Would you know if you had a vitamin deficiency?

vitamins

Would you know if you had a vitamin deficiency?

Is it preventing you from healing?

I will admit. I hate taking my vitamins. I’m not very good and remembering them and of course this weekend, I’m out-of-town and they are sitting on my kitchen cupboard at home. I’m deficient in several different things and need them to feel at my prime, so why can’t I get used to taking them?

While celiac disease can’t be cured with a pill or a prescription, the secondary symptoms caused by vitamin deficiencies can be helped by using supplements. I go regularly to have my blood checked and am actually due to go this week prior to my check up appointment next week with Dr. Auckerman. He is actually retiring and this will be my last appointment with him, which I’m pretty sad about.

Here’s what I will tell you and suggest. If you are diagnosed with any kind of auto-immune disease, I believe you should get your blood work done 1-2 times a year to make sure everything is running like a well oiled machine. It’s important to get accurate measures of your levels to know what dose of the supplements you should take that’s individualized for your body. There are some significant deficiencies that are caused by bowel disorders and by adding these supplements into your daily regimen, you can help your body heal.

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Let me tell you what vitamin’s I take 2x per day. I preface this comment by saying I am not recommending these for you, I am simply explaining what I’m taking and why. It’s important to visit your doctor to have your own levels tested and get the appropriate amounts for your body. I’m not a doctor, I’m just a celiac patient and blogger sharing my experiences with you.

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Magnesium – Some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency include dizziness, muscle cramps, muscle weakness and fatigue. I’d say these symptoms are some of the #1 questions I get asked about with Pretty Little Celiac. I take Cal Mag-D and Magnesium Citrate 2x a day. One in the morning and one at night. Be careful with how much and what brand you are taking because they can cause you to have runny poo and very strange smelling bathroom experiences. If you think this could be a problem, ask your doctor to have your levels checked next time you are there! Are you looking for some natural ways to get magnesium into your body? Add lots of leafy green veggies into your diet. Almonds, cashews and soybeans are also natural carries of magnesium but I realize many of you can’t have these items.

Want some more reasons to take magnesium? How about that it helps to alleviate gastrointestinal distress? Or it can help you maintain your blood sugar levels? Or that it helps maintain and healthy heart and bones.

Read this fact sheet from the National Institute of Health on Magnesium!

Vitamin D – You can get vitamin D from fish, fish liver oils, egg yolk and in fortified diary and grain products. But what about when you can’t eat those things or are very limited? Most people in our country have a Vitamin D deficiency. I take 6,000 mg each day. Again the symptoms of Vitamin D relate to muscle weakness and bone pain. They can be subtle for most people but for those of us already struggling with bone and muscle problems, it can exaggerate the symptoms.

Vitamin B 12– This is one of the most important and over looked deficiencies, especially for those of us with auto-immune and bowel diseases. B12 deficiencies run rampant in people with diseases of the small intestine.  This is because we aren’t able to properly absorb it from our food. Some symptoms of B12 deficiency are being tired, pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding gums, stomach pains, diarrhea or constipation, mood changes, depression and tingling or numbness in fingers and toes. I always know when I’m not taking my vitamin’s consistently because I do suffer from the tingling in my fingers and toes. It feels like small pins and needles are poking away at my skin.

Cinnamon – This sneaky little guy could help you regulate your blood sugar, reduce LDL cholesterol levels and  reduce inflammation. My doctor said it also can help with hunger control as a side effect of assisting with blood sugar regulation. I take 2 pills int he morning and 2 at night. He recommends take them before meals. Many of you post about Candida and cinnamon assists with inhibiting the growth of this bacteria in your body.

DHEA Supplement – This was one of the tests I didn’t know anything about until the doctor did my tests. I was deficient in testosterone which can cause problems for me as a woman. Instead of trying to explain this complicated test and process, I suggest you read this article on Adrenal Health by Dr. Marcelle Pick. She explains it very well in this article. I know many of you suffer from mood swings, low sex drive, emotional distress and depression. This could be part of the problem. I would encourage all women who continue to struggle to get tested for this. I take 20mg/day. Read more about DHEA supplements at Serenity-Station.com.

