About Me

I am here to share my story and the great (and not so great) information and products that I have found in my quest for being healthy and living gluten-free.

A little about me, I have had stomach issues all of my life.    Over the years, doctors could never find what was wrong with me and always attributed it to nerves.  In 2004 my problems REALLY got terrible, to the point where I was spending 20-25 out of 30 days in terrible pain, taking handfuls of painkillers and all sorts of “gas” remedies you can think of.

I went into my doctor explaining that I knew that there was SOMETHING wrong with me and I needed to find out what it was.  She referred me to a gastroenterologist where for the next year or so between the two of them I had every test imaginable.  They ruled out everything they thought they could and finally said that they believed that I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and that I just needed to make sure that I had enough fiber daily.  ***sigh***

I was VERY frustrated with this diagnosis!  I am kind of a nutritional nut, I don’t eat very many processed foods, I take vitamins (good quality ones) and supplements.  I prefer to use natural remedies because so often medications usually fix one thing and cause 2 other problems!!

I spent another couple of years struggling with trying to make sure I had enough fiber.  Back to my regular doctor where I got prescriptions for Bentyl (the antispasmodic) and DARVOCET for the pain!  YES, my pain was that bad.  I was in the emergency room 4 times for the pain.  Crazy right?!

FINALLY in mid 2010, I was reading a nutritional newsletter article on how IBS is often misdiagnosed Celiac disease or Gluten intolerance.  It listed 10 or 12 symptoms of which I had every single one except one.  I started to do some more research online about this, reading articles from Mayo clinic and reputable sources.  I went back to my doctor with this information, by then I was no longer insured 😦 so she suggested that instead of my doing the blood tests for this, do a gluten-free trial.  Go several weeks gluten-free and then eat something with gluten – like pizza or something and see if I get sick.

I started a gluten-free trial in the fall of 2010 when I was armed with a little more information.  In the FIRST week several symptoms disappeared.  I was excited!  By the third week of my trial I felt SO much better I decided I was NOT going to eat anything with gluten!  As far as I was concerned, this is the solution I’d been looking for!

Over the next few months, I changed everything in my life that was gluten – lipsticks (yes!), mascara, make-up, shampoo, body lotion, toothpaste, prescription meds etc!!  It’s everywhere.

In one year I have had 3 migraine headaches!  This is huge as I was getting them weekly.  I have NO joint pain.  I no longer look like I am 9 months pregnant.  I am not exhausted 24/7, in fact I have more energy than I‘ve had in 10 years!  Most importantly – I seldom have that terrible stomach cramping that was dominating ¾ of my days!  This only happens when I am accidentally glutened or when I am dumb enough to knowingly eat something I know I shouldn’t (this does not happen very often as nothing is worth that pain!).

Lets be clear, I am NOT a doctor, by no means an expert or even claim to know everything on the subject, but I am very happy to share with you what I’ve learned through trial and error!  There are so many foods out there that you CAN have without issues!

Here’s to living AND LOVING a Gluten Free life!!

Nicole

 

MY QUALIFICATIONS:

Absolutely NONE.  I am not a doctor, professor or a nutritionist.  I am a self-diagnosed, gluten-intolerant woman who has searched, researched, failed and finally succeeded at living and LOVING a gluten-free life.  

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21 thoughts on “About Me

    • Hi Sheree,I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. After doing some rrceaesh, I found nothing on the Internet that would assist people specifically in your situation, but the Friends of Celiac Disease Research is based in Milwaukee, (414) 540-6679, and they might be connected to people interested in helping. Also, you could try the Hunger Task Force, Inc. (414) 777-0483, or you could visit the House of Peace, 1702 W. Walnut StreetMilwaukee, WI 53205Phone: 414-933-1300. They try to help people who are down on their luck in Milwaukee and need assistance with getting food.Best of luck.

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  1. Your story sounds a lot like mine. I just turned 50 and was diagnosed with celiac disease this year first by blood test by my allergist and confirmed by endoscopy. All my life I have had celiac symptoms and have seen many doctors and specialists with diagnoses from nervous stomach, dermatitis, yeast infection, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, eczema, depression, infertility, etc….I immediately adopted a gluten free diet and have not cheated. Most of my gi symptoms have disappeared, but I have noticed more serious neuropathy symptoms. Have you experienced anything like this?

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    • Interesting that you should mention neuropathy. I’ve seen a chiropractor for many years (I was in a bad accident a number of years back and periodic adjustments really help) but recently (last couple weeks) I’ve noticed that I’ve got some numbness/tingling in my feet and especially in my hands. Typically this happens when I need an adjustment, but I don’t have any other symptoms that I usually get like headaches, tension in my neck and a few other things. SO it got me to thinking that maybe I have accidently been glutened! I’ve got to scrutinize everything I’ve eaten lately. I am also going to check into the possibility of it being from MSG in a couple of things. I typically stay away from it, but I know it was in the peanuts that I had……….. Your neuropathy symptoms – are they all the time or periodically?

