What is Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism anyway?

Hashimoto’s autoimmune Thyroiditis – such a long name for such a little part of your body controlling so much!

According to Dr. Aukerman, Hashimoto’s disease is a chronic thyroiditis that causes more than 80% of all hypothyroidism in the United States. It results when the thyroid gland has lower or slower functioning than normal throwing your entire body off balance.

One of the ways you can get Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism is from the autoimmune response due to gluten in your small intestines. The onset of the disease is very low and more frequent in middle age women and families with a history of thyroid disease.

Summer 2011, I could tell something was wrong with my body. I felt exhausted, irritable, was gaining weight, extremely dry skin, hair and nails and the amazing thing was how much hair I was losing. Even my husband noticed how much was in the drain after I took a shower and my hair stylist would ask if I was under a lot of stress showing me the aftermath of a hair coloring.

January 2012 was my first appointment with Dr. Aukerman. You will hear me talk about him frequently because he impacted my life so much and finally gave me some hope with why my body was failing me at only 30 years old. When he walked in the door, he did an initial once over and said you have a latex allergy, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and most likely Celiac disease.

He observed that my thyroid was swollen in my neck and tender to the touch. I just always thought that’s how it was supposed to look and feel.

Your thyroid is the pink part.
Your thyroid is the pink part.

Frequent signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism: Intolerance to cold, difficulty concentrating or thinking, weight gain, fatigue, constipation, joint stiffness, dry skin, hair loss, heavy or irregular menses, facial swelling, enlarged neck and/or presence of a goiter.

thyroid_gland

According to MedicineNet.com,  there are more serious consequences to having untreated hypothyroidism-

“As hypothyroidism becomes more severe, there may be puffiness around the eyes, a slowing of the heart rate, a drop in body temperature, and heart failure. In its most profound form, severe hypothyroidism may lead to a life-threatening coma (myxedema coma). In a severely hypothyroid individual, a myxedema coma tends to be triggered by severe illness, surgery, stress, or traumatic injury. This condition requires hospitalization and immediate treatment with thyroid hormones given by injection.

Properly diagnosed, hypothyroidism can be easily and completely treated with thyroid hormone replacement. On the other hand, untreated hypothyroidism can lead to an enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy), worsening heart failure, and an accumulation of fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion).”

So, now that we know what this autoimmune disease is – how do you diagnose it? I did a little bit of research online and found labtestsonline to be the best source and easiest information on testing for Hashimoto’s.

Tests

The goals of testing include detecting thyroid dysfunction, diagnosing Hashimoto thyroiditis, and monitoring Treatment.

For monitoring thyroid function and hormone production:

To help diagnose Hashimoto thyroiditis:

  • Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (anti-TPO, see Thyroid Antibodies). This test detects the presence of autoantibodies against a protein found in thyroid cells. A high value usually indicates autoimmune damage to the thyroid due to disorders such as Hashimoto thyroiditis and Graves disease.
  • Antithyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) — if positive, may indicate Hashimoto thyroiditis; while thyroglobulin antibodies are often positive, they are not as sensitive or specific as anti-TPO so they are not routinely ordered.

My TSH levels came back high on my first test around 4.976. To put that in reference, it should be between .5 and 3. My PTH Intact also came back high at 37.5. This level should be around 14 or less.

Treatment:

The doctor has not put me on thyroid medicine yet because my blood levels dropped after my second testing in July 2012. They are still a little elevated, but they are going down at a great pace without taking any kind of medicine. This is because I’ve tried to control my gluten intake as much as possible. By stopping the autoimmune response of gluten, my thyroid doesn’t have to work as hard and the levels are going down.

Synthetic hormones:
This usually involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid). Synthetic levothyroxine is identical to thyroxine, the natural version of this hormone made by your thyroid gland. The oral medication restores adequate hormone levels and reverses all the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Is a Food Latex Allergy contributing to your auto-immune problems?

Is Avocado my forbidden food even more than gluten?
Is Avocado my forbidden food even more than gluten?

I love Avocados. Growing up I didn’t particularly care for them but as I’ve gotten older, they are my love. I put them on everything. After all, they are heart happy foods right?

Wrong.

You can imagine my disappointment when Dr. Aukerman told me that I not only have a gluten allergy and have celiac, I also suffer from a latex allergy found in foods. He knew immediately from looking at me. He handed me a mirror and pointed out that the whites of my eyes were actually off white or gray and there was swelling around my lips. I also had a latex allergy on my chest – little white lines of allergy horror. I thought it was just my body. There were other things but these were the most obvious. Then he handed me this sheet of paper along with everything else in my packet that day, which also listed the other latex ridddled food I should avoid.

From Better Health in 120 days by Glen Aukerman, MD.
From Better Health in 120 days by Glen Aukerman, MD.

Eating foods that with latex-like proteins exposes people suffering from those allergic to latex. Apparently, our bodies can’t tell the difference between latex found in medical gloves and kiwi. Since I’ve cut out gluten, my body has become much more sensitive to these foods and the effects are more serious each time I eat them. (similar to gluten) Sometimes I just think my body is revolting against me and my brain lives in another world.

You should avoid the following foods if you have a known rubber latex allergy or a latex rash on your chin, cheeks and lines on your neck and chest.

Say Goodbye to avocado, banana, kiwi, chestnut, raw potato, tomato, stone fruits (peach, cherry), hazelnut, melons, celery, carrot, apple, pear, papaya and almond.

greer_latex_cross-reactivity
Foods to avoid with latex allergy

Ethylene is a gas used to quicken commercial ripening can increase the reaction in some people so it’s best to buy these items when they are locally grown and in season if you will have them at all. Companies frequently use this gas in bananas.

You never know what is going to go on with your food when it is being processed by large companies. Have you ever seen the lettuce video on YouTube where they actually physically peel plastic layers off the leaves?? Here is the clip – It’s really gross. They spray fruits and vegetables with that stuff so they stay “fresh” and look ripe in the grocery stores. It allows them to last longer than locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables.

I will admit, I’ve been a naughty girl. Since I’ve cut gluten foods from my diet, I’ve been relying more on these forbidden fruits and maybe it’s about time it caught up with me.

It started Friday afternoon on our long drive back from Hilton Head. I thought I was just stiff from being in the car for 12 hours. My back ached liked crazy, I was abnormally sore from my workout the day before and my neck was throbbing with severe tension pain.

My fingers are the first to give way that something is wrong. It’s like they move in slow motion and I can barely type. What the hell is wrong with me (I think to myself), I’m only 30 how could I possible have arthritis like this.

My lips starting tingling too – it’s just from being in the sun I said all week. (knowing very well what Dr. Aukerman said during my first appointment)

I know I ate guacamole at lunch that day. But, I didn’t think I’d pay for it like this.

Fast forward to today. I ate Chipotle and yes, I devoured some guacamole.

img_3602
All day. My. Joints. Ached. I took the dog to the park and my knees throbbed just walking 10 minutes to the spot where he goes swimming.

Come on Mom! Throw me the stick...
Come on Mom! Throw me the stick…

My lips are tingling and I can see the red lines around them like that time at Dr. Aukerman’s office.

I can barely type this blog post because my fingers are so stiff and hurt so bad.

Conclusion: I should stop eating avocados.

But why? I love them so much. It just seems like my whole world is crashing down just because of another set-back, another list of foods I can’t eat anymore. It isn’t fair. I want a freaking bagel or a sandwich with everyone else. Why can’t I just have my banana and eat it too?

Have you struggled with these foods?

Do you have a latex food allergy? Leave a comment below and tell us about it….

Be Happy, Be Healthy

Rebecca

Want to learn more about latex in fruit?

Latex-Fruit Syndrome and Class 2 Food Allergy

Latex Allergy Blog

American Latex Allergy

Food Allergens

Comments

  1. Amanda Yoder says:

    I don’t think this is my issue, but I have a rash on my stomach–a stubborn one, so I have to ask the doc what foods might be causing it or it’s gluten in my soap, not sure yet. It is frustrating, first celiac, then lactose-intolerance, and i’m extremely sensitive to acids like tomatoes too! So very frustrating when it feels like so many foods are taken from what I can eat. However, when I look at my immediate family for the last several generations, they were farmers who ate grassfed beef, free range eggs, and potatoes A LOT, which salad/vegetables from the garden and only the fruits occasionally that grew near them…rarely wheat because they had to buy it and raw milk—it kind of reflects what’s left so maybe it’s what my body is best adept at handling (this is a problem frequently left out when saying the healthiest way is for everybody to “be vegetarian like Indians” or “eat Mediteranean” or “eat fish and seaweed like the Japanese cuz they live a long time” when studies have found that Caucasians don’t absorb nutrients from seaweed at all compared to native Japanese.)