Fish Oil & Omega 3’s – Did you know there are things called Omega-6’s? They are in all those packaged, processed gluten-free foods we consume to feel “normal.” They are also causing major inflammation in your body. Eliminating Omega 6’s from your diet, is a key component to healing our chronic disease. Omega 3’s are the superstars for our body. We need to focus on getting as many of this into our body as possible. They help with everything from asthma to cardiovascular diseases. You need DHA found in fish oil for your brain. It is one of the highest concentrated fatty acids in the brain and we need it to function.  Don’t your want your brain to be a well oiled machine? I take 6-8 of these bad boys a day. I need all the brain juice I can get.

Check out this article by Dr. Mercola on the problems with Omega-6. 

Just another reason to ditch those over processed, over priced gluten-free foods!

So, my advice for you is to get tested regularly for vitamin deficiencies to maximize your body’s ability to heal and fight off other problems that may occur. I can’t tell you what to take or how much to take, but I will tell you to go get tested! Any doctor can test for these and will know how to help you supplement for them. You don’t need to find a specialist unless your levels are way off and they refer you to a endocrinologist.

I’d love to hear your feedback! Tell me what vitamin’s do you take? Have they helped?

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Comments

  1.  Mindy says:

    Hello,

    Thanks so much for sharing! I have struggled with what to take for the 5 years since I became sick and diagnosed. The doctor had me on Vitamin B12 for the first year. I now only take a multi-vitamin a day which also has the Omega-3’s included. May be time for a change though since my energy level still has not picked up. The only time I have a burst of energy is after a good meal of protein. Otherwise I am sluggish.

    I am still a bit confused about how much Vitamin D to take. I recently heard that too much (over 2,000mg per day) is too much.

    I would like your feedback on this multi vitamin to see if you think it is a good product. I picked it because it is gluten free. I do have to get it by mail order. Here is what I take per day too.

    Pro-Biotiks brand (Gluten free Bio-35) http://www.pro-biotiks.com
    Jarrow Formulas – L-Glutamine 113 grams (heals stomach) this really worked after my biopsy
    Jarrow Formulas – Milk Thistle
    Sundown Naturals – Vitamin D3 2000 i.u

    I have also begun taking :
    Instaflex (for joint flexibility)

    Look forward to hearing your opinion.

    Thanks!
    Mindy

     

  2.  Laura says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for sharing this. The doctors (gastro, gyno, & general MD) that I go to never test my vitamin levels unless I specifically ask for them. I wonder if I should be seeing a Naturopathic type of doctor in addition to my regular docs to regularly test me for those.
    My recent tests showed that I am low in B12 & D, & was wondering how much B-12 you take per day and what form do you take it in? (sublingual or chewable tabs?) I’m also curious how deficient you are in vitamin D to be talking 6,000 IU per day? (I’m only taking 2,000 IU)
    Lastly, how many mg of the cinnamon do you take per day?
    Thanks!

     

  3.  Christina Nelson says:

    It was my “Very Low” Iron that finally had me take a hard look at gluten as an issue, even though I’ve not eaten red meat in 20 years. My doctor advised me to take Iron and B-12, even though my B-12 levels were “within normal range,” but they were in the lower third of that range. I’ve taken both sublingual and regular B-12 or B complex. If you have a severe absorption issue, sublingual can really help jump start you; I like the Trader Joe’s version with stevia.
    I had leftover Vitamin C and that helps iron absorption, so I added that and a general multi-vitamin that I’d taken intermittently for years. Since a lot of people are deficient and I avoid the sun, I added Vitamin D (also recommended for depression). I’d been thinking about Fish Oil Omega-3 for a while and finally added it after other recommendations for both depression and ADHD, as well as heart health. More recently I added Primrose Oil for PMS symptoms for the PMS week, and it seems to help my symptoms.
    I use a large Sunday- Saturday pill case and several smaller reusable pill cases so I have the vitamins with me. I have a hard time remembering also, especially since most need to be taken with food and I don’t always eat enough at a “meal” to take them (a yogurt or smoothie may not be enough). I also have a probiotic, but it’s in the refrigerator so I forget that even more often, but can at least add it to a smoothie. My previous probiotic didn’t require cold storage so I had it with my morning medications which is a more reliable routine.
    When I’m on top of my vitamins I feel so much better! I feel like I’ve finally gotten some energy and can be more productive. If I forget my vitamins all week, I feel more sluggish, unable to get up and grumpy. A good week is when I take them most days and a great week is everyday. I’ve experimented a bit too and am better WITH the B-complex in the mix. Everyone’s different! We have to find what works for us.
    Next appointment, I’ll ask for a vitamin panel; They rarely offer it. But especially with things like Iron and some fat-soluable vitamins or minerals, you CAN get too much! (I know Vitamin A and zinc are two.)

