I currently have 4,203 emails in my Gluten Dude inbox. No…these are not all reader emails (but a lot of them are!). I also get an email whenever someone leaves a comment on my site. And oddly enough, my inbox also includes one from the CDF, who actually (and possibly illegally) added me to their email list when I called them out last week regarding Cheerios.
Anyway, when I get really behind on reader emails, the only way I can catch up is to force myself to focus on answering them for a specific stretch of time. Back in 2014, as part of Celiac Awareness Month, I answered one reader email per day for the month of May. I called it “30 Days / 30 Celiacs”. Brilliant…eh? Forget the fact that there are 31 days in May.
And in 2015, I answered 14 emails in 14 days. Because I’m so clever and original, I called this one “14 Days / 14 Celiacs”. I know…you don’t have to say it.
Well here we are in 2017 and I am WAY behind. So I will be doing a series of “5 Questions. 5 Answers” until I can somewhat catch up. Why 7? Originally I had 3 and seemed like a cop out. Then I went to 7 and I realized I won’t have the time for that this morning. So I settled for 5. Gee…wasn’t that an interesting story?
Ok…let go. And by all means, feel free to answer these as well (and berate me if I give a bad answer.)
1. Thank you for your awesome blog and book. You are a fantastic advocate and have been so helpful as I learn to navigate life with CD. I am SO careful – eating as much as possible out of my 100% GF kitchen, only eating out at the handful of 100% GF establishments near me, reading labels like a hawk. The payoff has been my tTG IgA getting down to 5 at last check. The last couple times I have gotten glutened, I haven’t been able to figure out what did it. When I told my one of my GI specialists this, he actually recommended I go out and eat a slice of non-GF pizza and see what happens so I can track my reaction time. I hope he was kidding and of course I haven’t done that. Anyway, how do I stop beating myself up over this? It’s exhausting and I’m sure it is not helping me heal.
Step one: Find out if your GI was kidding. If not, find another GI.
Step Two: DO NOT beat yourself up. Unless we live in a bubble, we are bound to get hit once in a blue moon. Try to find the culprit but if you can’t, just move on. You seem to take all of the necessary precautions. But it’s a gluten-filled world out there and the only person/company who has your health in their best interest is you. You’re human. You have celiac. It’s not gonna be perfect 100% of the time. Move forward.
2. My sister and I have recently been getting sick and the only thing that we could think of that had been strange in our diets is Chex. I know for sure that Chex now makes a wheat Chex. I’m wondering if maybe Chex cereal isn’t safe anymore? Do you know anything? I hope to hear back from you.
I used to eat Chex when I was first diagnosed. I actually used to eat a lot of the gluten-free cereals. After a few years of still feeling like crap, I knew my body wasn’t healing. I completely overhauled my diet (did the Whole30 to jump start it) and part of that overhaul was getting rid of unhealthy gluten-free cereals. How unhealthy? Here are the ingredients of Honey Nut Chex:
While it may (or may not, knowing GM’s standards) be gluten-free, it doesn’t mean you should be eating it. Your body is always talking to you. Listen to it.
3. My son was just diagnosed with celiac. He has no symptoms. At a check up he lost about 9 lbs and my pediatrician is very good so she tested him. He is leaving for college in 4 weeks. He is in denial about having this. My question is do you have any advice I can say to my 18 year old to convince him to go gluten free?
This is a tough one. The only thing I can recommend is education and a good support system. Make sure he knows the long-term effects of eating gluten, even if he does not show symptoms. I only know that when I was that age, anything my mom said to try to help me came across as “badgering”. It was only until years later until I realized I should have listened more. But to my defense, it wasn’t her message I was ignoring. It was the way it came across. Although I’m sure it came from a place of love, she said it with anger so I turned her off. Love can do magical things. Support him. Guide him. But he’s got to find his own way eventually (but a lot sooner than later).
4. Hello. I have a seven year old daughter that has celiac and we live a very strict life when it comes to food. I have probably a thousand questions for you, however I’ll just start with one.
You mentioned a blue sponge. Do you hand wash only your dishes? I have struggled for years about washing her plates (she has separate everything, except silverware, which makes no sense as I type this, but again, that’s probably question number 546 out of the thousand – anyways) and other cookware in the family dishwasher (not a completely gluten free kitchen – 92%) . Do you as a precaution keep ALL of your kitchenware separate and wash them by hand?
I’ll admit now that for the first two years (she was diagnosed at age 3) I literally made myself crazy about cross contamination and totally made myself sick over her lab results (which have NEVER been normal), so in order to find some sense or normalcy I had to pull back some on the craziness, so hence the silverware comment.
Thank you for your time, it’s nice to reach out to someone who understands. I look forward to your response.
For those of you unaware, we have a blue sponge at the Dude Ranch that is only used on dishes that had gfree food on it. All other dishes get the red sponge. Now in response to your question…it’s not clear if you have a dishwasher or not. If so, than I would not worry so much about separate silverware and dishes. For anything that is hand-washed, I do have my own. Examples include pots, pans, colanders, etc. And one piece of personal advice: don’t make yourself crazy. Trust yourself that you’ll do the right thing. Take extra precaution. Be 100% diligent. But breathe. You got this.
5. I’m calling to get the blood test for Celiac from my kinesiologist. Should I also call my primary care physician? Should I request a biopsy? Can they even be done? I’m nervous the blood test will come back negative, and everyone will tell me to go on my merry way when I know it’s an issue. Feeling kind of lost, and just want solid answers.
A few thoughts here. 1) Not sure about the kinesiologist, but I’d say you are better off with someone who specializes in celiac, like a qualified GI. 2) The gold standard testing is still a blood test, followed by an endoscopy. 3) Screw what everyone else has to say about the way you take care of your body. It’s YOUR body.