     

  2. Jenny says:

    OMG! This is crazy! I have been battling a really bad allergy reaction in my skin which covers my mid section, arms and hands for close to 2 years and now just 2 wks ago started on my face! Have been to 4 doctors and no one could tell me what is except its allergy related. Well 3 months ago I ran into a person who looked at my arm and asked me what the hell was wrong with me and suggested it might be gluten. At that time I only ate wheat products (bread, cereal, pasta etc). I gave it all up and my skin magically began to clear up and the itch to go away. At the same time I started a hormone (latex) patch treament and also got hooked on sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas and strawberries, eating these everyday and boom, the itching and red spots came back with a vengeance. It was so bad that on Monday I had to go to my dermatologist so she could give me a Keladon (sterocrotisol) shot and cortisone cream. Still not helping. So yesterday I went on line to the website of a new doctor I am seeing on the 30th and there I found the information about latex. I could not believe that this is what has been close to driving me insane. And of course, I have been overdosing on the foods listed here!!! I tend to eat the same things every day. I even just recently gave up milk, cheese and eggs thinking that could also be affecting me, but still there has not been any relief. Yesterday I removed my hormone patches and called my doctor to get other treament. Today I had for breakfast a cereal that is made of brown rice, no bananas or berries, with rice milk! Just had for lunch quinoa with plain broiled chicken. Don’t know what I will be eating for dinner! Feeling much better, though still have a little bit of itching but my red areas are starting to get better. I was at the point of embarrasment and having to quit going to the gym because my body looked like a checkers board and the sweat would drive me crazy. I am now hoping that by eliminating all of these foods and having the doctor confirm that a latex allergy is what I have, I will get my life back. I do know it is going to be hard because I am a very picky eater and I loved all the foods on the list. Will see…

     

  3. Amy says:

    Sister, I feel your pain! Literally! I’ve been suffering from latex food syndrome for years and only in the last couple of years have I really felt the BIG effects. Forget the list of foods I can’t eat. That’s most everything, especially if any part of the plant bleeds white when you cut into it. Prepackaged foods are out of the question because of the additives and thickeners. I have a list of 32 foods I can eat without any reaction whatsoever. I’m a Chef. Food is my LIFE and it’s a painful HELL every time I decide to eat just a little something off my list. I carry an Epi-Pen with me and keep one in the office because I just never know when one of the off-limits foods will send me to the ER in respiratory distress.
    These are the things I CAN eat: Grass-fed beef, bison, elk, venison, fish (no shellfish-allergic), wild turkey, organic chicken, antelope, eggs, cooked spinach, well-cooked collard greens, cooked onion, garlic & shallot, wild black rice, blueberries, grapes, wine (thank God!), red wine vinegar, olives, olive oil, capers, cheese, milk (very little), frozen yogurt with no thickening agents, plain yogurt, organic cooked dates, honey, cooked mushrooms, coffee, tea, cocoa powder.

     

    • Maria says:

      Amy, I think that I’m almost in your same diet, thanks for telling me of the cook mushrooms, cause I was having a little pain, on that, so I’m gonna cooked it we’ll done! Because , the way my allergies reacts, like I’m having a heart attack , lm treating it like is a acid reflux, so since I’m drinking charcoal activated, is muuuuuuuuch better, you can find it in vitamin shop

       

  4. Rebecca says:

    I recently just learned about latex allergy and foods. I have been allergic to latex my whole life and never clued into this. Over the passed 2 years I have experienced many different health problems and have gone for thousands of test. My abdominal area swelled up so big within a 3 day period that it causes me to gain 20lbs in those 3 days! after that i started waking up with large swollen areas on either my forearms or my legs. They would be large, hot and very itchy. Doctors thought it was a million other things, like an allergic reaction to a bug bite and never put two and two together. But after hearing about this and researching it more it all makes sense to me! Im also a vegetarian so I eat a lot of these foods that are sensitive to me now. Im starting to narrow my options down myself without my doctors help. Im also studying to be a holistic nutritionist so doctors opinion i am kind of biased too. Has anyone had any of these symptoms? I have read that there are different degrees of it.

     

  5. Hillary says:

    I am so excited. I have been gluten free and dairy free for years. In the last two years while breast feeding my son, I’ve had to eleminate soy, along with many latex foods. Sometimes when my husband and I drive past restaurants we joke, wouldn’t it be fun to eat out….then I say, ‘yeah, remeber how sick I was when we ate out?’ I dont miss my gut issues, my rashed hands, my hair falling out or those God awful stomach pains that would render me immobile. I do however miss all the new recipes we used to try. I often find myself staring in the refrigerator wondering ‘why hasn’t someone written a cook book for this group of allergeries?’ I am so EXCITED to have found your website! It may just put the creative spark back in my cooking. :)
    Thanks,
    Hillary

     

  6. Heather says:

    I really wish latex fruit syndrome would go main stream. It’s very difficult when people don’t understand it. I ate the comment “I never heard of anyone being allergic to bananas! That is just crazy”. Yes people are allergic and it will kill me and my son, is what I want to scream! LOL
    It’s very frustrating with the school too. They will take out peanuts but we had to fight for years on the bananas. When my son and I both had to use a epi pen after being in the school from bananas being served they finally listened. My husband can’t even eat them because if he kisses one of us without washing his mouth or hands well it is off to the ER.
    I can’t have any foods on the list which is a lot bigger than the one above now.

    I get why people don’t understand it because I don’t always. Like I didn’t know about the hair falling out, joint pains and the rash just staying around. I thought I had to have a reaction to where I itched bad, with a rash and breathing problems. This explains a lot lot more now.
    I have been diagnosed with Lupus, fibromyalgia, & now looking at MS. I wonder if it isn’t just all the latex fruit syndrom. I say this because they go back and fourth on the lupus every few years.
    I have been knowingly fighting this for 10 years but I have been allergic to latex since birth and strawberries us other foods off and on.

    If your just starting out in this or have had it a while remember it isn’t just foods you have to worry about. Shampoos is a BIG ONE for us. There is soy, banana purée, but oils, sunflower oils and other things on the lost. Lotions, skin care products, soaps, hair sprays and more. A lot of meds have soy protein has a binder, mostly capsules so you have to check the inactive ingredients on these things too. A lot of the natural or herbal meds use soy or sunflower.
    Be sure and look of the scientific name to all of these foods too, I can post a link on a bit if you want. I found out about my banana allergy by getting sick every time we went to my friends for dinner. She used a lot of marinades and every one had a banana purée in it as a thickener (it is made in a powder form too and used in soaps and candies). You have to get to know these names to stay safe or to keep the kids safe.
    Epi pens are always a great thing thing to have on hand just in case. You never know when that eating it one more time will be the one that gets you the most. That is how I lived for years, eating it anyhow and taking benadryle. Then my dr told me every time I eat one it makes me more allergic and some day I want have help to get to the ER. It took that happening for me to open my eyes.
    Well I didn’t know that the names where not listed has we “know” them Normally & I just looked at the allergy list not the whole ingrident list. After 3 bites I was on the floor not able to breath. Thank goodness my 4 year old was home due to a ice storm! He called his daddy on my ipone, ran across the field in his undies and no shoes to get our cop neighbor in the ice of all things. He saved my life! The cop gave me the epi pen I had manged to get out and throw toward him under his feet, I couldn’t talk at all. The ambulance came and gave me another shot plus IV meds. I couldn’t move at that point.
    Anyhow I told you that part to let you know how bad or could be to just keep eating these things. It really effects is worse each time.

    Thank you for spreading the word about this and I hope others do too. ;)

    It is a very hard and frustrating thing to have because it changed your whole lifestyle in the blink of a eye.

    ((As I was typing this my son had a reaction to a candy cane… It has sunflower oil in it and I had NO IDEA. I had to look up the manufacturer to find it out)) I’m
    Not proof reading due to this I need to go watch him but I had to finish this post I started 2 hours ago… Much love and hugs to all who deal with this.

     

  7. Anita says:

    Wow~! I am allergic to latex and really only thought about gloves and condoms. I had no idea it extended to foods and therefore ingredients for skin care. I’m very happy to learn this since I’m a skin care formulator~! No wonder there are so many unexplained reactions to different creams while everyone else loves them.

    I’m so happy to find this info. Thank you so much for posting it~! Now all I can think is this is going to be a TON of work. Not only figuring out what I can eat, but I’m going to have to change some of my formulas for myself and you~! I found this by searching the link between latex and shea butter (yes, something else we’re supposed to avoid).

    @Rebecca YES! My bloating is ridiculous~! I look like I’m 6 months pregnant after eating certain foods. I had gained a ton of weight, then lost 65 lbs over 2 years and have now gained back almost 50 lbs in about 3 months after becoming a vegetarian. Now I can see that a lot of what I’m eating is on the no-no list – not to mention the great things I’m using on my skin – which are apparently related to latex, Ugh~! I’m so tired from this~!

     

  8. Anita says:

    Here is a research sheet about the link between latex allergy and shea butter:

    http://latexallergyresources.org/sites/default/files/newsletter-attachments/The%20ALERT%20Dec%202012.pdf
    Anita recently posted…15gm Vitamin C Ester Ascorbyl Ascorbic Ester C PowderMy Profile

     

    • Anita says:

      Here is a research sheet about the link between latex allergy and shea butter:

      http://latexallergyresources.org/sites/default/files/newsletter-attachments/The%20ALERT%20Dec%202012.pdf

       

  9. Bee says:

    Excellent blog post! I get the same inflammatory response too from these foods. Avocado and kiwi are especially bad. Do u know where cucumber lies on this spectrum bc that’s another fruit I notice issues with

    Lastly, do u experience gi issues when u eat these foods? What has been ur experience?

 

 

Gluten Free Pizza Review: Gallo Lea

gf-pizza-crust-box

Pizza is a staple of food in the US, but because of wheat in the crust of the vast majority of pizza, most Celiacs have had to avoid one of tastiest and most convenient foods available. However, there are many gluten free pizza products available. Rebecca and I have tried many different types of gluten free Pizzas with varying success. This one from “Gallo Lea” we picked up at Earthfare yesterday. It turned out great! It was prepared differently from some of the other gluten free crusts we have tried. Below are the steps we used to prepare this pizza.

The package included the crust mix, sauce and a circular piece of wax paper. The paper was for a 12 inch pizza. This was something different than what we had seen the past. This can be used as a barrier from the pizza pans that have been using in past that might lead to inadvertently contaminating the crust from gluten.

pizza-package-contents

Both Rebecca and I like meat and cheese on our pizza, so the toppings on our pizza’s do not vary that much. For this pizza, we topped it with fresh, grass fed ground beef, pre-cooked and simmered in the pizza sauce, organic shredded provolone and colby jack cheese and fresh yellow pepper. Here is how it was prepared:

I cooked 1 pound of organic, grass feed ground beef in coconut oil. I did this at low heat (2-4 on our stove dial) until all the meat was brown. I recommend cooking on low heat when cooking with oils, we have found it adds taste, and takes away from the greasy feeling you get after eating. We like cooking with coconut oil or grass fed better, we’ll do a separate blog on it.

coconut-for-pizza

I then drained the meat slightly of the left over oil, and combined the pizza sauce and spices including approximately 2 teaspoons of oregano, cinnamon and stevia. I like the sweet sauce, so cooking in coconut oil, stevia and cinnamon should be avoided if you don’t like this sweetness. As a concept, I like to add one or two things that are different every time I cook a repeating meal like this, it keeps it fun. Plus, if you like the change, you can continue to do it, if not, don’t repeat. This time it worked out for us, although Rebecca did not like the cinnamon. This then simmered on low, in this case for about 1 hour.