     

  4.  Orthomol best multi vitamin says:

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47 Gluten Poisoning Symptoms

47 Symptoms of Gluten Poisoning
47 Symptoms of Gluten Poisoning

We’ve all been there and done that… The unfortunate incident when you accidentally consumed gluten and now are suffering the consequences. It’s a horrible experience for most of us, especially if you are very sensitive to gluten and have celiac disease.

But, your celiac is not my celiac and we all respond differently. I’ve noticed I don’t respond the same to malt as I do to wheat. Sometimes I get diarrhea and sometimes my joints swell instantly. It seems I never know what I’m going to get when I accidentally eat gluten. Needless to say, just because I blog about it, speak about it and educate about it – it doesn’t make me immune from it! It happens to the best of us. We let our guard down for just one minute or allow assumptions to rule our decisions and it happens. For me, it doesn’t happen too often, but it still gets me!

If you are looking for help after the fact. I did a blog post on recovery tips that my readers came up with also on Facebook!

So, I took a poll on Facebook and asked my readers what symptoms they experience when they accidentally consume gluten.

Here is a huge list of 47 poisoning symptoms they suffer from after consuming gluten.

  1. Extreme fatigue
  2. Joint pain
  3. Swelling
  4. Bloating
  5. Clothes don’t fit
  6. Abdominal pain
  7. Extreme thirst
  8. Brain fog
  9. Gas
  10. Irritability
  11. Flu-like symptoms
  12. Skin rashes
  13. Nausea
  14. Heartburn
  15. Vomiting
  16. Intestinal cramping/severe urges
  17. Heart attack feeling
  18. Dizziness
  19. Anxiety
  20. Restlessness
  21. Ringing in ears
  22. Vertigo
  23. Heart palpitations/irregular heart beat
  24. Extremely emotional
  25. Joint pain in fingers similar to carpal tunnel
  26. Concentration problems
  27. Sweating/Cold Sweats
  28. Depression
  29. Gums ache
  30. Weight gain
  31. Eczema
  32. Pimples
  33. Aggrevates other symptoms from other diseases like arthritis or PCOS
  34. Mouth Sores including canker sores
  35. Puffiness in the face
  36. PMS symptoms
  37. Cravings for more gluten filled foods
  38. Dermatitis Herpetiformis outbreak
  39. Sinus pain and running nose
  40. Migraines
  41. Swollen ankles (edema)
  42. Shortness of breath
  43. Numbness in limbs, tingly sensations
  44. Acid Reflux
  45. Constipation
  46. Raging Anger and Severe Mood swings
  47. Swollen tongue

For me, I typically get joint pain and swelling along with bloating immediately after eating gluten. Then my stomach starts to hurt, a painful hurt and I can feel a headache slowly coming on, almost like torture.

Most people mentioned the symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It isn’t an easy fix. It’s quite a different experience for me than when I have lactose. That just puts me in the restroom and then I’m fine. The other symptoms don’t come along with it like gluten poisoning. So, it’s up to you to figure out what affects you the most and what to really avoid. For those of us with celiac disease, we don’t have a choice, we must avoid gluten at all costs.

Celiac and Premature Gray Hair

Celiac and Premature Gray Hair
Celiac and Premature Gray Hair

I got my first gray hair when I was a junior in college.

I was 21 years old.

