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About acousticmom

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    Guitar, gardening, anything outdoors.
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    Southeast Michigan
  1. You folks are awesome. Great ideas! Using long-handled serving utensils and different decorations around the gluten-free foods would help make the same-table-scenario work, as long as you don't mind sacrificing seconds and leftovers. (At our house, I mark all buffet leftovers with an "X" for possible cc, and the gluten-eaters eat them, so nothing goes to waste). I'm not sure how we'd label ingredients for additional food allergies, though I could see a need for that also in the future. Maybe we could have a "point person" that people can talk to, who knows what the dietary needs are and can be available for ingredient questions. I have to say, we are blessed to have non-celiac friends at church (great cooks as well) who've quickly learned the ins and outs of gluten-free food prep and are honest enough to tell us if they're not sure if something is safe. Their hospitality inspires me! Keep the potluck ideas coming. I'm also curious about budget-conscious gluten-free recipes to feed a crowd (not only for potlucks, but also for hungry teenagers and friends at home). Maybe those have already been posted elsewhere. Carol
  2. I'm not sure where to post this, but I could use some advice from anyone who's helped organize buffets, etc. for public dining and have also managed to accomodate celiacs. Here's the situation: We now have 3 celiacs plus 1 gluten-intolerant person at our church. Given the increase in diagnoses lately (yay for the awareness efforts!!), I'm sure there will be more in the future. When my son and I were the only ones, we usually skipped potlucks. But now that there are more of us, I'd like to offer the others a way to go and enjoy both the company and some gluten-free food. The celiacs need to be confident that the gluten-free offerings are prepared and served in completely safe ways. It's also important that other people don't feel offended (i.e. avoiding hand-slapping when a normal person reaches gluteny hands toward gluten-free food). We've considered a separate, staffed, well-labeled table that's separate from the rest of the potluck, but that's not ideal--the people qualified to supervise it would prefer to socialize, and it's too hard to educate a couple hundred adults and kids so they won't unknowingly cross-contaminate. Plus, the message of "you [normal folks] can't eat this food" is awkward at best. Maybe a separate table in a separate room that only celiacs (and potentially others with food allergies, too) know about. Has anyone tackled this successfully? Carol
  3. jerseyangel, Many thanks for posting the link. I haven't watched the show in a long time, but it seems to me this was quite a substantial segment, more in-depth than their format normally allows. Hooray! Carol
  4. You might check with her doctor to see if there's anything that can help with the pain when she does get glutened. I know several prescription meds have been mentioned in past discussions; I don't know if any of them would be appropriate for an 11-month old, but her doctor might have suggestions if her pain is very bad. It's awfully hard to watch your kid in pain when there's not much you can do to help it go away. My son (13) sometimes finds a heating pad comforting as well. Carol
  5. Thanks, Richard. I didn't know that, so it helps with my decision. I should have known I was opening a can of worms (I know people on both sides of the fence myself). I agree that each individual ought to evaluate the pros and cons before deciding, and consider the sources of the information you use. Tiffany raised an important point: Anecdotal stories can be very valuable, but they can also persuade us to believe in "conventional wisdom" that really doesn't reflect the facts (Steven Levitt's Freakonomics makes this point really well). Check out the claims you hear and pray for wisdom. Good discussion. Let's keep it constructive. Carol
  6. My 13-year old son had some mysterious stomach pain last month--3 episodes that were very painful, but different from how gluten feels. These he felt almost in his back. The doc gave him belladonna, which helped 2 of the three episodes. We never figured out what caused those episodes, but at the time almost every family around here had kids sick with one virus or another. (Though nobody else in our family got the flu, so I can't say it was viral, either.) So I'm wondering, is basic stomach flu worse for celiacs than the general population? Do you get a flu shot, or do the shots contain any fillers or ingredients that might be a concern? Carol
  7. RiceGuy, that's a good point. We're told that gluten has to contact the intestines to cause a reaction (i.e. we shouldn't have to worry about hair products), but there are so many unanswered questions about gluten intolerance, it wouldn't surprise me at all if we find other types of reactions at work as well. And yet, the logic I hear all the time from medical folks is that if we don't have the research to prove something, it must not exist. And Brian, just to clarify, I totally take him seriously. Now that his "big" pain has mostly gone away since going gluten-free, he doesn't always complain about "little" pain, since it's no big deal to him--but it could signal some minor glutening or other food intolerance, so I always listen to what he says. I just have to laugh, though, because just when I think life with gluten intolerance couldn't get any weirder, this kind of a question comes up. Carol
  8. Wow--that's weird! I wish I could peek at the research findings 50 or 75 years in the future and see what they learn about gluten issues. In the meantime, I'm getting used to weirdness. What dog food do you use? Carol
  9. When my 13-year old son gets glutened, he copes with the pain by pacing the circle route in our house. I can tell how bad it is by how fast he's walking. (Fortunately, NuLev usually helps with the pain, otherwise he'd wear ruts in the floor!) His pacing route takes him past the regular toaster (quarrantined on its own table) and the bathroom. This morning he told me that if he's been glutened and is pacing the circle route, and if someone is making regular toast at the same time, he actually gets a pang in his stomach when he goes past the toaster. He said the same thing happens if I happen to be using my favorite hair product (Redken Guts, which contains wheat but he didn't know that) while he's pacing past the bathroom. Now, I can see something like drywall dust causing that kind of problem (which it has, for him), because it's so pervasive it would be easy to get some in your mouth. But the smell of toast in the toaster? I would tell him he's just being paranoid, but of course he is--he's got celiac! Does anyone else experience this? Carol
  10. Since the new labeling laws took effect last January, companies are supposed to list if milk is in any obscure ingredients. Sometimes you'll see "Contains Milk" at the bottom of the ingredients list, but not always. Unfortunately, there are lots more names than just casein. Jenvan posted a helpful list on this board a while ago. Here's the address: http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?showtopic=20286 For me, the easiest way to avoid casein (and gluten) is to eat really basic meats, veggies, fruits and nuts and cook from scratch. Sounds boring at first, but you start to appreciate great in-season fruits & veggies much more than if they were competing with your favorite processed foods for your taste buds' attention. So it's not all that bad. It helps if the whole family eats that way at home, so the kids don't have to look at foods they can't eat. And if you can help the kids can make the connection with foods that make them feel bad, they'll be more inclined to stay away from those foods. That's why I'm such a fan of the "healthy eating" approach I wrote about earlier (and strict elimination only if that doesn't give improvement). It makes food reactions very obvious, and that's what you need.
