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Home » Stop Diseases » Is a Gluten-Challenge Worth the Celiac Diagnosis?

Over the years, I’ve had so many reach out to me privately, seeking help, seeing solace, seeking advice, seeking answers. But the ONE question I get the most is a variation of this: “I’m gluten-free but have not been tested for celiac. Should I eat gluten (called the “gluten challenge”) in order to get a […]

The post Is a Gluten-Challenge Worth the Celiac Diagnosis? appeared first on Gluten Dude.

Is a Gluten-Challenge Worth the Celiac Diagnosis?

Over the years, I’ve had so many reach out to me privately, seeking help, seeing solace, seeking advice, seeking answers. But the ONE question I get the most is a variation of this:

“I’m gluten-free but have not been tested for celiac. Should I eat gluten (called the “gluten challenge”) in order to get a diagnosis?”

And my response is usually in this variety:

“That is such a personal call. Since celiac is genetic, I’d probably want to get the test, but then again I’m not the one who has to eat gluten again to get the diagnosis. Good luck in your decision.”

I received an email recently that really, really explains the dilemma well. Read on.

After 7 years of being gluten free I’ve decided it’s time to get diagnosed. Before going GF I was mostly bedridden with migraines, sore joints, and crippling fatigue. I didn’t have health insurance and before going to the doctor my boyfriend encouraged me to fast for a few days to see if it was food related. Guess what? It was. When I slowly introduced foods I discovered it was gluten causing my pain. So I learned everything about Celiac and going GF and have been mostly fine since.

So why get diagnosed? Because people are dicks. I don’t normally care what people think of me, but after years of hearing from servers “well do you really have Celiac or are you just on a gluten free diet?” and then being afraid they won’t take my requests seriously, I’ve had enough. Then I went to a three day music festival which had few GF options and they would only allow outside food with a note from your doctor. Years earlier I could usually get away with saying that I have dietary restrictions and they wouldn’t question me, but not now with every other person having “self imposed” restrictions (like myself) they put the kibosh on that.

So I’m on week three of my Gluten Challenge. And I’m in hell. Every hour or so I have a little talk with myself as I lay unable to move on the bed, couch, floor, lawn, if this is worth it. My legs and head feel like they were filled with cement. My head hurts so bad that when I close my eyes I see pure, blinding, white. That’s not a normal headache.

And the craziest thing is that I’m dreadfully afraid that the tests will come back negative! What if after all these years being GF I didn’t have anything wrong with me at all? What if all these horrible symptoms are psychosomatic? Is that possible? Is it possible that all my old symptoms were from some other reason? Like the red, itchy, BALD SPOT I used to have on my scalp that went away once I went gluten free? Or that for the first time in my life I have dentists visits that don’t end with scheduling a cavity filling? Or that I was so skinny in high school that people accused me of having an eating disorder?

Why am I so terrified of the idea of NOT having Celiac Disease? And if I don’t have it is it possible that the way I feel right now during the Gluten Challenge is all in my head? Please talk me down and give me some encouragement to get me through the next few months. Oh god MONTHS of this! And it could be even longer if after my blood test it takes months more to get the endoscopy scheduled!

Dude, I don’t want to do this anymore but I really need that piece of validating paper. I can do it. Right?

Ouch…do I feel your pain! A few thoughts:

1) Yeah…some people are dicks. Learning that more and more every day.

2) It is NOT in your head. You obviously have health issues and it could be celiac, but it seems it’s definitely gluten. Do not question yourself in this respect.

3) Is there any way you can schedule the blood work and endoscopy now? It may help know there is a target date.

4) Blood tests can give false negatives. So you may want the endoscopy either way.

5) Can your doctor or a nutritionist offer any help in alleviating the symptoms you are now suffering with?

6) I can’t tell you which way to go. Like I said, it is such a personal choice. But I will open this up to the celiac community. I’m sure plenty of you reading this have been in a similar boat. Please help show her the way.

Thank you!!

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Just how important is a mattress to a good night’s sleep?

Just how important is a mattress to a good night’s sleep?

Tomorrow Sleep hybrid Mattress

It's that time of year again, the weather is getting cooler, the days are growing shorter, the leaves are falling and the fireplace is going strong. That means it's time to stay in and get cozy. I love nothing more than sleep and cuddle time, but I have a confession to make, I'm not great at relaxing and not a good sleeper. I've never been someone whose head just hits the pillow and bam, I'm out.

tomorrow sleep hybrid mattress and memory foam pillowNo, that would be my husband (so jealous). I lay there for awhile thinking. Sometimes I'm planning, thinking about what needs to get done, sometimes I'm replaying a conversation, sometimes I'm thinking about work, or stressing about a problem. You name it. And sometimes, I'm just uncomfortable, tossing and turning, trying to find just the right position.