Following the directions on the package, I took a half cup of water in a glass measuring bowel, and microwaved it for 25 seconds, then added the crust mix. With a spoon, I stirred for the 50 specified strokes until I had a dough ball the size of my fist. I then covered the bowl, and let it sit in a warm area on our stove for 10 minutes. It did not rise much.

While the dough was rising, I cut 1 yellow bell pepper (sweeter than other peppers) and re-heated the pizza sauce and meat. We have a pizza sheet that has small holes in the bottom. I unfolded the wax paper included in the package. I took a spoonful of coconut oil, and heated in the microwave for 15 seconds. Coconut oil is solid in room temperature, so the microwaving is necessary for easier spreading. With the wax paper spread out on the pizza pan, I spread the oil over the wax paper in a thin layer, not too much.

pizza-crust-prepared

The dough was then formed into a ball, and by hand, I spread it out on the way paper until it cover the whole thing. This took about 5 minutes; the dough had to be very thin in order to get the entire wax paper covered. Surprisingly, the dough did not tear. I did have coconut oil on my fingertips while spreading, so the dough did not stick to my fingers. In my past experiences with dough (both gluten and gluten free), spreading the dough is a messy process, this was not the case with this dough. I also rolled the edges of the dough to give it a pizza like end crust, and spread the remaining liquid coconut oil over those edges, as well as over the entire top of the pizza center. This is in hopes of making it a little extra crispy.

What I have found with the gluten free pizza crusts, it is very hard to get them crispy, so I do everything possible to make that happen. During the middle of rolling out the pizza dough, I pre-heated the oven to 450 degrees. In our oven, the burners are at the bottom, and I want them very hot when initially put the pizza in. I put the rack at its lowest, and without any toppings, I placed the pizza on the bottom rack. The oven had been pre-heating for approximately 5 minutes.

After 9 minutes on the lower rack, I took the pizza out. The crust and not risen much, but the bottom was crispy.. yes!. The toppings were then added; I used 75 percent of the meat and sauce, 75 percent of the bag of cheese, the entire pepper, and some grated Parmesan cheese. I put the pizza back into the oven on the top rack, and cooked for approximately 10 minutes. However, I was watching the top of the pizza to make sure the cheese was melting but not burning. For the last two minutes, I broiled the top of the pizza until I had just the right amount of melted cheese and was a little brown.

finished-pizza

The result was a thin and crispy pizza (both on the bottom and the crust) with sweat sauce and just the right amount of cheese to make it almost impossible to put down. It was just the right amount for Rebecca and I, but we were both hungry and I ate the extra piece that Rebecca could not finish.

Enjoy!!! Aaron
The Trophy Husband

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 pizza crust package http://www.gallolea.com/
  • 1 Pound of grass fed ground beef (used 75 % of it for pizza)
  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil (1 for cooking the beef, one for the pizza dough preparation)
  • 1 package of organic shredded provolone and colby jack (used 75 % of it for pizza)
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper
  • Approximately 2 teaspoons of oregano, cinnamon and stevia
  • Approximately 1 tablespoons of parmesan cheese

Eating Gluten Free in Hilton Head South Carolina – Traveling with Celiac

Gluten free in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina!

How do you travel with celiac disease? I found it’s not very easy, so I obviously was leery on our first trip to Hilton Head for a week. Fortunately, our hotel had a kitchen in our suite as we own a timeshare with Marriott Vacation Club but even so I didn’t want to be stuck eating in the hotel the entire trip. Eating gluten free in Hilton Head was much easier than I thought it would be!

I decided to chronicle our trip to help you if you ever decide to head over to Hilton Head! This will be a great guide for those of you looking for safe places to eat, or wondering if a place you wanted to go is a good pick. 7 days worth of dinners and lunches there is bound to be something for everyone on this list.

Marriott Grand Ocean – 

51 South Forest Beach Drive · Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928

Dolphin Grille – located outside of the pool in the middle of the resort – this little place to eat is full of fried foods. If you want French fries and fried anything, this is the place to go. They also offered smoothies and salads but from the look around me – no one was enjoying the healthier items. Since fried foods have been off my list for sometime now, just the smell of the grease makes my stomach uneasy. I stuck with a grilled Mahi Mahi salad. It didn’t make me sick but it didn’t make me feel good either. It made me worried about cross contamination and I didn’t feel safe eating here.  This was the first and last time we ate at this grille. It’s a shame because it was the only restaurant on the property.

Marketplace – For being a huge billion dollar corporate company, you would think that the Marriott Company would be more sensitive to allergies and food needs. But nope, they failed at this yet again. The Marketplace is a little grocery type store to find essentials and they have some snacks at their pizza place. Again, nothing gluten free or lactose free, well unless you wanted candy or chips. There was no air conditioning in this little space so I’m sure any fresh fruit would rot quickly. If you want soda, macaroni and cheese, brownie mix, chips or pizza – this it the place for you. I left very disappointed that I couldn’t even grab a snack at the hotel. My suggestion for Marriott is to consult with some allergy awareness groups to come up with some perfect allergen free picks for their store. I’m sure something gluten free would be atrociously expensive, since a drink was $3 but people will pay a premium if they can’t find anything else nearby.

Wise Guys Steaks and Wine Bar– 1513 Main Street  Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

First place we went to after gluten free Hilton Head Internet search. They have “gluten” spelled wrong on their website, which might contribute to not being able to find them on the Internet? It’s a shame because this was the absolute best gluten free meal I’ve ever had. The Caesar salad with grits croutons knocked my socks off and the steak was so tender and delicious. I salivated all week for another meal there. The skillet potatoes were delicious as well. Because I now have the lactose allergy, I couldn’t indulge in desert but my husband had a molten lava cake that he said was fabulous. Lots of wine selections. Very modern décor and feel inside. My husband didn’t like the mirrors all over the walls but I thought they were cool. This dinner hot spot is not a place for kids. Pretty good wine menu also for all us legal drinking age adults!

Check them out on Find Me Gluten Free

Check out their Gluten Free Menu Online

The Crazy Crab – 149 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head, South Carolina

The waitress had no idea what I was talking about when I told her I had a gluten allergy. I should have known better from the menu with entire entire thing filled with fried foods. I didn’t feel comfortable eating anything there due to possible cross contamination in the kitchen and lack of knowledge from our waitress. I ended up ordering the crab legs and corn on the cob. Well the corn on the cob was completely watered down; I think I had 2 bites. The crab legs were lack luster and didn’t fit the name of the restaurant. They left little to be desired and I was not impressed. This place is in the Harbor area and it is one of the touristy places on the island. I couldn’t recommend this place for gluten free folks. and for that matter, I wouldn’t even recommend it for people without food allergies.

Truffles Café – 71 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

After finding this place on the Gluten Free Find me app, I had high hopes since people posted about their gluten free items being so good. They did offer gluten free pasta and breads but I just wasn’t in the mood. I’m finding that the gluten free pastas/breads leave me hungry and wanting more food. I decided to try a filet again. I was a bit disappointed in this one. The steak was fine but very bland, along with the garlic mashed potatoes. The spinach with it was really good not soggy and had good flavor. It almost seemed like they were afraid to flavor my food for fear it would have gluten. My husband had the mango salmon and said it was the best meal he had on the island. I guess it might just depend on what you order. They were the only place that offered a gluten free desert and it was delicious. Hot, gooey and delicious. A little mini lava cake without the lava and ice cream on the side. I felt this meal was more expensive than the others and for no real reason. Oh and I did have a “peartini that hit he spot! There were pros and cons about the meal. Have you eating here? Please let me know!

Check out their other review on Find Me Gluten Free

One Hot Mama’s – 7A Greenwood Drive  Hilton Head Isle, SC 29928

Monday night football – we had to go somewhere that had the game on! Typically sports bars are the last place you want to go if you have celiac. Tons of fried foods! I will say this place had several good options. I ended up with the beef brisket salad. Ahhmazing. The beef brisket was so tender and the meat was flavored nicely. No fatty pieces on the meet and the salad lettuce was fresh. They also said their wings were gluten free, which means they must cook them in a separate fryer than the regular fried foods. Highly recommended for a cheap bite to eat in Hilton Head! Aaron had tacos and really enjoyed them as well.

Did you eat here? Leave a review on Find Me Gluten Free

Black Marlin – Located dockside at  Palmetto Bay Marina 86 Helmsman Way, Suite 103
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Best crab legs I’ve ever had by far. They were big, juicy and had lots of meat. I could tell they weren’t soaked in water or over boiled. Cooked perfectly. I was starving and inhaled them. I just wanted more and more of them. Aaron said I had a ravenous look in my eyes and at one point was double fisting crab legs and green beans. It was a sight to be seen. The green beans were crispy and tasted great. Nothing special about the baked potato, it’s really hard to screw them up. Aaron had some fried shrimp tacos and raved about them. For desert, he had a molten chocolate lava cake and I watched him eat it.

Did you eat here? Leave a review on Find Me Gluten Free!

 

Skull Creek Boathouse – 397 Squire Pope Road,
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

The last stop on our trip. We stopped here on the way home for lunch. I couldn’t decide what I wanted and we had a $50 voucher from taking the timeshare tour so we ordered a bunch of different things. We started with chips, guacamole and salsa. In hindsight, I didn’t ask if they cook the chips themselves or if the guacamole was gluten free. I ended up sick before we left the restaurant. Not their fault, mine… Seriously not a smart move before a 12 hour car ride back to Ohio. I didn’t ask. The sushi roll was very good – smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber. Then Aaron and I shared crab legs again. He ordered the snickers cake for desert, and once again… I watched him eat it.