At 24, my roommate used to sit on the couch and pluck my gray hairs out while we watched tv. If someone peaked in on us they probably thought she was combing lice out of my hair. I wanted them gone. There weren’t that many but enough to drive me crazy.

Fast forward 10 years later and I have more gray hair than I ever imagined. I absolutely love being a dark brunette but the gray’s show so much more prominently when my hair is dark. This means I need to get it touched up every 4-5 weeks instead of 6-7 if I had highlights.

I don’t mind getting my hair done, I really love being in that chair. If I ever became famous, I would have no problem doing my make up but I would have a team of hair professionals following me around to make sure it always looked great. I wish I knew how to do more with my hair.

Anyway, I started researching a link between celiac and premature graying. There was a study done in 1980 by a British researcher that found  patients who lived with undiagnosed celiac disease suffering from premature graying had a reversal in the amount of gray growth after living gluten-free.

In the book, Living Well with Hypothyroidism, it states that people who are left-handed and have premature graying are at a higher risk of autoimmune diseases. I can’t find the cited source online for this stat but I found it extremely interesting. I am not left-handed but I certainly do have premature gray hair.

A B12 deficiency is also a cause for premature gray and often the deficiency is caused by bowel disorders like Chron’s disease and celiac disease.

I have noticed in the past year that my hair and nails are remarkably better after being gluten-free and my gray hairs are still there but they do not appear to be growing at the rate previous to diagnosis.

So, while there is no official link between celiac and gray hair – there seems to be quite a bit of people on celiac forums talking about the subject and saying their grays improved on a strict gluten-free diet.

Do you have experience with premature gray hair? Have your symptoms improved since your diagnosis or going gluten-free? Please share your story below!

 

 

Migraines and Celiac Disease – Is there a link?

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Migraines and Celiac Disease

I don’t know if you’ve ever been stricken by a migraine but it’s probably one of the absolute worst things your body can do to you. For me the pain starts creeping up my neck and into my temples. I can feel it from the start working its way up into my brain, just waiting for the debilitating pain in a few hours.

Then my vision gets blurred and my head starts to officially pound. I can feel my veins throbbing in my head and neck. Any amount of light makes me nauseous and hurts eyes and my head even more. I’m fortunate that mine usually last about a day, but that day knocks me out for good. I don’t want to see, talk to or hear from anyone. It’s a time of solitude in my bedroom, in the dark.

I don’t get migraines that often but I do get them when I have gluten, which for me is one of the signs I’ve been poisoned. Sometimes I get them around my menstrual cycle but since I had my endometriosis surgery, they haven’t been around like before.

A new study was published in the Headache journal by Dr. Peter Green with new information on not only celiac disease but irritable bowel diseases and their connection to migraines as well. Here’s what they found…

The study included 502 people, 188 with celiac disease, 111 with inflammatory bowel disease, 25 with gluten sensitivity, and 178 who didn’t have any of the conditions. The researchers included clinical, demographic, and dietary information on the people in their survey, as well as questions about headache type and frequency.

Results show that chronic headaches were reported by 30% of the people with celiac disease, 56% of those who were gluten sensitive, 23% of those with inflammatory bowel disease, and 14% of those without the conditions.

The results show an even higher incident of chronic headaches with people who have gluten sensitivity over celiac disease. My biggest question with the results of this study is wondering if those 56% of people with gluten sensitivity continued to eat small amounts of gluten and that could be cause for the high number. At first I wondered about the low celiac disease number, but probably most of those people have tried to completely eliminate gluten from their diets thus resulting in less side effect symptoms like migraines.

Obviously, this was a small study group but the numbers are pretty high for people with bowel diseases and headaches. I think more people need to look into why they get migraines because usually there is a larger issue at hand causing them and taking an ibuprofen is just a band aid on a gaping wound that needs stitches.

My cousin had debilitating headaches until she stopped consuming artificial sweeteners like aspartame and MSG. There was a much larger issue for her causing these problems. The food she consumed affected her ability to function and now with that knowledge she has them way less, if at all anymore. Natural sweeteners such as Stevia are available online from vendors such as Wal-Mart and Swanson Vitamins.

