A great website with gluten free recipes is www.food.com You can search by gluten, dairy free, etc. I had to go gluten free and dairy free a few years ago and I'm vegetarian. The biggest challenge is eating out. More places are going GF, DF but it's still a crap shoot, you never know which ones actually know what cross contamination is. Even buying processed foods is difficult, there's a lot of hidden ingredients that we just don't know what they are. If you really want to know, you have to contact the manufacturer.
The Gluten Free Bible and Hasselbeck's The G-free Diet are great places to start. I suggest getting them from your local library first. They both have great information.
I'm also not "allergic" according to allergy tests and I don't have Celiac disease. But I am super sensitive to gluten and dairy, have to limit soy and eggs. You will feel so much better staying away from them, and you will pay the price if you just want to 'see' if it still bothers you. Good luck!!
"all good food is out".... I know this feeling all too well. I probably said something very similar just a few months ago. After some tests, my doctor provided me with a huge list of food items that he believed I was sensitive to. Further testing (and personal experience) has shown that I'm lactose intolerant (to the point where I have to avoid all dairy just to be on the safe side) and have a sensitivity to eggs and wheat (but not gluten).
It was confusing for me in the beginning, because my doctor originally used the word allergy to explain what he believed was happening with me, when he really meant sensitivity. None of the foods on the list he provided me generate a histamine response in me, but some of them definitely generate a response in my digestive system!
As others have said, get more information and/or additional testing before you get too stressed out about this. And if you do have to cut out wheat and/or dairy, then it's doable. It just takes a little adjusting. There are dairy alternatives and wheat alternatives that do taste good, and can often be substituted directly into any favourite recipes.
Also, keep in mind that unless it's a true allergy, you can usually still consume some of whatever food you've been determined to be sensitive to. For example, I can safely have one egg for breakfast, but I'd better avoid the egg salad sandwiches at lunch the same day. And if I have whole wheat bread for my sandwich at lunch, then I'd better make something other than whole wheat pasta for dinner.
As for helping you feel better....if you're allergic to or insensitive to something, and you stop consuming it, you'll notice a difference in how you feel. For me, this has been the biggest incentive to avoid the foods that I shouldn't be eating. Does it really matter how yummy it tastes if it makes you feel miserably ill after you eat it? Sometimes the answer may be yes...but in general, I'm betting the answer for you (like it is for me) would be no.
It's time for another doctor. "Your digestive system is pretty much non-functional" is not a diagnosis. You need more specifics. It will never hurt to cut out sugar, so go ahead and reduce that as much as possible, but get a referral to a specialist and find out for sure what's really wrong before you make really massive changes and give up possibly healthy foods.
Call up your doctor's office tomorrow and say, "When I was in the other day, I forgot to ask the doctor who I should see for a more specific diagnosis. Who does your office recommend for a gastroenterologist, and can you help me get an appointment with them?"
And you're not going to have to give up good tasting foods. Even if you do have allergies, you're just going to have to find new good tasting foods. There is lots of yummy stuff out there that doesn't happen to have dairy or wheat.
Just to get you started, there's a magazine called "Living Without" that's made for people with various allergies. It's really attractive-- the pictures catch my eye all the time and I don't even have allergies. Your public library probably has it, so you can check out some back issues and you'll see that there's still a ton of good things you can make and eat.
Fitness Minutes: (40,474)
25,738 3/17/13 3:59 P
He only said he "THINKS" you have allergies. You really need to be tested first.
Also, there is a big difference between an allergy and an intolerance, and this needs looking at, too. An intolerance doesn't mean that the food needs to be cut out, but rather cut back to just small amounts occasionally.
