Just began GF/DF eating..tips?

Hello everyone,

This is my first post on here, so bare with me. :) Ever since I was a baby I have been lactose intolerant. I have always just put up with the stomach pains and cramps, or took medicine for it. As a child, I would always have stomach problems. We never knew why! After a while I noticed that whenever I had eaten something with wheat or gluten in it, my stomach pain would begin. I would be so bloated and my stomach would have sharp pains. Again, for years I have just dealt with it. But a few days ago, I decided to start eating a GF/DF diet. And, for these last couple of days, my stomach has not hurt! I have felt energized after I eat (which never happens). I have not been diagnosed with any type of gluten intolerant condition, due to the fact that I never go to the doctors. I do plan to continue eating GF/DF because it definitely helps my stomach! I was just wondering if there are any tips on, say, going out to eat, or a fast food restaurants. Since I can't eat anything dairy, it definitely limits my choices. And are there any brands if certain GF/DF foods you guys recommend? Thank you so much!

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  • Hi I am coeliac and dairy intolerant. Supermarkets are pretty good now, it's trail an error with the breads everyone has different tastes. I but I buy Ds fibre sliced and their chippata rolls. Sorry it is a case of reading the labels. Biscuits wise non of Morrisons are dairy free, Asda only one or two but do have kelkin Jaffa cakes, Tesco are pretty good but for me they use gf oats but I can't tolerate oats, sainsburys and waitrose good. Eating out is a bit of a mare you have to ask and ask but places are improving TGI's Frankie n Bennies nandos etc all good ok if I go out it's usually just gammon and jacket but I hate going out for the risk of being ill from cross contamination, can you have lacto free cheese I have a sml amount just to stick a topping on pizza. I won't lecture you but if you had all symptoms it is important to be tested for the likes of coeliac and make sure all your vitamin levels are good folate, ferritin, b12, etc that's why dr's tested me as all were extremely low and a family history. If there's anything specific you'd like to know where best to get please ask.

  • Your only problem will be if you do want a definitive diagnosis later ,as it will be insisted upon that you eat gluten before having the blood tests or biopsy, or the results will be inaccurate, and I know I personally could not go back to eating gluten containing foods after the wonderful well being of life gluten free, so think carefully about it,

    As to your question, eat as healthily as you can. Fresh whole foods etc. one can get carried away by the variety of commercial gluten free foods available, so nice to have "treats", just be sure they are treats and not everyday food.

    Depends where you live as to gluten free outlets. ASK is a good chain and Carluccios , but keep asking and arm yourself with knowledge, Libraries also have many books available, and the internet, and Coeliac UK,

  • Hi

    I don't want to put you off going gluten free, you seem to have issues. However, I think you should pop in to see your GP/family doctor to discuss the issue. The problem is, once you've dropped into the GF lifestyle, started to feel better you're going to be stuck if you want a 'proper' diagnosis. I say this because I did the same. I'd realized I'd had a problem with gluten (explosive tummy issues, bloating, exhaustion, anger etc) for a while (and I'd been lactose intolerant for years, but just ignored it as didn't want to bother anyone). I went gluten free and it was life changing, BUT...........if I want 'help' I'd need to go back to eating gluten for a while and i can't (even the smallest amount makes my very unwell). So I'm stuck. In some respects I'm lucky as I have autoimmune RA and I'm seen regularly, blood tested etc, so I know if I'm anaemic and other things associated with coeliac/autoimmune issues.

    If you're feeling unwell, tired, stomach issues, bloating, these need dealing with effectively. Coeliac disease is not only about bowel issues, it can cause brain fog, ataxia, sinus issues, skin rashes, anaemia. You often get related issues like Vit D, and/or B12 insufficiency's which may need treating.

    Other people on this site are much more knowledgeable about these things, so you've come to the right place.

    However................please, please, speak to someone first. Better to suffer for a few more weeks then potentially have issues later.

    Best wishes :)

  • My son at age 8 was diagnosed with dairy intolerance by a Paedriatric Gastroenterologist.

    Six weeks into the diet I realised it was wheat products giving him the problem not Dairy and we immediately eliminated it from his diet.

    when we saw the doctor he accepted the wheat intolerance theory and did not offer any other tests even though I explained I was also Gluten intolerant (I did not realise until a couple of years later that you could be tested for Coeliac)

    My son is 16 now and Gluten Free for 7 years (cheats occasionally without realizing) though he will never know if he is Coeliac unless he is willing to reintroduce it for a time

    Ironically the Gastro he saw did an article in a national paper saying parents shouldn't cut wheat out if their children's diet without being tested for Coeliac first - shame he didn't feel that way when we first saw him.

  • Hi Gluten_dairy free

    Gosh - you sound so like me! For 20 years I thought I had a lactose intolerance, but it was actually Gluten doing the damage.

    Please go and see your GP! You can go gluten free on your own but ultimately it is much better to be properly diagnosed. I don't always advocate this, but in your case I so think it's necessary.

    Go and have the coeliac blood test before giving up gluten completely - in fact it's a must for someone in your situation. If you go gluten free before having the test, you could find yourself in no mans land in the future as far as support with your health is concerned. Diagnosed Coeliac's get a much higher level of support and follow-up care is a good deal better than compared to someone has gone it alone. It's much easier to get blood tests to check for Vitamin deficiencies and to get DEXA bone scans for a start. Diagnosed coeliac's are entitled to food such as bread and pasta on prescription as well.