We just need another reminder to stop and think if something is happening repeatedly, out of the norm, our bodies need a check to make sure that there isn’t a larger issue. Migraines and celiac disease are a very real connection but they are also a connection to so many other things!

 

Endometriosis Diagnosis – Now what?

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If you’ve been reading along with my last few posts, you know that I’ve been worried something else is happening in my body other than celiac disease. Well, I finally have some answers.

Yesterday I had a laparascopy procedure done to explore some problems I’ve been having with cramping all the time. I am always terrified to get put to sleep for general anesthesia because there is a battle in my head about not waking up.

“Laparoscopy is a surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube put through a cut (incision) in the belly to look at the abdominal organsor the female pelvic organsLaparoscopy is used to find problems such as cystsadhesionsfibroids, and infection. Tissue samples can be taken for biopsy through the tube (laparoscope).” – Source WebMD

Before I went back in to the test, my doctor came in to talk with me and explain further about the procedure. 30 minutes if there is nothing to find and more like an hour if they have to remove tissue from endometriosis.

My doctor was primarily looking for endometriosis. When I woke up after the exam, I learned it took almost an hour confirming the doctor’s suspicion that I have endometriosis.

So, what is Endometriosis?

“Endometriosis is the growth of endometrial tissue-which normally lines the uterus-in other parts of the body. Endometriosis typically grows in the abdominal cavity and most often attaches to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer surface of the uterus, bowels, or other abdominal organs.

Endometriosis growths, called implants or lesions, often bleed during menstruation, causing pain. They may also develop scar tissue (adhesions) that can interfere with an organ’s normal function. Scar tissue can also cause pain and trouble becoming pregnant (infertility).

Endometriosis can be treated with medicines or with surgery to remove implants and scar tissue.”Source WebMD

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My doctor removed tissue found on several different organs so I came out with 4 holes all over my stomach and pubic area from where he entered to scrape the tissue cells. The procedure was pretty easy and after getting home I slept pretty much the rest of the day and night.

Today is day 2 of recovery, and I’m hurting pretty bad. It’s nearly impossible for me to sit up without incredible pain. If I just lay with my body elevated a little, it doesn’t hurt much. Moving seems to be the biggest hurdle right now. Instead of stitches, the openings were glued together. And, I heard from everyone I would have pain in my shoulders from the CO2 but I don’t have that pain at all, so that’s one less thing to be concerned about!

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I want to thank you all for being so incredibly supportive and sending all your love, thoughts and prayers for me during this time. Knowing there are so many people that care and are offering help warms my heart.

I don’t meet up with the doctor again for the next few weeks. No lifting 10 pounds or more for 3-4 weeks. No working out for a minimum of 2-3 weeks and resting for a few days to regain my strength.

After I see the doctor again, I will talk to him about what I am going to do for treatment options. Endometriosis does not have a cure and from what I’m reading can be challenging to treat. I am relieved that it isn’t much more serious like ovarian cancer or other serious reproductive cancers. The doctor also found my bladder to be inflamed and will refer me to a urologist to check to see what’s going on there.

If this is the last piece of the puzzle, I will be elated! I can’t emphasize this enough – LISTEN to your BODY!! If you feel that something is wrong, don’t wait unit its too late. Get help and get treatment. Don’t take no for an answer if your instincts are telling you otherwise.

Had I not switched doctors because I was unhappy with the last one, I probably wouldn’t have found out about the endometriosis this soon and it may have progressed into something much worse.

While I was doing my research, I came upon a study which found a connection between celiac disease and endometriosis. Doesn’t it seem like everything can be linked to celiac disease?

Check out this study:

PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATION:

Celiac disease (CD) involves immunologically mediated intestinal damage with consequent micronutrient malabsorption and varied clinical manifestations, and there is a controversial association with infertility. The objective of the present study was to determine the presence of CD in a population of infertile women with endometriosis.

METHODS:

A total of 120 women with a diagnosis of endometriosis confirmed by laparoscopy (study group) and 1,500 healthy female donors aged 18 to 45 years were tested for CD by the determination of IgA-transglutaminase antibody against human tissue transglutaminase (t-TGA) and anti-endomysium (anti-EMA) antibodies.

