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Everything posted by AKcollegestudent

  1. Oh good. I seriously thought that I was losing my mind. Thanks for affirming my sanity!
  2. I follow a number of food communities, and one had an interesting recipe for stuffed zucchini; it was naturally gluten-free and I decided to check comments to see what others thought. Someone else noted that it was gluten-free and that she was looking forward to the millet and chickpea combination. The original poster informed them that no, it wasn't gluten-free. Apparently, her mother was routinely glutened by millet. I asked if the millet was CC'ed, since--as far as I know, and as far as Google tells me--millet's gluten-free. She replies that no, there's a minor amount of gluten in it. What gives? I'm about 95% certain that she's incorrect (not least because millet's from a vastly different plant family), but I'm not even certain how to correct her information.
  3. I'm on a 5 meal plan, and to be honest? The only reason they let me drop down that far is because I badgered them to death. This experience has definitely taught me that you can't accept "but really, we have x, y, and z--isn't that good enough?" when dining services cannot actually promise that they're taking all precautions to avoid CC.
  4. Go in and talk to the doctor on campus again. Lay out exactly what is happening, how it's affecting you--because if your situation is anything like mine, you feel like hell with no way to fix it; yay for CC and mislabeling--and the fact that your doctor's orders from home need to be followed. Try to call a meeting with both him, the nurse prac, your college nutritionist or dietitian if ya'll have either, and the head of your health services if there is one. Explain your concerns coherently and with concrete information to back it up. That way, you can sway them to your side and they'll be allies when you go back to the food committee/dining services. (Are you in Mass. for college, by any chance?)
  5. I'd noticed it with the bread aisle, actually--some genius thinks that anyone who uses peanut butter or the frozen food case clearly wants bread. But I'm around pizza so rarely that I notice the issue more. I vote that whichever mouth-breathing architect decided to make the bread aisle an important feature of the design, and not tucked in a corner, gets to have celiac or allergy symptoms related to bread/wheat. I love my grocery store at home--the person who designed most Carrs Safeways tucked the bread into one corner, and it's really easy to avoid because Nothing Else is over there.
  6. Last night, I was out with friends and ended up hanging out with someone I didn't know. (Well, okay. Someone who I've apparently been introduced to probably seven times, given that he greeted me by name. Oops.) We'd been with people who know that offering me pizza is going to be met with a polite, "No thanks," but by the time we actually reached the campus pizza grill, we were the only two still around. "We should get pizza and wings!" "I'm not very hungry, but I'll grab water and hang out." "Okay," he reconsiders. "I'll get the wings and you get the pizza." *trying to figure this one out* "Actually, I can't eat a couple ingredients in wings and pizza, but I'm having fun hanging out." "We can get something that doesn't have anything you're allergic to?" At some point, I went no, really, allergic to wheat--yes, I know that's misleading, but you try being specific with someone you don't know! About ten minutes later, he said, "Oh, celiac. But I thought that people just had indigestion from that!" There is nothing like trying to educate someone about celiac and its other symptoms when it's 1 am, the smell of his pizza is making you queasy, and you've been out dancing all night, so you're thoroughly exhausted. (And my ex and I had gone to the bar earlier in the evening, so the buzz really wasn't helping.) Oy. Also, is there a reason why the smell of pizza really, really makes me wince? I know that others say that they miss it and feel like friends and family are taunting them with it, but seriously? It just makes me gag, even when I'm totally sober. Has been for months.
  7. About the time you mentioned broomball, I definitely started wondering if you were on my campus. The complaints sound similar to what I was dealing with three months ago. I don't know about you, but we don't have a disability office. To get anything done, I've had to go to the dean's, the head of dining services, the "chefs" in the dining hall, the health center, and then petition our food committee. I'm still not completely off the meal plan, but I can handle paying for 5 meals a week instead of all my meals a week. I discussed it calmly and rationally with the health center first. Then I went to the chef. Then I went to dining services. And at the same time, I talked to the dean. When the idiots on the committee said, "Well, we just don't know...," I informed them that they keep poisoning me, that they've seen several people to the hospital in anaphylactic shock, and gave someone hoof and mouth disease. I told them that I would file a complaint if need be, both for general practices and because they were ignoring medical restrictions in direct defiance of the ADA. I hope that helps.