    The only downside is that you will have to keep eating gluten for another few weeks, whilst the tests are carried out. If the blood test was to come back positive, then you would probably be asked to have an endoscopy to see what damage has been caused to your intestines. But ultimately isn't it better to know if you have gut damage and how bad it is?

    So I repeat: GO AND SEE YOUR DOCTOR!

    I'm sorry but I'm not going to give you any advice on a gluten-free diet at the moment, at least not until you've made that appointment.

    Not going is just stupid (and also what I did for so long! - so please learn by my mistake).

    Take care of yourself.

  • Glad you feel better with no wheat, but I would still go to your GP as you might or might not be coeliac. The only way to get 100% diagnosis is to have blood test and endoscopy My blood test was 99% piositive but had to go for endoscopy for final result, and that was positive. Good luck

  • Like everyone else I would go and see your GP, he can refer you to a Dietician who also can give advice, I was told to go on an elimination diet by a GP who was not my Dr, for a month or 6weeks, which I did My GP who was certain it was CD, did a CD test which not surprisingly came back Negative , I would have had to go back on Gluten/Wheat again for 6 wks at least to have another test, which I could not face, as I felt 100% better on GF, now I have a intolerance to Dairy, like many on here and have been diagnosed with Pernicious Anaemia.. Maybe if the fist GP had been more on the Ball I would have got the right advise straight off, but would not have changed the outcome who knows... but this has now resulted in B12 injections every two months and neuro complications. PLEASE GO TO YOUR GP, He will take you seriously, with your childhood intolerance already noted.

  • Please bear in mind that if you do go to the doctors and do a blood test it may come back negative (mine did) in which case they won't let you have biopsy, yet you can still be coeliac. I know people who have tested negative and then had a positive biopsy so don't be disheartened. At the end of the day, your body tells you if it feels better not eating gluten and that's the only I thing you need. I feel wonderful gluten free and would never go back to all my previous ailments. Only down side is, if you don't get a positive diagnosis you can't get prescription food and you don't get monitored at all so if you can get diagnosed all the better. Good luck with it all anyway xx

  • Join CoeliacUK - they have a very useful booklet listing all the food available in all the supermarkets and fastfood chains which are gluten free. It'll cost £25 for the year but its worth it just to get the book - and if you fill in the forms and post them off you'll get lots of samples of breads etc through the post.

    But do heed the advice here about not going totally GF before diagnosis - and insist on diagnosis (I didn't and like the others - I regret it).

  • Hi, I had the same situation like you. Just 3 weeks ago I found out through my GP that I have severe coeliac disease, lactose intolerant and low in iron. I told the doctor what happened that each time I have food, I feel pain or bloated in my stomach and feel very lethargic and dizzy. I always put up with it but the time came that everything is getting worst, that I never felt that pain before. To be honest, I lost a lot opportunities because of this "always putting up with it", and in the end I don't have enough strength left cause it will take over your life. I should have go and have check through my doctor asap. At least now I know.

    Even you knew that your gluten sensitivity and had gluten diet, when the doctor don't know your situation or don't have an evidence through blood test, they don't have to necessarily look if your tablet that they're going to prescribed you is gluten free.

    My advice is that you need to see your doctor or GP. The doctor refer me to dietitian asap. When doctor prescribed me medication, she ensures that it's gluten free.

  • Thank you so much to everyone that replied. Right now I do not have enough money to go to a doctor, nor do I have insurance. I will talk to my mother and see what we can do, in regards of getting me tested for coeliac. Even if I do not have it, though, I still plan to eat GF/DF, just because I have saw such a difference in my energy and stomach. Thank you all!

  • Also, what age the benefits for getting tested? I mean I am not the type that needs the doctors confirmation of something that I pretty much already know. Right now, I know that I have a definite sensitivity to gluten, so I am going to continue to go GF. But is it to the serious point of having celiac disease? Ehh. I don't think so. For now, I'm just going to continue what I'm doing and see what happens.

  • Hi,

    As you talk of insurance, I'm presuming you are in the USA?

    Coeliac disease has a genetic component to it, so you may have inherited it or you may pass it onto any children you give birth to.

    Coeliac's also have a significantly higher risk of developing other autoimmune diseases. We are also more likely to have secondary conditions like osteoporosis, vitamin deficiencies and other food intolerances (like you have with lactose) - especially if they have been undiagnosed for a long time.

    The Cyrex array 3 is one type of blood test you can have to test for gluten sensitivity. It costs around US$425. However my understanding is that the tTG2 blood test is the most standard and recognised by the medical profession in the western world (but I'm not sure of the cost of this for you - in the UK it's free). It's not necessarily the best one though.

    You would obviously need someone to draw the blood to be tested. Could you search out a free clinic? Do you have one within a reachable distance?

    Only you can decide if you can afford to get tested. However, can you afford not to be? What price is your health? Sure it may cost, but it's an investment in your future wellbeing. I still stand by what I originally said - which is go and see your doctor. I hope you can find the money to go from somewhere.

    Best of luck.

  • I have to say that I agree with the others about testing and 100% with Regalbirdy regarding the cost of being tested as $425 might sound a lot but it's not an extravagance and look how much we spend having our cars serviced and repaired etc.

    The other reason that I think that you should be tested is because you say you're lactose intolerant but the enzyme lactase that breaks lactose down in our guts is produced at the tips of our villi hence gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance often going hand in hand. So you could find that once your villi has recovered you're not lactose intolerant anymore.

    I also felt reading your post that you were trying to convince yourself that you do not need testing and many members on here who have self diagnosed question it, as they do not know for sure so now is the time to clarify things for your own peace of mind, in my opinion.

    And good luck whatever you decide.

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