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      • This may seem silly, but the hardest part for me is dnliaeg with the disease in social situations. I’m in college and it’s hard to go out with friends worrying about getting glutened. Also, there are many business luncheons I need to be going to, to meet employers but I avoid them because I know there is nothing for me to eat. The only restaurants I can eat a safely are steakhouses. order meat and potatoes lol.Bio: 23yo male, 6’1, 170lbs, thin, english/scottish/spanish/portuguese ancestry

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      • Social situations are the hardest! I think some of my friends are tired of me asking ingredients of their dishes at parties! I usually eat before I go to a party now and then snack on stuff I know I can have. I agree steakhouses for meat and potatoes no seasoning. I’ve also taken to keeping dressing and seasoning in my purse or car so that I know I can have something good!

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    • I know all of you are trying to do the right thing .but the gtulen part of it doesn’t have to be the enemy .I have Crohn’s disease and now consider myself cured. I just eat REAL food .not preservatives, no additvies, basically no packaged or canned food, all organic, absolutely no milk because it’s meant for a baby cow ( look at john mcdougall on the perils of dairy for starters) and no meat because that is meant for carnivores with short digestive tracts short and sweet but it helps!

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      • Author, I have to say that Crohn’s and Celiac/gluten intolerant are DIFFERENT. While many of of our symptoms are the same (fatigue, diarrhea, skin problems, anemia, acid reflux etc..) Crohn’s can be treated by drug therapy, diet and even surgery. Celiac/gluten intolerance is treated solely by a 100% gluten free diet. Crohn’s can flare up from time to time and then go into remission; Celiac/gluten intolerance usually is symptom free as long as you maintain a strict gluten free diet.

        That being said, I am SO happy for you that you consider yourself cured. Real food can make a huge difference. It is amazing how a problem like these can make us all re-evaluate what we put in our bodies. 🙂

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  2. Funny how so many of our stories sound the same, and end up with us diagnosing ourselves. I struggled with many different symptoms for years. I am currently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease (Thyroid problems) and removed gluten on my own after much research in March 2012 and surprisingly many of the symptoms have disappeared.

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    • It is amazing, isn’t it? That’s great many of your symptoms are gone. I just got an email from an old friend last week and she’s been diagnose with Hashimoto’s also. She is going to start gluten free and I sure hope it helps her. It really is amazing HOW MANY symptoms can be manifested from gluten intolerance. Amazing!

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      • After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and getting put on meds I had so many symptoms that almost seemed to be getting worse. I read on my own that being gluten free was the first thing I should have done after being diagnosed. My acid reflux, indigestion and headaches went away within 3 days. I am even feeling less fatigued.
        I recently heard the quote, “Food is what ails us, but it is also what heals us” – Sarah – Celiac in the City Words to live by!!

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    • just found out i have this , my mother got colon cacner because of untreated celiacs disease , it is no joke , but i am glad i know i have it , i was depressed and did not have a normal bowel movement for a year , then i started to feel like i would vomit after each time i ate , in two days of not eating gulten i was almost back to normal , thank god i found out , hope this helps

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  3. This is great info. However, Gluten doesn’t effect only those with CD. It would be real nice if you could do an aidtidon video include the fact the millions more ppl, like myself, that have a gluten intolerance. This can also mildly or greatly effects ones health. I didn’t know I had an intolerance until after childbirth. Thankfully, after 4 yrs I got educated about gluten. So, 6 yrs after my child was born, I’m slowly beginning to feel better.

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    • Thanks and you are right Elias. I believe I am intolerant as well and will try to make sure I have emphasis on this in further posts. It is truly amazing the symptoms (big or small) intolerance can have!

      I am very happy to hear that you are beginning to feel better. It is work – making sure things are not contaminated – but it sure does make a difference. Keep it up!

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  4. you can still get contaminated from glrils. I usually ask for baked or boiled chicken, plain steamed vegetables, and rice. You can also get small containers to carry around salad dressings with you and then just ask for that. I have found that people will usually be accommodating, especially girls. Try going out for sushi or to a vegan place, they usually have gf options (so long as you avoid soy sauce).

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    • You are SO right, I was just talking to someone the other day who got contaminated from their family grill! It is frustrating! I lucked out in the fact that I have a local Chinese place that if I bring my own soy sauce they will make my dish in a fresh wok. That is a huge plus for me!

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  5. Hi there! I know I’m late here, but I wanted to add that peripheral neuropathy can be caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency. I avoid gluten too (no Celiac, but intolerant…and I just don’t think gluten is good for anyone). Great site!

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  6. Great Info!

    I passed your web addy on to some friends that haven’t found out what ails them. Also, a baker (baxter) that will offer gluten free baked goods at her store.

    Thank You for your effort.

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    • I hear ya, it was one of the hardest things for me to give up. But for me, it made me physically ill – so the whole not having a stomach ache thing was incentive enough! They have made great strides with gluten free bread though and there are several out there that are pretty doggone good. In LG, not much available – but if you ever find yourself in Kenosha – stop by Woodmans. Their GF section is amazing. See if you can find Udi’s French Baguettes – they are GREAT! Especially with soup or chili. Or they are perfect if you are making Bruschetta! 🙂

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