Did you eat here? Share it!! Find Me Gluten Free

HAHA Ok – We found this little guy on the beach but we didn’t have him for lunch….
Overall, I found several gluten free options in Hilton Head and didn’t have many problems going to different places. I will say we focused on the SERG restaurant group because they all had gluten free offerings and educated staff, a heart warming thing for all of us with Celiac. Not only do they have a ton of places to eat on the island, they all have different events and themes.

Do you have a hot spot in Hilton Head for gluten free options? Do you live on Hilton Head Island and have Celiac? I want to hear from you – email me at prettylittleceliac@gmail.com and tell me the best places to go so next time I can be sure to check them out…..

Be happy, Be Healthy-

Rebecca

The Pretty Little Celiac

Comments

  1. Delia Raine says:

    HI,
    I am off the Savannha and Hilton Head May 17 and I will be using your reviews to find some places to eat. We will cook alot too at our time share as I always find that safest. I have been celiac since Dec 2011 and travelling is alway hard. I starve or get sick with out careful research and good resturant education.
    Thanks for the tips.
    Delia

     

    • Rebecca says:

      We had a great experience on Hilton Head Island – I found a lot of places to get gluten-free food. I can’t wait to go back there this fall.

       

  2. Alison A. says:

    Hi! I am going on vacation in about 2 weeks to Hilton Head with a day trip to Savannah, and weekend in Charleston. This will be my first vacation since I found out about my Celiac this past Christmas. I am oh so worried but very excited I found your page. I am still getting use to it and can’t wait to try some of these places out.
    Alison :D

     

  3. Jen P. says:

    I’ve been going to Hilton head for 25 years but only have known I had celiac for about 3 years. Thanks for this posting! I’d like to try a few of these (and avoid others!). I’ve found that Old Oyster Factory has been very accommodating although I can’t remember if they have a gluten free menu. Also, One Hot Mama’s is the best for celiacs!! Loved it there! Mellow mushroom has gluten free pizza and I think they have gluten free beer too! Also, lots and lots of other beer on tap! Fresh Market (I think that’s what it’s called) has lots of gluten free snacks or things to pick up for your house/room! I’m going there this Saturday, so if I find more great places, I’ll report back!!

 

 

My First Pretty Little Celiac Giveaway~~

entertowin

Because Pretty Little Celiac has become so popular in such a short amount of time, I’ve decided to run my very first PLC contest!!!!

I want to hear from you….

Ok – obviously no one wants to talk about humiliating poop stories, I guess I’m the only one that finds interest in that….

I’m going to change the contest!

Please write me an email and tell me your gluten free or celiac story….

How did you find out? What symptoms do you have? How many doctors did you go to?

Trophy Husband and I will pick a winner.

Rules of the contest:
1. You must like the Pretty Little Celiac Facebook page.

2. You must follow me on Twitter @prettylilceliac

3. You have to submit your story to me by Email no later than midnight on Friday, September 21, 2012. Prettylittleceliac@gmail.com

What will you win? Great Question!

1. A feature on my blog as a guest blogger with your story. You can even keep it anonymous (the stories might be better that way)!

2. A $10 gift card to Amazon.com

3. A copy of Living Without Magazine

Good Luck!~

My wife is the Pretty Little Celiac and this is our Celiac Journey…

The Trophy Husband

Diaries of the Pretty Little Celiac’s Husband

“Watch the cart” This is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Rebecca and her relationship with food. There are too many times to count when we would be speeding home from a night of eating out, screaming at me to go faster or she was going to “bleep her pants”. One time in particular, I had marks on my shoulder when she was grinding her nails into my shoulder as I was turning the corner, coming into our sub-division. We were forced to stop behind a car of an elderly couple who seem to be lost and to my dismay going under 10 miles per hour. I can’t even count how many times this happened. For a while, we would go to the grocery store immediately after eating out. Within 5 minutes of arrival, somewhere between the produce and bakery (rather ironically), she would eventually tell me to “watch the cart’, and she quickly walked to the restroom to ‘check out the facilities’. What was tough for me to understand was the relationship between what she was eating and her sometimes explosive reaction to the food. She would have what we thought was a very healthy dinner, chicken, veggies, whole wheat bread… explosion.. Then we would eat something that would be considered bad or greasy, like cheese fries or nachos loaded with cheese, and nothing. It was like trying to dodge land mines, but they were invisible or at least mis-labeled.

I Have Allergies too!
To give this some perspective,I have always had an allergy to nuts, more specifically, tree nuts. I have been to the emergency room about a dozen times in 30 years. If I have something with nuts in it, I have an immediate reaction. My reaction is much more severe than what Rebecca has with gluten. Certain nuts, if I ingest enough of them, will swell me up to the point where I will not be able to breathe, and die within minutes. Other nuts will give me hives so bad that I become almost unrecognizable. That being said, I find my allergy much more manageable than having celiac. Why? I pretty much know what food has nuts and what doesn’t. Nut allergies are well established in the manufacturing industry the labels on food are done in a way where there is no ambiguity, which I think has to do with the severity of the allergy. If someone eats a product that has nuts but it was not on the label, and dies, the lawyers come in. In the case of Gluten, if gluten is in a product and it says it is ‘Gluten Free’ and it irritates my stomach, it is pretty hard to sue for that. How could you prove it? I can’t even picture how that would play out in court!

In restaurants, it is very easy to find out what has nuts and what doesn’t, most of the time you can see them and there are well established foods that I know to stay away from.. IE Chinese (cooking in nut oils), desserts with walnuts, pecans , cashews…. For gluten, it’s not that straight forward, even to the most veteran celiac. We typically get looks of confusion if Rebecca asks if an item has gluten or not. Sometimes the quick response of “no’. That is even more concerning, since it is hard to determine if the waiter waitress is truly understanding the question. Lastly, the reaction to the gluten is not as automatic as the nut allergy. I am so sensitive to the nuts, I can of just smell them in the food and know. One bite (not even swallowing) and I immediately know. With gluten, sometimes it happens hours later or at times…days…so there is no immediate feedback. The gluten reaction can also be days in length, and can be one of many things for Rebecca. Mostly notably multiple trips to the bathroom. I know way more about her poop then I would ever care to admit.

More than that, it negatively affects her mood, her joints and at times our relationship. Damn you gluten!

The Experiments
Now that she has found out, initially there was a sense of relief. However, quickly a hard realization. Things that she loved to eat were slowly poisoning her. It has been tough. It is tough for me to find the correct way to support her in these struggles. I am a problem solver at work, however, in my experience with Rebecca, it is best to give her unconditional support and someone to listen to ,as opposed to offering any solutions. I don’t have to live with this condition, and I am learning along with her. I don’t have to live with the mistakes or mis-steps that happen along the way. The first few months she stuck to the four of five things she liked and could eat…but those would quickly come and go… Chipotle for a month, then Noodles and Company… then Annie’s Gluten free Mac and Cheese. Trips to gluten-free bakeries, gluten-free bagels, pizza.. some of it will disintegrate in your month… some of it was actually better than the gluten-free product, but you always pay 2x as much for it. We continue to find things we like, and don’t. Rebecca is very vocal either way.. no ambiguity.

How it affected me and my own weight struggles…
One unintended side effect of the discovery that Rebecca had gluten, was that it had positive effects on my health. To be supportive, and also because  I didn’t want to make two different meals (yes, I am the cook in the house), I began eating mostly gluten-free. I have struggled with keeping my weight down, and in the past I combated that with working out more and eating less of the foods I really enjoy! I was smack dab in the middle of one of my most ambitious cycles to get in shape. I was working out, sometime 2x a day, and I was actually gaining weight. The I had started to eat the gluten-free diet, again, the reason of convenience and sanity. I first noticed more energy in the afternoon while I was at work.

Before this, energy from caffeine was the only way I could get through the afternoon. But after eliminating the majority of the gluten in my diet, I was feeling more energetic and didn’t feel I needed caffeine in the afternoons. I began to feel as if there was something to this. I have now embraced eating this way, as well as more small improvements, and have lost 27 pounds in 12 weeks. I am working out less than once a week and not counting calories! My body seems to respond better to not having gluten, and I have never felt better and more energetic.

How I am trying to help…
I listen, I empathize and I learn. As mentioned before, I was not familiar with Celiac disease and gluten. In fact, my knowledge of truly good nutrition was greatly out of date. I have spent the past 5 months researching nutrition and in particular how it affects us on a daily basis. There are great resources on the internet. I particularly like some podcasts I have found on iTunes (search the ‘Health’ category). I listen to these on my to work or when I have the time. Rebecca and I have listened to them on the way to and from some our trips and we have found information that is consistent with what she is experiencing. Cooking for Rebecca continues to be a learning experience. We are constantly trying to find ways to cook the foods we like in a gluten-free manner. Sometimes is works, sometime it doesn’t, and we have to eat the failures. I know immediately if Rebecca doesn’t like it, and we now have at least a few things we can eat consistently. For the most part, we don’t eat out, and when we do there are specific restaurants we target.

What’s next?
We continue to try to find ways to have a lifestyle that we both enjoy. We have had many ups and downs.. mentally, emotionally, physically.. those won’t stop, at least not in the short-term. We are doing it together, but we stumble. She has to live with her body and it’s crankiness, but I see it getting better, although some days there are setbacks. We now celebrate eating out and not getting sick, we celebrate finding a pizza crust that is close to what she used to experience. We celebrate normal bowl movements… yes I said it.

Rebecca started her blog to help people find those little celebrations, to dodge the pitfalls she has found, and to inspire those who have this disease. She is also are looking to collaborate and learn from those who are fighting to maintain a normal and happy life. One day at a time, one meal at a time, we will get there.

Aaron

 

 

  • Becky

    It was as if you were writing about my life! Thank you.

     

    • PrettyLittleCeliac

      You are so welcome! Thank you for stopping by and I just plan on posting more and more…. Stay tuned and let me know if you’d like any specific blog posts…
      Rebecca

       

  • Victoria Rutigliano

    I have a VERY similar story as well. It took years for me to get diagnoised. So great that you are spreading the word to help others. This is a great website.

