve, stamina multiply, and all sorts of other improvements in myself and others who have adopted this diet.

    It becomes easier. I'm sorry that your friend left. It is heartbreaking, I know. Please keep coming back here. You'll find that we have all gone through the same experiences on this path, but we are surviving, and some are even thriving. I'm wishing you the best! welda@att.net


  10. Hi Lexi,

    Hope you are feeling a little better. It might help you cleanse your system if you do what I do each day. I start with a fresh pineapple and eat as much as I want for breakfast. Two hours later I either eat a pineapple smoothie or a fresh orange smoothie, made with fresh oranges, frozen orange juice, Stevia and vanilla. A couple of hours later I have soy protein powder or a vegetable stir-fry, and sometimes I add chicken or fish as well. The fresh fruits keep your system moving, and other fruits that work well are strawberries, kiwis, papaya and mangos. They work well when your stomach is empty and before you start eating soy, starchy vegetables or meats. I hope that you'll be able to find a diet that you enjoy and can live with. I have intolerances to all grains, all milk & dairy, egg whites, yeast, casein, whey, and some food additives so I stick with meats, fruits, and vegetables.


  11. Dear Hermitgirl,

    At first I resisted reading your post, because of your admission that it would be filled with whining, etc. But I knew I would read it, because that is how we've all felt at some time or other. Believe me, you are a mild-mannered person, whether you realize it or not. It seems you may feel bad for crying on the phone--how else will the pharmacist know how deeply his employee's inadequacies affected you? I've found crying to be SUCH a wonderful relief at times like that--everything that I always hold so closely inside comes tumbling out! Our emotions are our guideposts--we might as well share them with others. Why keep them to yourself?

    I've been on this path of restricted foods for a long time, and am just realizing what a tremendous impact having to take care of myself has had on my ability to "speak up for myself." As a grandma, mother, sister, auntie & friend, I know the things to do to spoil others and take care of them, but I'm just awakening to the fact that if I really want to be spoiled I'd better spoil myself a little, since I'm the only one who really knows just what I need at any given time.

    Right now I hope that you will realize that taking care of your health is a life and death matter. The person who commented that the pharmacist was lucky that it wasn't your lawyer calling to say you had died was right on in my opinion. As you learn the foods you can more easily tolerate, perhaps you will be able to get away from those antibiotics and prescriptions--I used to take 13 pills a day for Asthma, and now I'm down to 3. It feels so good to be free of those other 10! I now eat mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, and find that keeping with the basics works well for me. I'll be thinking of you as you traverse this path, hoping and praying that you get in touch with your inner resources and Strength. Welda


  12. Hi,

    Lately I've found that eating mostly fruits and vegetables works well for me:

    Breakfast is usually one fresh pineapple

    Any single fruit every two hours during the day (different fruits digest at different rates, so I avoid combining them):

    papaya or strawberries or cherries or raspberries or blueberries or kiwi, etc.

    Dinner is vegetables

    green vegetables soup (spinach, spring lettuces, celery, cucumbers, red bell pepper, Summer squash, cilantro, garlic which I blended first--sometimes I eat it as a dip or a cold soup)

    or

    corn tortillas with refried beans, salsa, and raw or cooked vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc., lettuces, cilantro, etc.) or

    Chili Rellenos made with corn meal (I put salsa in the corn meal, gently brown it in a fry-pan, put the Ortega Green Chiles or fresh Pasilla Chiles cooked on top, brown on both sides, then pour warmed refried beans on top. Sometimes I just put the chiles into an "oversized" Mission Corn Tortilla that I just discovered at Von's, or into a rice tortilla from Jimbo's that I also just discovered.

    or

    meatless tamales with refried beans

    I know that I have a great deal of compassion for anyone just learning that they are gluten intolerant, because of what we've all been through, but I am so thankful that with the new diagnosing techniques also comes a new awareness of what we're eating, and a proliferation of new food items in the stores, that meet our needs more fully.

    I'd love to someday have a restaurant in my hometown that meets the needs of all of us with food intolerances.

    Welda


  13. Hi Jason,

    I'm particularly drawn to your posts because I used to feel the same way. Severe Asthma attacks put me in the hospital so many times, I finally exhausted all my savings on doctors and specialists and had to learn what was going on myself. Those attacks started at age 8, but now, at age 64 I have a new lease on life. Since I have an Aunt Nettie who is 99, I think that lease may go on awhile.