IF you have an intolerance, then generally yoghurt and cheeses are fine. It is the milk that is the problematic one. (I have Dairy Food intolerance)
Fitness Minutes: (75)
3/17/13 11:16 A
I still have to give up some of my favourites. I don't mind giving up bread. I don't have a problem with that. Where I really have the problem is giving up dairy. I love greek yogurt especially because it keeps me full longer than most other foods do. I find it harder to go for the healthier options right now because I have a six week old who takes up a lot of my time, so it's easier to grab a granola bar than it is to make a salad. That's mainly where my struggles are right now. I'm also a sugar addict, giving up sugar is the right thing for me but it's not easy especially with Easter around the corner. I bought a bag of small dark chocolates and stuck them in the freezer. I'm not a huge dark chocolate fan so I figured they'd be safe, as I'd only probably want one a day anyways, and hopefully they'll satisfy my sweet tooth.
3/17/13 10:36 A
lots of great replies.
I would dispute with you, though. You will not have to cut out all GOOD food. You will have to cut out processed food, mainly.
Fresh fruits, veggies, and homemade products are still very much a part of a menu that avoids those items.
Fitness Minutes: (40,474)
25,738 3/16/13 5:24 A
I totally agree with DRAGONCHILDE - you first need to be tested for the allergies before you restrict them, otherwise you COULD be depriving yourself of essential nutrients based on a surmise rather than fact. Also there is a difference between wheat allergy and gluten allergy. If you are allergic to gluten you need to cut out wheat, but if it is just wheat (assuming that you ARE allergic to anything) then it is just the wheat you need to cut out. If you do this BEFORE being testing, you won't get an accurate diagnosis. I would be inclined to ask for the Skin Prick tests AND the RAST test. The two working together give a more accurate result than just one on it's own.
I come from a family with loads of allergies - I have them, and my little grandson has tons - life-threatening ones to all dairy, eggs, all nuts and kiwifruit, and then other more mild allergies to wheat, soy, citrus, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, some preservatives... and the list goes on. Altho he is restricted big time in what he can eat, what he CAN have can be made up into loads of different yummy stuff!!!
Good luck, Kris
Fitness Minutes: (295)
46 3/15/13 10:22 P
I understand where you're coming from - I had to cut out gluten a couple of years ago, and have had lactose intolerance and egg sensitivity from a very early age. I see you're in Canada - not sure if there is a major difference in product availability from what I can get here in the US.
One of the best things I did in response to my gluten & lactose issues was to turn to rice as my primary source of grain. I use rice milk pretty frequently, and there are a *ton* of great things you can do with regular old brown or white rice. I even found a purple rice recently that I'm pretty excited about trying.
What kind of foods do you consider to be good tasting? I might be able to dig up a recipe or two.
Also, did your doctor give you any advice on finding replacement sources of calcium and protein?
***Please note that I'm not a medical professional & anything I say could absolutely be wrong for your specific needs - when in doubt, trust your doctor.
There's also a huge difference between food sensitivities and allergies. I'm not allergic to dairy, but I'm lactose-intolerant. Thought I'd throw that out there....
Fitness Minutes: (1,751)
3/15/13 1:15 P
Yes, get tested for the allergies. I know for wheat allergies, you need to be tested before you stop eating wheat or you can get a false test result. I don't know about dairy.
Also, if your doctor has decided you're allergic to those things (and the allergy tests support it), see if he/she can get you a referral to a nutritionist. Most general practice doctors don't know enough about nutrition (they shouldn't be expected to...that is why there are specialists) to adequately guide you. The nutritionist should be able to help you make a plan, find acceptable substitutes, etc.
Fitness Minutes: (15,293)
9,707 3/15/13 10:38 A
Before you start dropping foods, you need to be tested by an allergist for these allergies. Too many people assume allergies or sensitivities these days where there is no testing done!
Once you are confirmed, ask for a referral to a dietician. They can design a meal plan for you that takes into account your restrictions, and includes your weight loss goals!
With a complicated diet, it's best to turn to the pros.
Fitness Minutes: (75)
3/15/13 10:20 A
I was told by a doctor yesterday that my digestive system is pretty much non functional at this point. He thinks I have a wheat allergy, dairy allergy and that I need to cut out sugar. To me that means all good food is out. Maybe some one out there can help me find a way to do this without having to give up good tasting foods. I need to do this I know it'll help me not only lose weight but feel better.
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