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About Me

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Updated “About Me”

I don’t like to cook or bake or do anything with several ingredients. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know why. I am just lazy I guess. I do love to eat, and try to new things, and travel, and go out, and all of the “normal” things that people usually like to do. But, I do it “gluten-free” because of Celiac Disease. Does it suck? Of course, but not all the time. I have found great pizza, beer, cake, and restaurants that I trust. I am always looking for the latest cool thing, and when I find it, I try to remember to blog about it. I usually forget though.

I am a Tech at a local hospital, and I just graduated nursing school! I stay so busy that it is hard to find time to do, well, anything. I am also a contributer to Delight gluten free Magazine www.delightgfmagazine.com and chairwoman for the Boulder County Celiacs. I love science and medicine, and have a new-found intrest in food because of celiac disease. I am a certified pharmacy technician (C.Ph.T.), a certified nursing assistant (C.N.A.), and I have a certificate in the Pracitical Application of Food Allergy Guidelines. I am a member of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society, National Pharmacy Technician Association, Boulder County Celiacs, Denver Metro Celiacs, Alamo Celiac Group, and several other organizations and groups. That doesn’t really qualify me to do anything, but if you wanted to know, then there you go 🙂

For the record, unless I cite sources or something, this blog is my opinion, and is pretty much unofficial. I welcome healthy debate, but nasty people can go elsewhere (I won’t say where).

And, by the way, I don’t put google ads or any other kinds of ads on my page for a reason; I AM NOT TRYING TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF YOU! I blog because I like to, and because I wish I would have been able to find more restaurant info when I was first diagnosed. Enjoy my blog, for free 🙂

Celiac Disease Diagnosis Story (written in 2006) 

I  was diagnosed with Celiac disease in December 2005. This is a genetic autoimmune disease that affects the small intestine and your bodie’s nutrition. The treatment is a gluten free diet.

I was having severe GERD and wanted to stop eating the foods that caused the reflux, instead of just taking all of the meds I was prescribed (Reglan, Aciphex, and Nexium). I knew there had to be a food connection. I read about the ALCAT test in Figure Magazine and went to see an allergy specalist about it. He told me that I should try the elimination diet (and that the blood tests were not worth the money.) The elemination diet takes MONTHS and is often subjective, because it is up to you to monitor ALL POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS and keep track of what make you feel sick. I decided to get the ALCAT test anyway, and I am SO glad that I did!

My ALCAT results showed gluten, gliadin, sweet potato, almonds, whey, casien, and several other foods. The instructions were to cut out all of those foods for a month, and then reintroduce them on a rotation basis. When I reintroduced gluten (had pasta for lunch one day) my intestines shut down and I passed out in the mall and was taken to the ER! The doc said there were no bowel sounds, and that everything had shut down, and I had a gluten intolerance, and needed to quit eating gluten (based on the fact that I had been gluten free for a month, and this was my reaction to eating a bowl of pasta!)

I went home and researched gluten intolerance. I found Celiac.com. I read about Celiac Disease and the symptoms. I had most of the symptoms, except the “thin and malnourished” one! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to talk to my doc about it because I was afraid he would laugh in my face! I read about EnteroLab in Dallas, TX and their gluten intolerance tests. I ordered one of those, and the genetic testing. When I got the positives back from that (including 2 Celiac genes!) I took them to my doc. Turns out there was a Celiac Blood Panel that he could run! Who Knew?

After everything was done and tested I found out that my paternal grand-mother was diagnosed with Non-Tropical Sprue before the passed away. She died very young, just 40 years old, from stomach cancer, with holes in her intestines.

I still struggle with the idea that I can’t have my favorite foods. But as soon as I have something with gluten in it, I get so sick, I realize quickly that it is not worth it, and that this is not all in my head! I hate feeling different, and having to request special food and special treatment. I want to be just like everyone else, but when I do, I get sick, and I learn (again) that I can’t do that to myself.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. December 24, 2007 4:40 pm

    By the way, the products and restaurants reviewed on my website are for the United States. Please double check the products in your country if you are outside the United States. 🙂

  2. March 17, 2008 3:44 pm

    Have had similar problems…I’m very allergic to corn in any form….have to read labels for HFCS….high fructose corn syrup is my mortal enemy!! Good luck.