RESULTS:

Nine of the 120 women in the study group were anti-tTGA positive and five of them were also anti-EMA positive. Four of these five patients were submitted to intestinal biopsy which revealed CD in three cases (2.5% prevalence). The overall CD prevalence among the population control group was 1:136 women (0.66%).

CONCLUSION:

This is the first study reporting the prevalence of CD among women with endometriosis, showing that CD is common in this population group (2.5%) and may be clinically relevant.

F.M. Aguiar et al. Serological testing for celiac disease in women with endometriosis. A pilot study. Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2009;36(1):23-5.

I want to make sure those of you who may struggle with cramping throughout the month, severe periods and break through bleeding to get checked asap. There are serious ailments that can be caused by those symptoms. Get it checked before it checks you into something worse. If you have celiac disease, I think it’s fair to say we need to be extra diligent with our heath.

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This celiac mask is really getting on my nerves.

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Disclaimer: Men this post is for the ladies :)

Celiac disease is quite the emotional roller coaster. Whenever it seems as though you’ve got it figured out, something new creeps in just to keep you on your toes. Hence the title of this post about celiac being a “mask.”

Wednesday I’m having a laparoscopic procedure done to check for anything going on in my reproductive organs like endometriosis. I keep having these stabbing like cramping pains throughout the month and my ovulation time is excruciating. And even after cutting gluten, latex fruits/veggies, lactose, corn and poultry – I continue to gain weight right in my belly region. No, I am not pregnant.  

I’ve gained 10 pounds since Christmas and almost 20 since last summer. Today I woke up and weighed 5 pounds more than I did yesterday along with feeling a tightness and fullness in my stomach that I never usually have. Something is going on. I feel completely uncomfortable and out of control. I don’t eat gluten-free processed junk foods so I know that isn’t the case and even if I did do that, the weight doesn’t come on that quickly from over eating.

It really is true that once you resolve the main problem, you start finding things that were masked by the undiagnosed issue. Once you cut one thing, another comes along making you wonder if you are ever going to be able to eat anything ever again.

For me – I was diagnosed with celiac disease, Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and arthritis last January. At that time, I cut gluten, poultry and latex laden fruits/vegetables. Then in the spring I cut lactose too as Greek yogurt continued to irritate my stomach. Finally in December, I cut corn. I’m not sure there is anything else to cut.

I’ve been able to manage the Hashimoto’s strictly with food. My thyroid levels are perfect with no extra medication. It took a full year to get there but I’m happy I chose not to take medicine.

Then I started feeling sick again last fall, which didn’t make sense because I’ve been very diligent about gluten removal only to find out that I should have cut corn too. The over compensation of corn products sent my body into overdrive again.

As a fluke, my old obgyn didn’t fill my Nuva Ring prescription and I have been off that for almost 2 months now. It’s amazing that my migraine headaches went away during my last 2 periods and I’m sleeping perfectly. Could it be that was causing all my sleep problems for the last 10 years?

Bottom line: I feel amazing. My head is clear. I’m productive again. I feel like I’m on top of my game. I’m not having any stomach pains (the old kind) and all of my blood work levels are perfect. So why am I having these other issues?? It is so cruel to think that I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do and there continues to be one missing link each time I think things are great.

Hopefully, Wednesday is the last missing link and I can get that all figured out. I will post again at the end of this week and let you know how it goes. I get really nervous about these types of procedures simply because I don’t have them often and I am terrified of anesthesia.

What other things did you find out you had along with celiac disease? 

 

Do I have celiac diease? Preparation and questions for your first doctor’s appointment.

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So, you’ve read my post about finding a doctor and now you are ready to make your first appointment! Congrats, that is the first step in getting answers for whatever has been plaguing you for years. I am not a medical doctor and do not understand the complexities of testing and diagnosis for celiac disease on the back end, so I am not going to post what type of medical tests you should ask for or have done. I will post links at the bottom of the post from other credible websites for you to review.

Here are my suggestions and tips for getting the most out of your initial doctor’s appointment for gluten intolerance and/or celiac disease.