    I usually eat only fruits and vegetables now and feel pretty strong, energetic, positive and outgoing, a distinct change from how I felt when I first discovered that all grains, all milk & dairy, egg whites, yeast, casein, whey and msg. would affect my health adversely. I, too, withdrew to lick my wounds and to find a better way of living.

    I read this morning that we must exercise our physical, mental, and spiritual sides in order to be fully healthy. I've learned to take my own food with me wherever I go, then I am at no one else's mercy. I've learned to disregard what my friends say, as much as possible, though this morning I also recalled the last time I ate at a restaurant and my friend offered no support when the waiter brought my food covered with cheese or something, I can't even remember now, though the friend's comment is vividly there. This helps me realize that I need to let the friend's comment go, and eat in a restaurant again when the opportunity arises.

    About taking your own food along: I've found that I now seldom care what others are saying about what I eat. I will try anything new, if there is the chance that it may be a food I can add to my repertoire. Now I focus on finding new bags and containers that work well when carrying those foods with me to restaurants or special occasions. I've also realized that most restaurants' offerings can't compare with the delicious specialties that I've lovingly prepared, so I am better off to take my own food along. Overcoming the negative opinions of others is a real challenge, but when you overcome the fear of what others are saying, I think you start moving along the path of progression much more quickly.

    I do wish you well, and hope that you are being kind to yourself during these stressful times. I hope that you will put your welfare ahead of what other people are thinking or saying, and, believe me, as you start to feel so much better, your mental clarity will catch pace with your physical and spiritual health, and you will be prepared to move ahead like you never knew you could. Always, Welda


  14. Hi Yolo,

    I feel for you and your friend! I've had "glutened" symptoms since age 8 and am now 64, but have been on a restrictive diet (no grains, milk & dairy, egg whites, yeast, casein, whey, msg. etc. ) for many years and feel so much better. The Asthma that repeatedly sent me to the hospital in years past has quieted to the point that I take three pills a day and use my breathing machine twice, and have lots of good energy, vim and vigor. The funny thing is, the more healthful I eat, the more restrictive my diet seems to need to be.

    I went vegan 2 years ago (I had done the same thing a couple of times before) and began feeling so much better. From time to time I crave protein and eat a few bites of chicken or fish, then I start wheezing or having gout, so I return to fruits and vegetables again. Now when I feel depleted I usually eat a corn tortilla with beans and veggies or a chile relleno made with corn flour, salsa and beans. Most days I do great eating fresh pineapple in the morning, then a single fruit every two hours or so during the day, then vegetables at night. I'm wondering what the reason is that you're not tolerating fruits? I'll start thinking of replacements that you might be able to incorporate within your daily diet and post again later if I think of something.

    This is such an interesting issue to deal with I think, because each person is so uniquely intolerant of certain foods, which someone else might be able to tolerate easily. Thank God that our bodies are so finely-tuned to let us know what to do next. I'll be hoping that you find just the right answers for you and your roommate. Welda


  15. Hi,

    What a great question! I'm a longtime gluten-free, milk & dairy free, and no egg whites, yeast, casein or whey person. I go vegan for long periods of time, but if I crave protein I'll sometimes eat chicken or fish. I've taken bags of food, boxes of food, ice chests full of food, and containers of food everywhere I've gone for years. My first recommendation is to make sure your bag has a plastic lining, or is at least solid enough to withstand spills (I speak from experience, believe me). I'm constantly on the lookout for foods and containers that meet our needs.

    I always save little bottles in which to put salad dressing, having learned the hard way that the lids on plastic containers can come undone. Once you start thinking of these things, you'll see bottles and containers at every turn that work great. Now, what to take?

    I have a large container in my car that holds drinks, dried beef jerky, gummy worms and treats, water, etc. for my grandson, but I could eat them if I was stranded in hours of traffic or had an emergency. I have a small ice chest that I put cold drinks in or fruits/vegetables that I want to keep fresh in the car.

    When I go to a restaurant I usually take a salad with as many ingredients as I want, or cooked vegetables that the restaurant doesn't offer, or dairy-free margarine, or Mrs. Dash Seasoning, or Stevia (a plant-based sweetener), or anything else that I think would taste good. The possibilities are endless. I used to bake cookies and desserts and would take those, but lately I've felt called to eat more raw foods so I stay away from goodies.