  8. Which small town? And honestly? I've done the 12 to 15 hour trip to and from Anchorage every four months for the past 3 years. It sucks balls, but realistically, it's might be really good to stop in Anchorage overnight. If you're heading the way I think you might be...honestly? That highway is treacherous. The past couple years, the fatality rates are so high that I caution you against driving it tired. (Actually, in either direction, the fatality rates have been increasing.) And if your daughter lives any of the places I'm thinking, she might love you forever for bringing groceries. When I was a kid, anyone who brought groceries was damned near a god. (I can give you grocery store suggestions and probably a list of cheap hotels. Also, bus routes if you're not picking up a car or being met.)
  9. Miaryan, my response got very long, so I'm PMing you.
  10. Clif bars aren't actually gluten-free. They are wheat-free but not gluten-free.
  11. First off, topamax isn't the only migraine/headache preventative on the market. And it doesn't work for everyone. For me? It made them drastically worse, with the brain fog you're describing and the exhaustion. Because of the brain fog, my doc was worried about the possibility of seizures; I find it ironic that a side effect of a seizure drug is that it can cause seizures. If you're having brain fog, it's probably time to taper down and off so that you can try something else. Off the top of my head: verapamil, lamictal, elavil, and norotryptiline are all known to help prevent migraines. Those aren't the only ones, of course, but they are ones that have either been suggested to me (noro) or that I've used (all the rest and topamax). You didn't mention abortives--is there a reason why your doctor hasn't put you on any? Even if what's going on doesn't count as a migraine, fioricet is known to help with tension headaches and cluster headaches. Midrin is as well, if I remember correctly. Muscle relaxants might work. And sometimes it takes a cocktail to kill the migraines. I'm using verapamil and lamictal at the moment, and it's a combo that works for me. I'm on two different types of abortive drugs, Imitrex in 50mg and 100mg and Maxalt in 10mg. That said, meds aren't the only thing that I do to combat headaches and migraines. You have to understand: I've been where you are and I couldn't afford to take time off. I'm a college student and I had a daily, continuous migraine from November of 2008 to (late) June of 2009. I (somehow) pulled decent grades last year, though I was also as stoned out of my mind as I could be to stay-semi functional. Yay for painkillers. Because I had no other choice, I had to come up with coping mechanisms, play drug roulette, and figure out what abortives worked for me. I also knew I couldn't continue functioning for another year. I found a chiropractor who could relieve some of the pain in my spine that was causing (some) of the problems. I worked with a nutritionist to figure out what headache/migraine triggers could be setting me off. And I identified at least 3 triggers, though I suspect that there are more. http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/triggers-29502-5.html This is more-or-less the elimination diet I used and I went off of every single food listed for a month before I tried adding any of them back. I felt better than I have in years. The migraines decreased dramatically and eventually disappeared--or at least, what I count as disappeared--between diet, the chiro, yoga, and the med I was on at the time. I went from daily to one or two a month. It isn't a cure, unfortunately. I'm better, but I still get them. I haven't had a repeat of a daily continuous migraine in a whopping month and a half, but that one was the first I'd had since June. I've had to change my meds twice since then. I use different abortives. I've changed neurologists again because the last one was...unique. I'm going to be going back on the elimination diet again, seeing if there are other foods I've missed. I sleep more than every other college student I know so that I don't set off a migraine from lack of sleep. However, I'm functional again. And that was what I wanted desperately a year ago. I hope some of that helps.