     

    • PrettyLittleCeliac

      Thank you Victoria for stopping by and I’m thrilled you enjoyed my website. That was the whole point in doing it to educate people. Did they say you had irritable bowel syndrome too?

 

Gluten Free Review Outback Steakhouse

Outback Logo

We started our road trip Thursday night and ended up at a Courtyard Marriott outside of Charlotte. In the car, I took a bunch of snacks with me but there is only so much snacking you can do before you want a real meal. Thankfully, there was an Outback Steakhouse right next to our hotel.

The hostess got me the huge gluten free menu and I was in heaven. So many options! I didn’t know what to order. I knew I wanted a lot of protein since I didn’t have much throughout the day.

menu_outback
The waitress brought Aaron bread and he joyfully devoured it right in front of me :( She said she saw that we only had one gluten free menu and didn’t want to leave the hubby out.

bread_outback

My dinner was the mini filet with the shrimp and a baked potato. The filet was cooked perfectly and the baked potato had the perfect amount of crispiness to the shell that I love. In hindsight, I should of ordered some veggies too while we were there but I’m on vacation and I am going to eat whatever I can that’s gluten free!

I’m not a huge fan of sauces and didn’t try them. I just  like to enjoy my meals plain.

meal

Another great thing about Outback Steakhouse is their connection with their fans on social media. They tweeted me back within 10 minutes and re-tweeted my tweet at 10pm on a Thursday night. That’s great customer service!

I’d highly recommend Outback if you are gluten free or gluten insensitive. They are educated on gluten and have an extensive menu to accommodate your needs without making you feel like the odd man out.
Rebecca

Comments

  1. Eve says:

    what does gluten “insensitive” mean…. I’m sure you meant gluten sensitive…which means GLUTEN INTOLERANT!! This is not a walk in the park, I have gluten intolerance, and didn’t know what was wrong with me and it caused my Graves Disease. I was first diagnosed with RA, 20 years ago but that wasn’t what was happening to me, I had no symptoms of RA, but that had to be when the antibodies first showed up in my blood and the medical profession just didn’t know what it meant. It meant that I was developing Celiacs…and if I’d known it 20 years ago, (maybe) I wouldn’t have developed Graves. I also have lactose intolerance and allergy to eggs…my diet is IMPOSSIBLE if I eat out of my house!! I hope you find your way and starting a blog should help as you will get a lot of input and experience to help you along your new life! Good Luck and good eating.

    • PrettyLittleCeliac says:

      Eve! Thanks for the catch, I will fix that right away. My fault for not proof reading but at least I know someone is reading my blog.

      What a long journey you’ve had with the Graves and RA. I can’t even imagine. Hopefully with education and people sharing their stories, we can help people going for years without symptoms being linked to the root cause of celiac or gluten intolerance.

      Rebecca

       

  2. Megan says:

    Rebecca.. thank you for this entry… Gluten intolerance has been added to an already complicated diet….so this was great to know that Outback is “Megger’s” friendly. Keep up the good work…

     

  3. kathy says:

    We have had great experiences at out local Outback. The waiter was on top of everything! He even thought to ask the kitchen for some GF bread for my husband to enjoy while we all got the regular loaf.

     

    • PrettyLittleCeliac says:

      Do you normally get steak there? They are very active on Twitter and Facebook – so let them know you loved it!

Gluten Poisoning Symptoms and Recovery

It’s 2 am on September 3rd, 2012 and I am wide awake with a horrific stomach ache. It started after my lunch out today at a local restaurant known for having a “gluten free” menu. My review is coming up this week but if you have celiac or severe gluten intolerance I would avoid it at all costs.

Gluten poisoning. What to say about gluten poisoning? It is awful. Just dreadful. Miserable.

Imagine having a stomach virus that gives you diarrhea along with a brick like feeling in your belly without being able to think or sleep. Eating gluten frequently causes a “brain fog” which is similar to having lack of focus. Primarily for me its because I just keep thinking about the horrible pain in my belly. It’s crippling.

The longer I go without gluten in my system, the worse the symptoms are when I do consume the little jerk. I can feel it in my joints. As I type this email, my fingers are throbbing. I can feel my heart beating in my stomach. My head pulsed all day from a low level headache and now I’m wide awake with insomnia from my stormy gut. My stomach is so bloated I look like I’m 4-5 months pregnant.

This is an allergy. My husband is allergic to tree nuts and swells up with hives and could die. My allergy is a slow painful death. Celiac causes tons of other problems for people including hypertension, hypothyroidism, heart complications, behavioral problems, sleeplessness and even cancer. For years I’ve lived with numerous under lying symptoms of celiac but because I ate it every day, my body was in a constant state of turmoil which apparently I just came to adjust to and go on with my life.

Gluten poisoning is different. Instead of a little stomach ache all the time, this is one big, giant, crippling stomach ache that lasts for 2-3 days.

Several weeks ago we went to a Cincinnati Bengals game and kept walking by the concessions with the fresh, hot soft pretzels. My total weakness. My favorite food. I could eat them every single day.

I rationalized eating one that we usually go to 2-3 games per year and if I just let myself eat 1 pretzel at the games, I would satisfy my craving of foods I’ve been forced to deprive myself of for months now.

I ate the pretzel. It seemed like the most delicious pretzel I’ve ever consumed. I ate it in the most miniscule bites to make it last what seemed like forever. It was so good.

An hour later, I was fine.

2 hours later, I was fine.

This was exciting. I beat the system! I could enjoy a pretzel every once in a while and be fine.

Boy was I wrong…..

3 hours later we were about 10 minutes from home and I could feel it. My stomach started to gurgle. My head started to sweat and my heart started pounding. I know that feeling and we had to get home quick. I ran in the house from the driveway to use the restroom. Just like old times I thought to myself. Oh well, I can handle it. I lived with it for 15 years.

Little did I know what was going to happen that week. Friday night was the game. Saturday I felt like a freight train hit me. My fingers were totally swollen and my joints ached. I was exhausted and had a horrible stomach ache. Sunday was just as bad. Monday, Tuesday Wednesday – by FRIDAY I started to feel better. It took me a full week to feel back to normal. I ate fruit bars for almost the whole week. No appetite. Frequent restroom trips. It was just awful.

This was the first time I purposefully ate gluten since February. I’d gone 6 months without consuming a large amount of gluten. I’m sure I’ve had some in the mean time with cross contamination but nothing like this.

The only thing that seems to make my stomach feel better is the natural sierra mist. There is no amount of medicine, vitamins or foods that make your stomach feel better after being poisoned. You just have to stop eating gluten again and wait for your body to heal. Just take it one day at a time. If you have to rest, you have to rest. It’s very similar to having the flu. Your body will tell you when it is time to get back to the normal routine.

I’ve been reading all these things on the internet in blog posts and random other websites. They don’t work. Waiting it out and resting works. Drinking soothing tea might ease your stomach ache but it won’t heal your belly or the damage done to your intestines. Have you ever tried to sleep with a horrible stomach ache? It’s nearly impossible. When I eventually get to bed tonight, I will inevitably lay there tossing and turning until I have to get up in the morning.

Things will get better. I will get smarter about food choices and be more careful about going out to eat. It’s very difficult to trust that restaurants can fully protect you and understand the severity of gluten poisoning. It’s ultimately my responsibility to protect myself and in the future I’ll do a little more research before heading out to eat just because they have a gluten free menu. You live and you learn. The most mistakes I make, the more educated I become on this topic!

xo

The Pretty Little Celiac

 

  • Cindy G. says:

    It’s really too bad that you can’t enjoy a meal which you think is gluten-free without being worried about going through what you just described. It’s unfortunate that you still have to thoroughly research the menu so that you can be sure you aren’t eating something which makes you ill. Do you think you’ll let the restaurant management know about this, so that they’ll examine their menu more closely? I really hope this doesn’t happen again. Take care, and I hope this runs its course quickly.

     

    • PrettyLittleCeliac says:

      Hi Cindy!
      Thanks for the comment and the well wishes. I am going to send them an email. The owner of the place we went typically has very safe food practices and I’ve never gotten ill at any of his other places. I think they should know about this event because they are gluten sensitive. Hopefully you enjoyed my blogs! I have so much more to say on Gluten and Celiac.

      Rebecca

       

      • Betsy says:

        When I go out to eat or go to a party I only eat what is suppose to be gluten free. Most people try to make gluten free foods for me, but mistakes are made. So to be safe I take two Gluten Cutters . You can find them at Walmart’s, Walgreens and CVS makes there own brand of Gluten Cutters. Gluten Cutters are made by a company called Healthy Digestives. They work for me. I am 58 years old and was diagnosed with celiac as a baby and then again 20 years ago after having my babies. Believe me it only takes crumbs to make me sick. My daughter is also celiac and finds that if she takes two Gluten Cutters before eating a meal of gluten she is fine. I am not brave enough to try that. I have been on a strict diet for 19 years now and it is wonderful to finally have something to keep me well so I can now enjoy going out to eat without worries.

         

  • Amy says:

    Rebecca,
    I just wanted to thank you for your blog. I just found out this past summer I have celiacs and have been battling with stomach pain my whole life. Reading your blog felt like I was reading my own life story. I’ve gone through the same things when it comes to my battle with gluten. I’ve also started to notice my stomach doesn’t seem to like lactose either. Did you get tested for that when you noticed? I have tried to completely cut gluten out but I’m still having stomach problems and I think it’s the lactose to blame. Your help is greatly appreciated!
    Thanks so much!
    Amy

     

    • PrettyLittleCeliac says:

      Hi Amy-

      I’m so glad you found my blog because I wish I had a resource that I really liked when I was diagnosed. I’m continuing to add content each week so hopefully we can continue to share stories & I can be a support to you.