    Let your imagination be your guide, and I want to say that when you have the courage to take your own food, your assertiveness in all areas seems to increase, since you are no longer concerned with what others are thinking or saying about the way you eat. I even take my own food to family gatherings on holidays, since there is no way others can keep track of what I'm eating today. I want to wish you the best as you travel this path. Welda


  16. Hi Scott,

    Welcome to the group! I want to encourage you in your new journey, and let you know that life does get easier, the longer you are on the diet. It's as though we get new eyes, which focus diligently on ingredient labels and any foods which are around, in order to help us become healthier each and every day. I hope you will begin sleeping better, and I wanted you to know that my sleep has improved so much since being on the Celiac diet. As you go through the stage of "letting go" of your previous lifestyle, sadness is to be expected. I think we've all gone through it. I wish you the best, and hope that you will continue to post here and let us know how you're doing. Always, Welda


  17. Oh Greg,

    I am trying to get past the lump in my throat to say that I, along with others here, will be thinking of you and praying for you. I hope that you will sense our love and warmth, and that you will realize that whatever you are going through, we are sharing it with you. We are all connected! I will keep in mind your warning to be aware that some of the symptoms of Celiac are similar to those of pancreatic cancer. Thank you so much for letting us know what is going on with you. Peace be with you. Welda


  18. Hi Kdonov2,

    I have Celiac and also milk & dairy allergies, as well as being intolerant of egg whites and yeast. For a period of time I worked 2 jobs, days at a bakery and nights at an ice cream parlor. I had no ill effects, other than being tired. I stuck to my stringent diet and really enjoyed seeing the happy people who were able to eat all those doughnuts, cakes, cookies & sweet rolls, as well as those luscious-looking ice cream sundaes. Everyone is different I know, but when ingesting any of the foods to which I am intolerant, I have an almost-immediate severe asthma attack, so I was glad to be able to be around those foods and not have any adverse reactions. I'm wishing you the best in your new job. Always, Welda


  19. Hi MTgirl,

    I'm so glad that you are on the Celiac diet! For most of us here on this site, it has made a world of difference. Here's what I eat: mainly fruits & vegetables, with chicken & fish every once in awhile.

    1. A fresh pineapple each morning

    2. Wait 2 hours, then eat more fruit or green vegetables or

    3. Genisoy Protein Powder (25 grams of protein, no carbs) made into cookie dough using Stevia Sweetener, a little

    cinnamon & some vanilla); you can add any kind of nuts; eat raw or bake into a cookie

    4. I choose from any of the following throughout the day and night:

    Green salad with a variety of raw veggies

    asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, onions, red bell peppers, baked or fried potatoes, sweet

    potatoes, corn or rice (these are new) tortillas with refried beans, corn tortillas with enchilada sauce & soy cheese,

    tamales, corn or rice spaghetti, macaroni or lasagna; Doritos corn chips, Dennison's or Hormel Chili, rice, gluten-free &

    milk-free puddings, cookies, cake mixes, desserts; Namaste pizza mix; gluten-free waffles, pancakes, muffins, etc. (I've

    found corn flour from the bins at the health food store to be very silky, economical, and tasty for a variety of

    cookies and other items).

    5. If I eat any animal protein, I always eat it last thing of the day, and mix it only with green salad or low starch green

    vegetables (asparagus, green beans, etc.). This aids in digestion, and then the fresh pineapple the following morning helps digest all the food from the day before.


  20. Hi Blessing,

    I see where you get your name! I feel blessed right now that I suffer tremendously whenever I ingest any grain, any milk or dairy, egg whites, yeast, maltodextrin, modified food starch, casein, whey or msg. Since age 8 I've had severe asthma, bronchial infections, pneumonia, colitis, an ulcer, depression, anxiety, and on and on--until I learned to eliminate the above mentioned foods (I'm now 64 so it took a lot of years to figure out what was going on).

    See, when I read your post and those that followed, (especially the one from the person who had no symptoms), I remembered clearly how my attitude used to be one of negativity when thinking of Celiac, and I also remembered that I now feel "blessed" to have such symptoms, because this reaction to food that we all have keeps us on the straight and narrow. Hey, I'll bet you look years younger than your counterparts (been to a reunion lately?) and in time you'll even FEEL better. For what more could we ask?