  12. It may not be the coconut milk. Yes, it's possible that the intolerance symptoms are exactly the same. But it's also possible that that batch of Bob's Red Mill is CC'd already. I know I've reacted terribly to most of their products at one point or another; I keep one or two types of Bob's only if it's the only product available.
  13. This is the migraine elimination diet I did last year, and I will be doing it again this summer. (It's suspected we missed some the last time.) http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/triggers-29502-5.html I need both meds and cutting out food triggers to get mine to a manageable level (2 or three a week, as opposed to daily and unrelenting), but the elimination diet helped immensely. And please, for the love of god, find a different neurologist. I went through two before I found the one I have now, and while he's not perfect, he knows a lot more about cutting edge research. If he didn't, he wouldn't have agreed with the nutritionist or put me on the latest med combo. A different neuro might be able to find a med that helps with the migraines without harming the baby as well. And more than that, everyone else has a point: if you haven't had both an MRI and a CAT scan recently, you need to have those again.
  14. I can't say anything about the gluten status of Smarties, but I do want to point something out: Smarties in the US and Smarties in Canada are vastly different things. I hate Smarties in the US, though when I was a kid, family would bring back Canadian Smarties for me.
  15. First off, I'm certain others have noted this, but are you positive that you don't have other intolerances? Secondly, I share a kitchen with no fewer than 25 gluten eaters (and possibly more like 40 or 50). I haven't been glutened because of my kitchen in months. And the trick is really, really simple: find some place--some place that is not your kitchen, and where the gluten eaters probably haven't used--where you can prepare everything. For me? I'm a college student. I could risk the living room or the dining area. But I won't. I prepare everything in one corner of my dorm room. If it's a multi-stepped meal, I bring each stage back to my room. It saves my health and keeps the pain to a minimum. Good luck. And it does get better.
  16. I'm with everyone else: you've got it. I'm sorry, but there's probably nothing else that's causing it. That said, I'm sorry--if you're anything like me, you're going to hate half of the gluten-free foods you're eating right now. They taste okay, but not great, right? Go down to meat, vegetables, all simple foods for a month or two. Slowly work up to being gluten free. It sounds like a pain, I know. But a) it'll help heal any damage that's going on, and when you start adding in the gluten free foods, they're going to taste a lot better. Some of my favorite foods now, like gluten free crepes, are things that I thought were "meh" 9 months ago. (And I can't help with pancakes; I didn't like them when I still ate gluten and I see no reason to try 'em now.)
  17. Fairbanks should have gluten free baked goods, sold by Almond Hearth. I haven't been back to Fairbanks since I was a small child, so I can't speak to the restaurants and stores with absolute certainty. However, if you're willing to buy food, both Carrs Safeway and Fred Meyers have decent selections of specialty items and other grocery items. A quick search on Urbanspoon tells me that Ivory Jack's and Azucar Fina should be safe. As ever, call first to make certain. There's also Boston's, which has gluten free pizza and has, at least in Anchorage, never poisoned me. Juneau's a small town; any place you're going to eat at is first assessed by the following test: ask a local where they'd eat, and if the restaurant is knowledgeable about allergies and/or willing to work with the customer. That should be enough (coupled with calling) to have peace of mind. In Anchorage, there's Outback and Lonestar, and Red Robin. Those are the chain restaurants that are good about gluten. That said, I'd recommend Organic Oasis, Marx Brothers, picking up stuff from Natural Pantry (or Fred Meyer. In Anchorage, half the Carrs Safeways either a. have a strange selection or b. is seriously sketchy. Take this into account.), Greek Corner, Europa carries gluten free baked goods (by Almond Hearth), Paris Bakery--which is actually a fantastic restaurant after 5pm, Puerto Vallarta's and Boston's. Oh! And pick up reindeer sausage. It's quite good, and I've never been glutened by it--even when grabbing it from street vendors. Hopefully, that's a good number of places to get you started. And I can't stress this enough---don't ask about Olive Garden in AK. We don't have one, but they keep promising to eventually show up. It's kind of a sore point for Alaskans. You really don't want to hear the rant, and having it inflicted upon you is cruel and unusual. Cracker Barrels aren't up in AK either; Wendy's does not list their allergens in the AK chains; I wouldn't risk it. And no PF Chang's either. (On that note, while we have fantastic Asian food, it's probably safest not to even try. I've managed it successfully about half the time, but it usually devolves into charades.)