      The lactose thing is new since I really focused on eating gluten free. We cook a lot more at home and that allowed me to eliminate questionable food and food handling. I noticed it more which I’m finding is common. I’m actually in the middle of writing a blog post about my observations with lactose. My suggestion is to go totally gluten free, control what you are eating and then try different foods and see how you feel.

      I find that I actually like the lactaid milk and lactose free sour cream better than the original.

      Did you like my facebook page? I post a lot In there too!

      http://Www.facebook.com/prettylittleceliac

      Feel free to email me with anymore questions!

      Rebecca

       

  • Mandy says:

    I have to say that its nice to see that someone else describes the same symptoms, the only difference for me is that on that three hour mark, I vomit off and on for about two hours, I can’t get up, I’m in the fetal position, and feel like I’m dying. It happened today, I ate at my fave restaurant, which I’ve never had issues with before, and was poisoned. :( After throwing up every single ounce of anything I have in me, my stomach ache will remain for a few more hours but the body aches are soooooo terrible! I feel like I got run over! I don’t cheat on purpose, in fact, I’ve been gluten free for probably six plus years, and I had almost forgotten (almost, mind you) how bad it feels to have gluten in my system. None of my friends or family have Celiac so they even though they see the outcome of accidental intake with me, they can’t understand the intense, horrible feelings that accompany it. As much as I wish no one suffers the same fate as me, it was nice to read your blog and see that someone does understand what it feels like. Thanks!

     

    • PrettyLittleCeliac says:

      Hi Mandy-

      Thank so much for your reply. I struggle as well with people thinking it is just a “stomach ache” or that I can just flush it out of my system. I get crazy headaches and neck pain also and I’m noticing the symptoms getting stronger the longer I go without gluten. I’ve also noticed that some things cause a greater reaction than others and I’m trying to pinpoint what that is so I can know the main triggers. I started the blog for that exact reason, people like us that other people think are over reacting about the symptoms. They don’t realize how serious it really is to be “glutened.”

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope we can share other stories as well. If you have any great ones, don’t forget to enter my contest!

      Rebecca

       

  • laura west kong (@laurawestkong) says:

    Wow, you’re brave to eat that pretzel! I haven’t been able to bring myself to eat anything like that. Too scary. Hope you’re feeling better!

     

  • celiacandallergyadventures says:

    I just had my first experience with this! I have no idea what I accidentally ate, because I’m extremely careful. But all these symptoms that had gone away after going gluten-free, suddenly came back with a vengeance. Not just the stomach pain, but eczema, itchiness, irritability, heartburn, headache, feeling mentally “foggy,” … It’s so much worse when you go without it for a while and then ingest it. You’re right, I think our bodies do adjust to it – kind of like alcoholics who are drinking a lot and often – they develop a tolerance and can drink large quantities. But if they cut it out completely and then have it again, it will take much smaller amounts to reach the same effects.

     

  • Emily R Weidenbach says:

    AHHH! I feel you so much! It is the worst thing in the whole world, one time I ate pizza from a local pizza place. The manager swore it was gluten free…well my stomach told me it was not within about 10 mins. Worst feeling ever and for me it lasts for weeks. *hugs*

     

    • PrettyLittleCeliac says:

      Such a high rate of cross contamination at pizza places if they don’t handle it properly! All that flour flying all over the place….

       

      • Emily R Weidenbach says:

        Yeah he actually gave me a regular pizza. I called the coroprate office and they delt with it. It was scary!

         

  • Sarah casebolt says:

    I feel the same way and have all weekend.
    I ate something with gluten but no idea what.
    Tomorrow I have to work, be a single mom as always and deal as well as dig deep. Sitting here near tears. I with you…tummy aches and all. Feel better friend.

     

    • PrettyLittleCeliac says:

      Sarah –

      you are a rockstar :)

       

  • Peggy Kinter says:

    I break out in blisters on my face, and my arms,I hate this Celiac so bad…thank you for this website you have brought to us

     

  • Tracey Black says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. My husband is allergic to gluten, soy, and eggs – and has to be on a candida-free diet, which is basically no starch. It’s really harsh. He didn’t have symptoms like this but he had chronic fatigue and arthritis flare-ups. He’s been on this crazy diet for about 6 weeks now and he’s still not feeling better, but his doctor said that it could take up to 6 months to feel better. It’s crazy how closely tied our stomachs are to the rest of our body.

     

  • pam says:

    Rebecca
    Thanks for all your post. I finally found someone who seems to be as sensitive as I am. It usually takes me about a week to settle back down and I blow up to about 7 months preggers! lol I am even starting to have problems with preservatives in meats bought at the grocery store. It took over 6 yrs for them to figure out what was wrong with me, and many many medical test and of course as much money as they could get from me since I do not have insurance. I had gotten so bad that before I was even 40 yrs old a neurologist told me to quit my job and go file for disability that I was permanently handicapped and it would only get worse with time. When told there was no sign of a reason for nerve damage, but mind you I was told I had suffered 2 small strokes; hello that I didn’t even know about, that it was all a nutritional thing, I left his office went home and ordered a Bow Flex machine and within 2 months was off the cane. I still can’t seem to get past the 100 lb mark which is sad since I am 5’9″ tall. My thought was that if I work out the body would demand the nutrition it needed to survive and for a little bit that worked. But constant workouts are not something my body can take, with the joint stiffness and the osteoporosis that at age 42, they tell me my bones are that of a 70 yr old as well as my intestines, I have had to cut back on the workouts.
    I have found my biggest problem is finding good things to eat since most of my life I ate things out of a bag served over a counter, a box, or a can. So anything you find especially appealing please feel free to share with those of us always looking for something good GOOD being the key word there and that doesn’t cost a small fortune. Which I don’t know if you have noticed but gluten free is extremely expensive. Or maybe I should say the gluten free baked goods are expensive. And the better they taste the more expensive they are. It’s like a big conspiracy to keep the american public eating foods that we have manufactured to turn on and destroy our bodies. I am trying right now to convince myself to buy a loaf of paleo coconut bread that runs $11 a loaf! Anyway don’t let me get started on that end of things. I just wanted to say.
    Thanks for your sharing it is VERY helpful and I look forward to reading more.

     

    • PrettyLittleCeliac says:

      Welcome Pam! I feel your pain (literally & figuratively). Part of my problem is that I hate cooking & I don’t want to buy a ton of ingredients – which most of these gluten free cook books require! I’m eating pretty plain these days….

       

  • brenlee129 says:

    I have been glutened at restaurants that claim to be gluten friendly too. The sad part about it is when I’m home sick all week I wish I had eaten Chick Fil A or my mom’s lasagna instead. At least I would have enjoyed being glutened! Instead I had something “gluten free” that tasted like cardboard!

     

  • Kim Reichert says:

    It’s comforting to hear I’m not the only one who “tests” my tummy on occasion. I will be doing really well and then go to a dinner at friends or one of my grandkids birthday parties and think “I’ve been really good so one little piece of cake or cookie won’t kill me”. And like you, within 6-8 hours I am stuck in the bathroom with horrific stomach cramps and diarrea. It will last for days. I use to try to blame it on my arthritis meds or something else. Now my husband will say ” don’t do it, you will be sorry”. He is my voice of reason! I will also get terrible migrains and my arthritis will flair up and I just want to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head for days! Then I beat myself up for being soooo stupid. The funny thing is, I was tested for Celiac disease and the results were “inconclusive”. Then why does this happen every time wheat touches my stomach? I also sometimes have problems with dairy products. Not always but sometimes it causes the same symptoms as wheat. I have decided that no matter what the tests show, my body knows best! While staying off wheat and dairy won’t cure my degenerative arthritis or nasal allergies, it certainly helps my symptoms and allows me to enjoy playing with my grandkids, riding my horses, walking my dogs and waking up to a good day. Thank you so much for your page!

     

  • PrettyLittleCeliac says:

    Hi Kim!

    Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you are enjoying my blog and it’s comforting for me as well to know I’m not the only one that does this!!

    Rebecca

     

  • Kathy Mc says:

    I am extremely sad today as my diagnosed Celiac 5 year old granddaughter has just spent the last 4 days with extreme vomiting within 6 hours (10 times the first 24 hours) and diarrhea, and complete lifelessness from Reese Valentine heart candy that I bought for her during a Valentine celebration at my house. Reese has been my go-to candy for her for the last 4 years since she was diagnosed with Celiac disease at 22 months old. I found out right away that Reese peanut butter cups were safe and Gluten free and I have been so comfortable with that fact. I have always bought the Easter eggs and Christmas candy for her too. There is nothing on “this” package label that states “contains wheat/wheat flour.” After researching what went wrong, I read Hershey online that the seasonal shapes are not guaranteed gluten free. I can’t believe this. Why would they ever make some Reese cups gluten free and then “fool” us by not making all of them gluten free? I feel totally mislead. I believe Hershey would die if they saw my little 5 year old the past four days. Her little body has been extremely lifeless, and she has slept non stop except for when she is vomiting. She only has sipped a little water and has not eaten a thing for 4 days. She only weighed 45 lbs. and lost 5 lbs. this week. After reading some other blogs, I can see she is an extreme case. She was completely poisoned. Not to mention that parents had to take off work all these days. I have been communicating with Hershey to change this.
    Sincerely,
    Kathy Mc

     

    • Rebecca says:

      I am so sorry to hear this. It breaks my heart! This story is the perfect one (unfortunately) for advocacy on proper labeling of gluten on foods in the united states. Canada is there, why aren’t we?

       

  • Kim says:

    Hi guys! I have struggled with “stomach issues” my entire life but most severely since the birth of my oldest daughter (11). I went to one GI after another with no answers. More recently I have been suffering from chronic fatigue and extreme body and joint pain. plus i feel “sick” most of the time. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and my dr referred me to a GI bc my vitamin levels are staying extremely low. I am scheduled for a colonoscopy, endoscopy bloodwork, and biopsy. She mentioned celiacs. I’m a skeptic with doctors bc of the hard time I have had over the last decade with them never really finding answers but treating me to death. I refuse to believe at 31 everything in my body is completely failing me. It has to all be linked somehow. I’m really scared that i will be positive for celiacs but test negative and spend another decade with my mystery diagnosis. Any suggestions on what I should look for with the testing or what questions to ask?