Before making an appointment:

1. Find out if your doctor actually has experience treating and diagnosing celiac disease or other gluten related problems. There is no point in going to see a doctor who doesn’t specialize or isn’t familiar with these issues. You are just wasting time on getting answers.

2. Ask how long you will have for your first appointment. My doctor allows 30 minutes for a first appointment and 15 for follow ups. Don’t waste your time with the doctor chit chatting!

3. Prior to your appointment, write down all of your symptoms and chronicle your medical history. This will be much easier to show your doctor and review than sitting there trying to think of them all and realizing you didn’t bring up important ones after you already left.

4. Get your medical records from your other doctors sent over to the new one. You will need to sign a medical release of information and might have to pay a fee but it will be worth it for the new doctor to have all your information in one spot.

5. Know and chart your family medical history. Again much easier than trying to remember it all in a 30 minute appointment.

6. Write down every single prescription medication, over the counter medication, supplement and vitamin that you take. Include all the doses and schedule for each of them. Even ones you might be embarrassed you take like an over the counter weight loss pill.

7. Write down why you think you have celiac disease or problems with gluten.

8. DO NOT change anything about your diet or lifestyle prior to going to the doctor and having tests done. This is essential for finding out what is really going on. You have to get an accurate picture of your body condition in order to diagnose.

9. Understand there is no pill or medication for celiac disease if you do in fact have the autoimmune disease. The only way to manage it is with a gluten free diet.

10. Don’t panic or come to your own conclusions prior to going to your appointment. Be educated on your history, your body and yourself to provide the doctor with the exact picture of what is going on. This is the BEST way to get an accurate diagnosis of whatever is upsetting your body.

Questions for your doctor at your first appointment:

1. How do you diagnose celiac disease? What blood tests do you run? Do you test for the celiac genes? Will you want me to get a bowel biopsy? This past year I’ve realized doctors have so many different ideas of diagnosis. I’ve heard one speak about biopies being the only way to tell and others say genetic presence with condition improvement upon removing gluten are just as acceptable. It’s important to understand your doctor’s beliefs and thinking on the diagnosis component.

2. How quickly does you lab turn around results and when can you make your next appointment.

3. Do you provide aftercare, follow up blood tests, recommendations for support groups in the area and additional help?

4. If I don’t have celiac disease, what other conditions could I have with the symptoms I’m experiencing?

5. Can you refer me to a registered dietician specializing in celiac disease?

6. How often will I follow up with you after my original test results?

7. If I have nutrient deficiencies, what is you protocol for treatment?

8. What other tests should be run along with the celiac disease testing?

You know I love your feedback – Post below for others to see if you thought of things I missed!!

Websites for celiac medical tests:

 

http://www.csaceliacs.info/diagnosis_of_celiac_disease.jsp

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/living-with-celiac/guide/diagnosis

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/

 

Food Addiction? What is wrong with us? Changing the way we think about food.

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I posted on Facebook yesterday what foods people missed most from their gluten free lifestyle. The purpose of this post was to see what types of food I could play around with or find as a great substitution for what everyone was missing.

54 People commented on my post and the comments as I read through them disturbed me. I completely understand that we miss bread, pretzels, beer etc but some of the things that people wanted to have so desperately are part of the problem in society.

I recently spoke to an Ohio State University group called CHAARG -Changing Health, Attitudes, and Actions to Recreate Girls – They came to Bexa Body Fitness for a group fitness sampler and a little seminar on healthy eating in college. I spoke to them a lot about food options and ways to make better choices when eating on campus.

I can’t emphasize to people enough at my fitness studio:

  • If the ingredients look like they should be on a shampoo bottle you probably shouldn’t be consuming them.
  • There is nothing FRESH about Subway – Their lettuce is out of a bag and their meat is as processed as you can get. The sandwich is entirely bread and why do you always smell when you leave there?
  • I’ve never met anyone in my life that told me they were addicted to carrots, sweet potatoes or steak. I do however on a daily basis meet people that can’t give up artificial sweetener, diet coke, candy, sugary coffee drinks etc. What does that tell you about those foods and how they are reacting in your body? Your brain is addicted to these substances and no one seems to think this is a problem.