  18. Seattle's fantastic--I was there back in July and had no real problems eating out. (Eating with my friend's family, on the other hand, turned into me cooking to save us all a headache.) As for Alaska, I can honestly say: tell me where, and I can probably tell you what's actually safe.
  19. The proenamel sensodyne--which I use on a semi-regular basis--is gluten-free, and the company said so, as of a late 2009 post on the board. And as several mods are fond of noting, 1) that's a 3 year old quote; things may have changed in the intervening years and 2) it's a fairly standard CYA letter. Most of the time, the product is gluten-free and the CYA exists just in case. I've had multiple discussions with companies where they used the CYA and it was obvious; I've had a few others where they will actually say, "It sounds like CYA, but you should be concerned. Refund?" Unless they start sounding vaguely worried, I'm usually not. As I called Sensodyne after the last round of "sensitivity sucks", I can honestly say that at least the ProNamel (or whatever it's called; it's 12:15 and I feel like sea scum) is gluten-free.
  20. I get amazingly sick from flour left in the air. Most of my most intense glutenings have been because someone was making something with flour and I breathed it in. Mind you, I also try to hurl just by breathing in the smell of the bread aisle. (Seriously? The peanut butter I buy is at the end of the same aisle. I've been known to get someone else to pick it up off of the shelf because the smell alone makes me sick.)
  21. My only symptoms for quite a while were migraines and later--primarily after I went gluten-free this last time--joint pain. Other things sometimes show up, but very rarely. I've never had the genetic testing, though I've had a positive diagnosis for years. One day, if I actually have money, I hope to do the genetic testing. But because my migraines are so very fun for both me and anyone around, my family basically goes, "Okay, if we have to be vigilant, then you get to cook." And you know, that wasn't different from prior to actually going gluten-free. But every once in a while, someone actually says, "Wait, you're that sensitive?" Yes, yes, I am. I don't like my body attacking itself; please don't provoke it.
  22. When I went back to the diet in June, I was working as a pizza cook. I've been working as a cook since I was 16, in various restaurants and settings. And it took a few weeks, but I realized that even though I felt much, much better, even working a couple hours a day was making me sick. I ended up quitting that particular job the day that I made 10 pizzas in an hour and wound up passed out in a curled up ball.
  23. My chiropractor has kept the migraines from escalating. (The poor man did unintentionally make it worse by giving me wheat filled supplements back when we didn't know better, but that's not his fault.) Without him, I'm fairly certain that I'd be unable to function anymore. Unfortunately, I don't know of any decent ones anywhere around my campus, so I really just don't bother. Unsurprisingly, they escalate because of that. And our school brings masseuses to campus once a week for 10 minutes per each student who signs up. (24 people can sign up, and I'm usually consistently one of them.) It helps, though for me it's a stopgap measure and not actual relief.
  24. * Milk * Eggs * Peanuts * Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts) * Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder) * Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp) * Soy * Wheat I've got three of the eight, though wheat is out for celiac reasons and not a true allergy. A lot of my friends who have one issue end up with multiple "top eight allergen" issues, and others start with a minor reaction and get worse. (And there are plenty of people on the board who react to allergens that aren't listed here. For me, this was a starting place and I was lucky to not have to go further. YMMV.)
  25. In addition to CC in the kitchen, there's another possibility: Bob's Red Mill itself. I know that I react terribly to Bob's Red Mill--as do others on the board. The brand has CC issues, and it's one reason why I avoid it when I can.
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