     

    • Rebecca says:

      Kim did you see my post about questions to ask your doctor at your first appointment? I am also 31 and had my body fall apart which ended up giving me the celiac diagnosis. Just don’t stop eating gluten until after your appointment. They won’t be able to adequately test for the problems if you stop eating it before your tests. Then if you are going gluten-free, you have to stop eating it completely or you will never get better. We are a great little celiac community here and even just gluten-free. We are all here to support you. I’m on twitter and facebook if you ever need us!

       

  • John B says:

    Your story has to be the worst news of my life!! I’ve had coeliac for 18 months and not touched anything but recently I’m really craving a jammy donut and thought one wont hurt me apart from a bad tummy but it’ll be wirth it. How wrong am I, it looks like ill have to avoid it now. I hope your happy!!!! Seriously though I’m pleased I read this. Thank you for been a human guinea pig.

    John

     

  • Gretchen says:

    I am so happy I stumbled across this blog! Im 16 years old and all the food teenagers want is filled with gluten! I have to admit I cheat a lot… And I sure do pay for it. My stomach hurts for an entire week and theres nothing you can do but “wait it out”… Story of us Celiac peoples lives!! Ive been gluten free for 6 months now and i still have horrible abdominal pain. Is that normal?

    Thanks, Gretchen

     

  • Betsy says:

    I have celiac and have been on a gluten free diet for about 20 years. I can’t count the times that I have been poisoned by cross contamination and human error. It is unfortunate that alls you can do is ride it out and hope that feeling like death doesn’t last long . But I have recently stumbled apron a product called GULTEN CUTTER you can find it at Walmart’s and Walgreens. I take it just before I eat whenever I think there maybe a possibility of being poisoned with gluten. My daughter takes it and can eat gluten and not get sick , I have not been that brave and have not tried taken it and purposely eaten gluten. It is a natural and breaks down the gluten in the upper intestine before it goes to the lower intestine and dose damage. So you may what to give it a try before your next party or restaurant experience.
    Betsy

     

  • Jennifer says:

    I came across your blog after having reaction to food served at a restaurant this weekend. My story, at the end of May 2013 I had a terrible stomach flu. It lasted 10 days. It was the worst I’ve ever felt and I remember at the time, this didn’t feel normal for me. I was in the hospital 3 times in a two week period due to extreme vomiting and dehydration and blood work that showed I was fighting a terrible infection. Then I was in ER at least once a week until the end of June when I was hospitalized for 5 days because I would feel terrible for 12 hours – vomiting, noise and light sensitive, foggy brained, etc – everytime I needed to have a BM that would never happen. Then like a light switch turning on, I felt fine for several hours and the cycle would start again. After 5 days, several tests and seeing a GI specialist in the hospital, I was told to go home as I’d get better nutrition and told I had developed IBS and a possible food allergy from the severe flu I had.

    I saw a Naturopath and he had me go on an Elimination Diet, which was the hardest thing I have ever done. In my 39 years, I’ve never had to read labels or watch what I eat – except when I had my gallbladder removed 2 years ago. Anyways, long story short, I cheated on the elimination diet and narrowed it down to having intense vomiting and dehydration episodes and feeling like a brick was in my stomach for several hours about 10 hours after eating food that had gluten, starch or alcohal in it. I would end up in the hospital to be rehydrated and to get IV anti-nausea drugs to help me. This weekend I got sick after eating at a restaurant and narrowed it down to a gluten or starch that did it, though the restaurant denied giving me gluten (they did it was in the chicken broth in my rice flavouring). I believe I have a gluten allergy and am very sensitive to cross contamination because the gluten free products I am eating now do contain some starches and I haven’t had issues.

    This has been such a difficult time for me. I have lost over 20 pounds since June 2013 – the first 15 pounds coming off in 3 weeks, the rest by cutting gluten and starchy foods out of my diet. I am reading online and I rarely see people who have episodes like mine. Does anyone else out there have vomiting episodes after consuming gluten and if so, how long after eating? (mine is about 10 hours after consuming food) I don’t have stomach pain but I do have a stomach burning and I get adrenaline surges and frequent urination my stomach feels like a brick and clothing resting on it is very uncomfortable and i feel a lot of pressure. Am I alone in these symptoms? Are these common symptoms for celiacs?

     

  • Amanda says:

    Hey Rebecca,

    I so appreciate your blog. I have always had digestive issues, but in 2006 i started getting severe hives, that.no one could figure out the trigger. Recently it started on my palms, so i decided to find out what i was allergic to. I went gluten free & dairy free for like 4 days. Noticed nothing wad changing and went on.vacation, and ate whatever i wanted. Oh boy was i gasy, bloated, gurgling gut, severe intergestion, burping. On the 12hr drive home, i waslike upchuck vomiting. Next i was in the hospital. I went gluten free again, but i dont understand its a week and i fluctuate from feeling better to completely slammed with bid E.T.

     

    • Amanda says:

      Sorry my phone dislikes me as much as my gut. lol. So i im getting slammed with stomach (intergestion) gurgling belly, the Big D, randomly on my very stricked gf diet. I havent had a normal bm in i dont know how long. Is it normal to suffer for a period of time after you go gluten free. I thought you’re supposed to feel 10x better. Im miserable!!!! Thank you for puting uourself out

       

      • Amanda says:

        Ahaha just rediculous… Thank you for putting yourself out there to help us figure our way through the stomach cramps

        Lets get well,
        Amanda

         

        • Karah says:

          It can take awhile (even months) to feel better. Many times after you first go gluten free you don’t realize how many items have gluten hidden in them. Check things like gum, mints, soups ect. I couldn’t figure out why my stomach would bloat up randomly until I found out the gum I was chewing contained it. Another thing you may want to think about is going on a probiotic or taking something like Papaya enzymes after you eat. Your body won’t be able to break down food very well because of the damage to your gut.

           

  • Wendy L says:

    Water, Water, Water –
    I have negative reactions to MSG and aspartame as well as gluten.
    When I feel that I have been exposed to one of these, I drink lots of water to help process the bad stuff through my system faster.

     

  • Tim says:

    So happy to find this info. The swollen joints and head fog really hit home for me. Also, my gut feels like it’s trying to process nails and screws. I’ve been in a steady state of “attack” since Thanksgiving. It’s time to start healing. Thank you for the info.

     

  • Krissy says:

    I want to say, since I was 12 years old I have had stomach issues. Severe constipation, stomach pains, and occasional diarrhea with esophageal spasms- horrible. I have lived with debilitating stomach issues for years being blown over and just being told I had IBS and acid reflux disease. I am no doctor, but I KNEW what I was dealing with was more than IBS, and I was forced to live in agony every day (who really takes kids seriously- it is sad). It wasn’t until after I had my son two years ago that my symptoms flip-flopped. I started having diarrhea every day, then multiple times a day, and then the barfing started. I was literally living in the bathroom. I had to make an appt with the gastroenterologist, and while I waited for my appt date, I decided to take a hold of my own health. I did what we are told not to do, and googled away. It had to be Celiac’s or Crohn’s and I took charge and started with cutting out gluten and educating myself more on nutrition. I didn’t need the biopsy, colonoscopy, or blood work to come back from the doctor’s office because my stomach was 75% better by the time it was confirmed. I am a very careful Celiac, and I rarely eat anything out, and usually when I do try to take a chance (even at places who offer ‘gluten-free’), I usually will pay for it. It isn’t worth being glued to the toilet with my head in a trash can. My violent poisoning will onset anywhere from an hour to 5 hours from ingesting toxic gluten. I ate a contaminated salad that I bought three days ago and I am still recovering from it. I just hope that everyone here who has spoken up and shared their stories will help someone. More and more research is showing that cases of Celiac’s Disease ranges from constipation to severe diarrhea and vomiting. Be your own advocate… no one should have to suffer. Thanks, Pretty Little Celiac, for starting this… awareness is key. Feel better everyone!

     

  • Joey says:

    I like how you break down the time line for the pretzel. I usually know in two hours myself. One night at a friend’s house, I poured myself a glass of wine. It was dark with a foam on top. I took a sip as if in a trance. Just as I went for the second sip, the host said; “you know that’s beer right?” Those damn Trappist are disguising beer in wine bottles. Who knew? It was so good. The denial was so strong. Later in the evening, I thought; ‘gee, I’m full.’ It was the bloat. Ugh, the bloat! I woke up in the middle of the night in abdominal pain. Only until after being gluten free, did I link my sleeplessness to my diet after waking up in abdominal pain or excessive farting.

    I’ve been gluten free for six months. My IGA Panel was normal, but my primary doctor recommended going gluten free to see how I felt. I’ve had IBS, reflux and Eczema for years. All went away on a GF diet, until I started eating out again. “Gluten Free” isn’t gluten free. I was still skeptical though. So I went ahead to see a GI doctor and whatever I said, he felt warranted an endoscopy, BUT he wants me to liberalize the gluten. To be honest, I’m a little scared. It makes me feel like crap. Also, I cheated this weekend at a holiday party cuz I didn’t want to be the glutard eating salad and rice. Welcome back all my old GI symptoms. Today I was light headed. Is that the brain fog??? I felt out of it all day, but almost four days later. I’m applying for grad school and taking the GRE next month, and I can’t afford to be out of it. Recommendations or thoughts.

     

  • Kate says:

    I am not diagnosed celiac but I am sensitive and irritated by gluten, among other things. It’s hard for me to not cheat because I am not always affected at first. One too many cheats and I am right there with you on intense stomach aches, bloating, immediate runny nose and swollen sinuses, brain fog, diarrhea, flaky skin rash. However I can tolerate things like a hand full of cookies or a bagel here and there on a good day. So take this with a grain of salt.