The list of foods people missed goes something like this:  Pizza, biscuits, donuts, pie crust, pizza, flour tortillas, bread, pizza, twizzlers, crackers, hot dogs, Subway, Arby’s, pizza, McDonald’s, funnel cake, Ciabatta bread and so on….

ON TOP OF THIS – I see an incredible amount of children and teenagers also addicted to these foods.

I believe that when people think of food addictions, they think of the television shows on TLC about people being cut out of houses or Extreme Makeover Weight Loss edition. But, we are all addicted to food in some capacity. Some people are able to handle it better than others but very few people recognize the problem/trend in our society.

Our society pushes low fat, low sugar, no fat, no sugar, low cholesterol and anything else with “low” or “no” in the front of it.

Do you know how those things get to be that way? They pump the foods filled with chemicals and fillers so they taste great and food us into believing they are healthy or good for us. They aren’t. Our brains are so fooled and duped into thinking all food should taste this way that eating a nice whole meal of protein, potatoes and veggies is like eating cardboard.

All of us that can’t eat these other foods and desperately long for them are proving my point. We are just replacing these junky gluten filled foods with junky gluten free foods. While it is fine once in a while, it is not ok all the time. Moderation is key but when options are so limited, I’m finding it much easier to go overboard on gluten free foods.

I’m absolutely not saying that I don’t fall into this trap. There are certain things I know I miss desperately and would love to have again. There are foods filled with gluten and gluten free that I know I can’t keep in our house because I won’t be able to keep my hands off them.

But I understand now how all this affects my brain chemistry. I realize how screwed up our society is to see that eating “I can’t believe it’s not butter” is better than eating regular butter. Do the research. Butter won’t kill you but I’m pretty sure whatever the hell is in that fake butter will.

We are the fortunate ones. We can’t eat that crap or we get sick. We are the ones that have the opportunity to heal our bodies and wean ourselves from the stuff we once knew.

If you get anything from this post, it might just be the 3 bullet  points I posted above and you might just think of a shampoo bottle next time you check out ingredients!

But I challenge you to think about these things the next time you are longing for a brownie or piece of pizza.

 

Speaking Engagement: Cleveland Celiac Awareness Tour 11/17/12

Come see me on November 17th, 2012 at the Celiac Awareness Tour!!

You can get your ticket online here!

Tons of vendors and speakers, lots of foods to try and of course come meet me!!

I’m going to have an awesome raffle gift at the event so be there to try and win it.

I’ll be sharing my story and answering questions.

January’s stop will be in Pittsburgh… I will confirm the date for you shortly!

What cities would you like to see me visit?

PLC 30 Day Gluten Free Challenge – Important FAQ’s

30 Day Gluten Free Challenge
30 Day Gluten Free Challenge

I am completely over whelmed, honored and excited at the response for this challenge!! A couple of quick things based on emails and question’s I’ve received since the initial post….

  1. You do not have to eat the protein or dairy items. You can make some substitutions and I’ve also included a list of vegetarian protein sources on the Facebook Group Page.
  2. You do not need to actually complete the competition part of the program – you can do it on your own, with us or enter the competition. It is completely up to you!
  3. You do not have to have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance to do the program! If you want to give a try – that is awesome!!!
  4. We are starting the challenge on 10/22/12 but you can do it whenever you want! Just the part with the competition is officially starting. You can get the plan without competing.
  5. The workouts can be done at home or at the gym. They are quick, intense and get the job done.
  6. I am not a nutritionist, doctor or RD. This is a basic gluten free plan based on my own personal knowledge and experience in the fitness industry. I am a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, business owner, lifestyle coach, fitness competitor and personal weight loss story person.
  7. You can find the 30-day plan and other materials on the FACEBOOK group page – once I figure out how to get it as an easy download thing on my blog – I will add that too. Just waiting to get my new fancy schmantsy blog up and running!!
  8. Let’s have some fun.

I started a Facebook Group page for us to hold each other accountable, post our goals, interact with each other and become our own little community!!! Join here