  11. Intolerances can be quantity-related. If you think yours are, I'd suggest being really systematic--cut them all out, then add one in a very small quantity, then try a little more of the same thing, and then a little more. Find out how much is okay. Then take it back out until you're done going through all of the suspect foods the same way. I've read that eating foods you're intolerant to can cause leaky gut. That's a problem, because partially digested foods get into your bloodstream where they don't belong, and they can cause all kinds of problems. Knowing what you can tolerate & eating that way should give your gut a chance to heal, especially if it's already battered from gluten damage.
  12. I've done both types of elimination diet--the kinder version, where you cut out one suspect food group at a time, and the brutal version of cutting out all but a handful of foods. The kinder version is a bit of a gamble, because if the kids have multiple sensitivities, you may or may not see much of a difference. The brutal version at least gets you back to feeling good (if food is causing the problems), and that's a big motivator for following through even though it's tough. I put off the strict elimination for many years because it sounded too hard, but I wish I had done it much sooner. It's the best thing I've ever done for my health! And yes, personality & behavior challenges can definitely be caused by food sensitivities. Spooky stuff. Janice Joneja, PhD and Jonathan Brostoff, MD have both written very helpful books if you want more guidance than your doctor can provide. I think both recommend starting with a "healthy eating" diet first, where you eliminate dairy, sugar, caffeine, & alcohol (if I remember correctly)--since these "normal" foods can have a drug-like effect on anybody. If you journal your observations before and during the healthy eating diet, you may see significant changes without doing the full-blown elimination. Good luck!
  13. For a couple of years before going gluten-free I slept every afternoon, was chilled to the bone (especially when I was most tired), weak, and always felt like I was coming down with the flu. Naps helped, but nothing really made it go away. When I went gluten-free it helped my other symptoms, but I still got that extreme tiredness many days and couldn't work. Finally I started an elimination diet this summer, and although I aborted the diet after a couple of months (long story), it was long enough to find out that eggs and sugar cause those symptoms for me. Since cutting those out in addition to gluten and dairy, I feel great. The horrible tiredness is completely gone. I'd strongly recommend looking into food intolerances, but only after you've ruled out other possible medical causes. If you can't get solid guidance from your doctor on how to do the elimination diet, read up on the protocols so you make the effort worthwhile. Brostoff and Joneja are two good authors on the subject. I hope you can figure it out--it's awful to feel that way. Carol
  14. Sorry, queenofhearts, I missed your question earlier. She used to have scary dreams and occasional night terrors, but not so much now. The good thing is, she's a problem-solver, even at 10. So if she knows that being overtired can make it worse, she tries to get to bed earlier. I think anxiety is connected somehow. Even though she's generally bright, outgoing, and confident, at bedtime she'll freak herself out about things. Like needing to know when we checked the smoke alarms last ("three days ago, the last time you asked") or trying to imagine eternity and getting scared by the bigness of that. Anxiety can also bring on the Alice In Wonderland Syndrome if she's experienced it recently (of course, just thinking she might get it makes her anxious, so it's a chicken & egg scenario). Fortunately, she hasn't gotten it again since my first post, though she "feels" like it at night time. We'll see, I guess. Carol
  15. I like the approach outlined in Food Allergies and Food Intolerances by Jonathan Brostoff, MD. He recommends doing your detective work in stages, to avoid being over-strict with your diet unless you really need to do that. The first stage is what he calls a healthy-eating diet, which eliminates the common foods and beverages that can have drug-like effects on the body: caffeine, alchohol, chocolate, sugar, and histamine-rich foods (like well-ripened cheeses and salami-like sausages, some types of fish). He says that if you have a leaky gut, these things can have a greater effect on you than they might otherwise. That alone might give you a big improvement. If not, you can go on to the more strict elimination diets. If you do an elimination diet, I'd suggest getting some thorough guidelines first, so you don't waste your time. (Brostoff's is good, and Joneja has written some excellent stuff, too.) I did one earlier this summer (and need to revisit it), and even though it was tough, it was the best thing I've ever done for myself. I had no idea how good a "clean slate" could feel! Gotta go. Good luck! Carol
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