    Have you tried eating paleo? It eliminates all the gluten-full baddies without making me feel like I’m deprived, or like I’m going to be poisoned. For me, I take it further and avoid nuts, eggs, and seeds. It changed the way I look at food. I eat meats, fruits, veggies, and lots of good fats. I even make my own spices from stuff in the produce aisle at the grocery store because I know it’s safe! It’s so easy. And what person wouldn’t drool over a meal of juicy steak, carefully chosen bacon, sweet potato, and broccoli?

    When I do mess up and cheat (pretzels give me the worst stomach ache, hands down, after the first bite) I reach for raw parsley or cilantro. Something about it halts the ache immediately. If I intentionally cheat I eat an entire bunch beforehand. This may not help if you’ve got it bad but I know how it feels to be desperate, and worst case it won’t do anything but best case may work.

    I don’t pretend to have it as bad as some people, but I can’t carry on glutening myself. My last episode led me to your site in the hopes of motivating myself to not cheat. It’s just hard sometimes to be the odd one out. I felt compelled to comment – I hope my little tricks can help someone.

     

  • Angela says:

    Can I just say DITTO to all of the above…Last month I had 1 slice of Pizza from NYC and was in so much pain for a week…I eventually went to the ER and my gallbladder had to be removed…Since then I have been totally gluten free…but it’s still so confusing because I can eat Italian bread from the bakery with no problems at all and my local pizza place has thin pizza that doesn’t bother me…I chickened out on the upper endoscopy 5 years ago and just decided to cut down on gluten but I really need to get tested…I had my appendix removed about 20 years ago then my gallbladder recently and I’m thinking it’s all related to gluten and I’m so afraid of what’s next!! It does so much damage to our bodies!! On a positive note, the joint aches and swelling has gone down and that foggy feeling is GONE! Like a miracle! Almost like I couldn’t wake up and now my brain is so clear and alert!!

     

  • Kristine says:

    I have a 3 month old that seems to have a reaction when I eat dairy and gluten. I also have Celiac disease. I have been off gluten for 1.5 years. But last week I rationalized that I must not have it any more so I ate some breaded chicken. The next day my son had mucus stools, congestion, projectile vomiting, and bloating. No more vomiting after two days but a low grade fever, diarrhea, and a rash like mine. I had bloating, stomach cramps, hair falling out, my gluten rash on arm, and a week later I feel better but now have diarrhea today. Could it be a virus because that would seem like a big coincidence? Have you ever had those symptoms?

     

  • Betsy says:

    Go to walmarts or walgreens and buy Gluten Cutters and take them when you go out to eat or anywhere you could accidentally be glutened it is a great way to keep safe.

 

 

Celiac and Depression

celiac_depression_shakespeare

This was a post written back in July 2012. I’ve since had major improvements but I think it’s important to show the history and seriousness of this disease.

I’ve never been one to hide my feelings or shy away from what is going on my life. I think there are so many other people that could benefit from knowing they aren’t alone and share in the same situations that it’s important to stay true to yourself and others. That’s why I’m writing this post.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’ve had several set backs over the years. I had a miscarriage that was very difficult for me, I found out I suffer from Celiac disease, I went through tremendous hurdles to get my business up and running and I left my full time job to follow my dreams. There have been other things that went on of course over the past few years but these are the notable major events.

For the last few weeks, I’ve found myself watching more television, sleeping more and generally being more irritable and cranky than usual. My level of excitement and enthusiasm was down and I’ve been struggling with staying on track or focusing on goals. It was when I told my husband I was sick of talking about Bexa that I knew something was wrong. I found myself going up there less and struggling to get motivated.

That’s when I realized  I’m suffering from depression and anxiety.

I found a therapist and started going last week. Just in two sessions I already feel better and more up lifted. Heck, I’m even writing this post which is a great sign. Sometimes I think because I spent 7 years in the social services world and around counseling all the time that I’m immune to needing their services.

Depression comes in many forms. As a society, we are prone to thinking depression comes in the form of locking ourselves in a dark room, under our blankets and not coming out for weeks. Or in the lovely commercials for pharmaceuticals, we are restlessly staring out into the rainy weather wishing we could just gather our spirits to enjoy the day. Believe it or not, you can be depressed and still live a functioning life. The symptoms are so different for people, you have to know and understand your own behaviors in order to recognize the signs. For me, I needed a 3rd person professional for me to understand I’m not crazy and these are normal feelings I’m having for the circumstances right now in my life.

WebMD is a great place for resources on finding our more information on how you are feeling and when to seek help. There are a number of supplements that relieve anxiety that I had no idea about! Check out what they said below regarding Anxiety and Depression.

What Are the Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?
Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
  • Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences
  • Nightmares
  • Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeated hand washing
  • Problems sleeping
  • Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • An inability to be still and calm
  • Dry mouth
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness

While I don’t have all of these, I have enough of them to then turn around and cause me to have depressive symptoms as well.

Major Depression: What Are the Symptoms?
Depression shows itself differently in different people. Common depression symptoms are:

  • Depressed mood, sadness, or an “empty” feeling, or appearing sad or tearful to others
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting, or significant weight gain (for example, more than 5% of body weight in a month)
  • Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping
  • Restlessness or irritation (irritable mood may be a symptom in children or adolescents too), or feelings of  “dragging”
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating, or indecisiveness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or specific plan for committing suicide

Depression Treatment: When Should You Get Help? If you have five or more of these symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, you may have major depression. It’s important to speak to your doctor about treatments to start helping you feel better.

Thanks WebMD – Back to me…

My depression and anxiety come in the form of agitation and frustration along with repression and denial. In therapy, I learned that frustration is just a nicer word to use to mask your true feelings. And this is completely true. So while I do have some of the symptoms listed above, I also have my own personal symptoms that are unique to me. The only way I would have known this is by going to a therapist.

Part of my issues revolve around being my own boss. I honestly don’t think I am living up to my own expectations and it’s frustrating for me. I’ve gained a little bit of weight and am really struggling to get back on track. I know, I know. I still look great is what you will all say but you have to remember that perception is reality and I perceive myself as out of shape and not where I want to be. I’m not as strong or fit as I used to be, I struggle with having Celiac and honestly I’m angry about having Celiac. 2 therapy sessions and we’ve narrowed it down partly the business and compounded by my complete and utter anger in having Celiac and how it affects my life.

I think I’m different in the sense that I’m still optimistic and working towards my goals. I don’t feel hopeless. I don’t feel like a failure. I don’t feel discouraged about the future. I’m just sad right now and am working to get out of this funk. I’ve decided against medications because I want to deal with this the right way and fight through instead of masking the symptoms with pharmaceuticals. While I understand some people believe in them, they just aren’t’ for me at this time. Please understand I am not saying people don’t need them or use them for a benefit. I’m just choosing to handle mine in a different manner.

I could go on and on in the post about where I am right now or how I’m feeling but the real purpose of this post is to educate people in symptoms and signs of depression and anxiety and how to ask for help. I found a therapist provider that offers my insurance on the Psychology Today’s website. I liked her bio and what she said she believed in for treatment and I followed my gut instinct. I think I picked perfectly.

Many times you will see my posts on Facebook and think I’m speaking to you. Actually I post things that are meaningful to me and if I write them enough I will believe them and keep working toward my goals. I fall off the wagon. I struggle with eating and fitness. I struggle with relationships and my job. I am no different than anyone else. I just choose to present myself differently and focus on the positives and getting over hurdles. I never really understood the point of dwelling in the negative. Everyone has choices in their life. Sure, they have consequences but you have weigh them against what you really want. Sometimes you just have to realize what is important to you and live your life to the fullest. The only person living your life is you.

So, how do you go about finding a therapist? Start with your insurance company list of in-network providers. If you feel comfortable, ask around to friends, networks or colleagues. No one has to know you are looking for yourself. Do a web search and find their bio’s and descriptions of how they treat their patients. What is their methodology? Do you want someone that shares your religious beliefs?

When going to find a therapist, make sure you feel totally comfortable with them so you can get the most out of your treatment. You won’t get anywhere by forcing yourself to see someone you don’t connect with or that you don’t think can help you.

Find a support team to help you, even if that person is just there for you if you need to vent or discuss your ideas/thoughts. I like to go somewhere and be alone after my sessions. I take notes from them and then plan on how I can improve or make changes based on what we discussed in our session. There is no shame in needing help.

The bottom line is that everyone goes through crap. It’s how you handle that crap that makes you unique. Some people choose to wallow in their pain and try to make everyone else miserable with them. Some people choose to lock themselves in their house and isolate for a while. Some people choose to live on and rock on despite struggling and get the help they need. Just know that no matter where you are or what you are feeling, there is someone out there to help you – you just have to be ready and willing to ask.

depression_quote

Abby

Hi Rebecca, I am 24 newly married (June 9, 2012 to an amazing guy who i have been with for almost 9 years) and I wanted to write you a comment to simply say Thank you. Thank you for being so amazingly honest and genuine with what you write on your website. I was feeling so sick yesterday and down in the dumps when I came across your webite and after reading it I felt like for the first time in many years that I was not alone anymore, like WOW there is somebody who knows and truly understands all the pain, depression, anxiety, just all the symptoms caused by celieac that can take over the better part of the day. I was diagnosed with celiac about 6 months ago. I have been struggling so much with how to make gluten free my new lifestyle and after reading so many great topics on your website I am beginning to have a whole new outlook and instead of spending more days feeling sorry for myself I am looking forward to keeping up with your website and staying positive and feeling that Im lucky that I now know what is wrong and that I can be in control and make things better! Thank you so much for this website!!! Best wishes…Abby

 

  • PrettyLittleCeliac

    Hi Abby!!

    You literally just brought me to tears! THANK YOU THANK YOU for writing this post. It makes me feel so good and warms my heart that I can help others in similar situations as myself. I think we all just get too caught up at first with the diagnosis and nobody really ever breaks it down for you into a all the pieces and parts of your life. Your life is what you CHOOSE to make of it – so we can be down in the dumps or put the dumps in our trunks and move it on outta here 🙂

    Rebecca