    I even saw Celebrity Apprentice last Sunday night, and one group made gluten free spaghetti and won their round. Now that's progress! Recently I asked my 75 year old doctor, who I've been with since 1965, if he knew of a doctor who specialized in Celiac (I've created some student materials and wanted to contact a doctor who was knowledgeable). "Who has Celiac?" he almost shouted. "I do!" I responded. He was so kind--he had his son print reams of material on Celiac and made sure I got it before I left his office. I didn't have the heart to tell him I had written material myself, but these instances all remind me that WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS, not only with this disease, but with helping educate others about it. Maybe one day soon we'll start testing all babies for Celiac, as they do in Italy. That would certainly be progress.

    So glad you started this thread. Thanks. Welda


  21. Wow Takala! I love your spunk. I feel like printing out your reply and carrying it with me. Thanks for offering the best response I've read in a long time about how to respond when others are harrassing us about any number of things concerning our diets. I'm impressed. I truly think you should consider writing an article or book, from your viewpoint, about dealing with others as we travel this journey to recovery. Thanks for making me smile today. Welda


  22. Hi,

    I agree with Jestgar! I watch my 6 year old grandson go endlessly, then he hits the bed at night and is asleep within 3 minutes. He's full-throttle or asleep. I sometimes forget that I am quite a few years older than he is, and that even though I stick to my diet faithfully, exercise almost every day, and have vastly inproved physical, mental, emotional and spiritual peace, I must recharge my batteries if I am ever to keep up with him or with living life. I reach my limit and, pow, I have to just sit down and do nothing for awhile. My body is so good to remind me of my need for rest and relaxation. "Go ahead, you deserve it," I seem to hear.

    So to you I say, "Go ahead, you deserve it!"


  23. Hi,

    I'm so glad to hear that you are doing this! I've read that diagnosis of Celiac often takes an average of 10 years. In many cases it has taken MUCH longer (I've had symptoms since age 8 and now at 64 have been on a strict diet for just a few years). Being aware of the "family connection" is another huge piece of the puzzle. With Celiac being a genetic disease, I'm hoping that one day all babies will be tested at birth, as happens in Italy.

    When you scroll through this site and read random selections, you'll find that after years of being "misdiagnosed," we are sensitive to many issues. We may have made the rounds of doctors and specialists for years, experiencing severe illness, and may have even spent our life savings, while never getting an official diagnosis. Celiac symptoms cover a wide spectrum. We may have suffered physically, mentally and emotionally, especially when others commented how "weird" and "strange" we were because of our food choices, because of our cautious approach to any food eventually, and, finally, because of our hesitancy to eat any foods which we haven't prepared ourselves.

    However, I must mention that we are survivors, not victims, that we have grown strong, resilient, and compassionate because of the illnesses we have experienced, and that we wait in the wings or even on center stage to help others who are just now learning of their food intolerances. If we can offer any further information, please ask. Also, feel free to email me at welda@att.net if you'd like. Thank you for what you're doing! Welda


  24. Hi lasal,

    I really feel for what you're going through, because, most likely, each of us who has sent you a message has faced these same issues with either our family members, friends, or acquaintances. I'm 64 and have been on the Celiac diet stringently for quite a few years. Prior to that, I would have an asthma attack each time I would get glutened, or whenever I would eat any of the foods to which I am intolerant. Stomach aches, an ulcer, colitis, depression, mood swings, bronchial infections, etc. etc. etc. were also the result of my eating gluten and milk products, so most people who I am close to know that this disease is serious.

    Regardless, however, of whether we have outward symptoms or not (so many people don't have symptoms), I have come to feel that my only recourse, in order to stay healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, is to

    disregard others' opinions of my diet and me, if their opinions or comments are anything other than positive and uplifting.

    I think it must be hard for others to realize just how sick we've really been, unless they've lived with us or been around us for years. I've found that the less I say about Celiac, the happier everyone is, but, I DO take good care of myself by never eating anything that I have doubts about, by taking my own food along with me if I need or want to, by carrying permitted foods in the trunk of my car, by knowing which restaurants have foods which I can eat, and by being open to helping anyone else who might be suffering because of Celiac.

    Please know that you have a wide network of people on this website who are more than willing to help you and to encourage you--gosh, I think that being able to help others with Celiac makes all that suffering we went through more than worthwhile now. I wish you well in all you do. Welda