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I've been away so I've only now read your intro.
i am not officially diagnosed either. I went gluten free with my doctor's agreement after discovering so many symptoms disappeared when I stopped eating gluten. That was 26 years ago. Unfortunately, there was not the internet or the knowledge of hidden glutens or cross contamination so for many years I continued to be exposed.
At your age, it is going to be difficult for your social life as so many events surround food but I think there is much greater understanding now.
Keep to your gf diet. You will keep/regain your health which is so important years from now that you cannot imagine.
Been to Tombouctou and back! Truely! (Timbuktu in English) photos and more Travel Adventures at www.flickr.com/photos/cdnnomad/sets
Recognizing Celiac Disease www.recognizingceliacdisease.
10 Tests that could save your life www.50plus.com/health/10-tests-that-
Dr. Alejandro Junger - 'Healing the gut' (from Dr. Oz) www.doctoroz.com/videos/3-day-jumpst
It was interesting to read your stories. Before figuring out I couldn't eat gluten I always felt under the weather. As a child I had a rash most of the time that lessoned as I got older but still appeared in the winter.
In high school, I was exhausted and had joint pain and iron and B12 deficiency despite taking vitamins. Just walking from school to my car seemed like a trek. I went to a naturopath who wasn't very helpful and I think thought I was a hypochondriac but I told her I wanted to go on an allergy ellimination diet and she relunctantly agreed. I felt really good with higher energy for a month! Unfortunately, I didn't take the hint when my stomach started making horrible singing noises when I added wheat back. I thought I must have felt better because of the lack of artificial flavors and sugar.
Within the first month of starting college, I started getting very sick. I think it was agravated by the cafeteria food because before this I ate very health consciously and then I started only eating sandwitches, salad, and dessert. I got shooting stomach and intestinal pain, bloating, diarhea, joint pain, and felt more exhausted than I every had. When I talked to my mom who was a physicians assistant, she told me it was stress so I didn't go to a doctor.
In January of '05 I was skin tested for allergies and came up a little allergic to everything (even the control): all nuts, eggs, dairy, tomatoes, yeast, cod, etc... but NOT wheat! I cut all of these foods out of my diet, hoping I'd found the solution to my problems. I got sicker. I started eating a lot of "easily digestible" foods like oatmeal, crackers, and flour tortillas which was pretty much all of the time. In March, my mom suggested quitting gluten because she had been told to stop eating it from a blood test. Within days, I felt so much better. I found that I couldn't tolerate having any amount of gluten or I'm sick for days.
Although I continued to improve, I didn't fully recover from symptoms. Over the summer, I was getting stomach aches (not half as bad as before), bloating and some diarhea which made my retail job awful because I didn't have somebody to cover for me to go to the bathroom. I finally went to my Dr about it and decided to get an endoscopy and colonoscopy but I refused to eat gluten before the test. Although they didn't find evidence of celiac disease, I did have evidence of Crohn's disease. I got on medicine and much better but can't tolerate even a speck of gluten or I get sick for days. I once read a study that my people with Crohn's disease also have celiac. Now I can't eat: gluten, eggs, dairy, all nuts, citrus, many tropical fruits, peppers, sesame seeds, etc... Gluten is the one that contamination matters for and the reset I don't worry about as much although I avoid eating them.