  3. April 7, 2008 7:11 pm

    I had a similar diagnosis. My doctor wouldn’t test me for celiac because I wasn’t thin and malnourished looking. However I had an iron and magnesium deficiency as well as severe depression. Years before I had been “Eating right for my blood type” which since I’m type O included eliminating gluten. I was in the best shape of my life, I felt fantastic for three years. Then I slowly started eating gluten again and I slowly started feeling like crap (I hadn’t put 2 and 2 together yet). After the intense stress of 9/11, our jeep getting stolen and the birth of our son (in that order and one right after the other), my body was in turmoil. I had sudden gall bladder disease out of nowhere and a vitamin deficiency that was not helped by taking vitamin supplements. Long, Long, Long story short… I finally did the math after going back to eating right for my type for a few months and then had some pasta. I bloated like a balloon and was sick all night. This is just a couple of bites of pasta. I had other symptoms that I am sure other celiacs have but I don’t want to talk about it. Anyway I googled these symptoms and voila!!! I asked my Doctor to test me and he just thought I was silly and so to enterolabs I went. Gee, guess what I have Celiac and my Doctor sucks. I wonder if Doc’s in America don’t want to test because there isn’t a drug that can fix it but there are plenty of drugs to prescribe for the terrible symptoms. I have been on so many anti depressants which all made me crazy. The time lapse from onset of symptoms to diagnosis in America is 11 years!! In Europe it is 6 months. In Europe, if you have depressive symptoms or vitamin deficiencies, they automatically test for Celiac. In Italy (the land of pasta) they test in infancy for the genetic marker. Celiac is so unbelievably common and most people don’t even know it. My sister has Celiac but has never gone without gluten to finally experience being “sick.” She lives in Denver, so I’m hoping that she find some inspiration in your site.

  4. April 7, 2008 7:15 pm

    By the way, I forgot to mention in my last response that I no longer have even a smidgen of depressive symptoms. Amazing what actually absorbing nutrients will do for you. We truly are what we eat.

  5. Karen permalink
    May 21, 2008 1:30 pm

    My family and I all have gluten intolerance and I also can’t have dairy or sugar. Let me know if you want to trade ideas and resources, we live in the Denver metro area as well.

    You aren’t the only one to not have the thin and malnourished symptom that “typically” goes with celiac. Both my husband and I struggled with obesity and we watched our son start bloating up around the age of three. After cutting out gluten and other allergens, I’m back almost to my high school weight, hubby lost 70 pounds and my son was happy and healthy again. There are still a lot of medical experts who are ignoring the link between celiac and obesity with some people, but it does happen.

  6. Rachel permalink
    July 7, 2008 8:43 pm

    Hey guys,

    I just moved to Denver, and after years of being exhausted, depressed and ill all of the time, my nurse practitioner here took me off of all gluten, and anything artificial. I am having a hard time enjoying what I eat, so I am really excited to have found this site. We should put a group together and meet every so often, in the Denver area. It’s not horrible, but I could use some support. 🙂 Unless you are going through it, one can’t really know how it feels to take all of your favorite foods out of your life, and change your lifestyle overnight.

    While I have not been diagnosed through testing, I have been in the hospital so many times for digestive issues, I finally gave up on the meds and the tests, and just feel that this is a healthier way to live life.

    I am still exhausted, and achy. Can anyone tell me the general length of time it takes to feel better? While I am not having episodes anymore, I am still feeling run down. I know everyone is different, but I was just wondering if there is a time table to this.

    Let me end by saying thank you to everyone who has posted on this site, and thank you to those who put this together. All of the information I have obtained has been incredibly helpful, and I look forward to meeting some of you. 🙂

    Thanks for everything! You inspire me!

  7. July 17, 2008 1:47 am

    It is so wonderful to hear from other people with the same symptoms! I hope you are all doing well now!

  8. August 15, 2008 5:00 pm

    Hey rachel, have you tried going off of dairy (all milk, milk proteins, whey, casin, cheese, etc…) for a month or more? it could really help you. see, dairy and glutin mimic eachother in the symptom department so many people on a glutinm free diet also avoid dairy and notice a huge difference!!! 🙂

  9. Tammy aka littlefeet permalink
    August 28, 2008 9:38 am

    Your info has helped a lot. Thank you……. I was diagnosed 2 years ago and still irritaded that I can’t eat my favorite foods but it gets easier everyday. We read labels all the time and I am TIRED of doing that. Out of the bread box in colorado springs has the best bread that I have found.
    Thank You again this was a big help.

  10. Kim permalink
    November 20, 2008 12:33 pm

    Hi,
    I live in the Denver area and my son is struggling terribly with food allergies. Can you tell me where you had your ALCAT testing done? Even though he is off of the foods he is “allergic” too he is still having problems and I’m wondering if there are still more out there that we just aren’t aware of. His allergist doesn’t do ALCAT so I’m wondering if someone can help?

    thanks!

  11. November 21, 2008 1:20 am

    Hi Kim,
    I did the ALCAT testing on my own (paid for it myself) and not through a doctors office or insurance. I asked an allergist about it, and he said it was a waste of money, so I just did it anyway (and good thing too, because it showed me other food intolerances, like strawberries and sweet potato).

    It was expensive, and I don’t know if some D.O.’s or Chiropractors would be open to requesting it and trying to bill your insurance. In my opinion, ALCAT saved my life. It was the first food test I ever had, and it showed gluten, gliadin, and other foods that I have now started to notice a pattern with.

    Just my humble opinion 🙂

  12. December 8, 2008 9:03 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve found a lot of great information on your blog. Luckily we are seeing more and more gluten-free choices out there.

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