I'm also a particular sleeper, I have to have a box fan on high and I wear an eyemask from Brookstone that I can't sleep without. I know this makes me sound high maintenance (not going to deny it!) but nobody likes me when I'm tired and cranky. And don't even get me started on snoring. Thank god my husband isn't a snorer, we would have never worked out ;-)

I know how important sleep is, I stress it all the time. Sleep is your time to rejuvenate and repair. Chronically not sleeping enough will lead to weight gain, and many health issues including a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Sleep isn't something to skimp on.

To help me sleep better and wake up more refreshed, instead of hitting my alarm 3 times, (so not a morning person, see above) my husband and I have been thinking about getting a new mattress for awhile. We've looked around and the cost always seemed so prohibitive. We also weren't sure which to get, there are so many options. I've had the same mattress since before college, and it was my parents before that, so fancy mattresses were not something we knew anything about.

That is, until Tomorrow Sleep contacted me. WOW. They sent me a king size hybrid mattress, medium firm, with organic cotton sheets and memory foam pillows. I'm obsessed. I get into bed every night and just sigh, "OMG this is so comfortable". I don't know how I've gone so long without a mattress like this.

And, it inspired us to redo our room. We not only got a new (king size vs queen) mattress but a new bed and headboard, a new rug and new comforter set (organic cotton and fair trade from West Elm). Our room is seriously nice now. I call this our cloud bed, the mattress, comforter, and pillows are like falling into a cloud. Tomorrow Sleep hybrid Mattress

Tomorrow Sleep Mattress: What You Should Know

What is a hybrid mattress?

According to "hybrid mattresses combine two or more support systems, usually memory foam layers along with an innerspring system. Hybrid mattresses are a great way to experience the pressure relieving benefits of memory foam while retaining the classic feel of an innerspring mattress. Hybrid mattresses combine an innerspring system with memory foam (or latex) to deliver the benefits of both technologies. Hybrids allow sleepers to enjoy the perfect blend of sturdy support and contouring comfort."

Tomorrow Sleep's mattresses are American made (love that) and constructed by craftsman right in Charlotte, NC.

Tomorrow Sleep Holistic Sleep System

What I love so much about what Tomorrow Sleep offers, is that it's not just about their Tomorrow Sleep Mattress, it's about so much more. As you read above, sleeping is not easy for everyone, so they've taken into account many things that contribute to a better night's sleep. They offer:

  1. A Hybrid Mattress (got it, love it!)
  2. Memory Foam Pillows (got them, so comfy!)
  3. Plush (hypoallergenic) Pillows
  4. A Sleep Tracker Monitor (high-tech sleep support!)
  5. 500 Thread Count Sheet Set (got them, soooo soft!)
  6. Comforter
  7. Mattress Protector
  8. Drapes (want these!)

10 Tips to Help you Sleep Better

In addition to the wonderful things Tomorrow Sleep offers to help you sleep, I've found a few behaviors that really help me personally:

  • Turn off all your devices and TV at least a half hour before you go to sleep.
  • Do not, I repeat, do not check your email before sleep.
  • Journal your thoughts from the day, get it out so your mind doesn't keep you awake.
  • Focus on gratitude, either write down, or say 3 things you are grateful for right now - it puts things into perspective and lowers your stress levels so you can fall asleep easier.
  • Don't drink anything 1.5 hours before bed to avoid waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
  • Practice legs up the wall for 10 minutes (it's so relaxing and probably the single best yoga pose for you).
  • Pick a mantra to focus on, inhaling one thing, exhaling another - for example, inhale "I am relaxed", exhale "everything is as it should be".
  • Have an orgasm (or several), nothing else leaves you feeling quite so satisfied and relaxed.
  • If you're in a relationship, avoid waiting until you get into bed to start problem solving major life events, save that conversation for when you are rested.
  • Don't consume caffeinated beverages after 1pm (depending on how sensitive you are, you may want to cut out the caffeine or stop after your morning cup).
  • Bonus Tip: I've learned a mattress makes a BIG difference, so invest in a good one.

My Overall Review of Tomorrow Sleep's Hybrid MattressTomorrow Sleep Hybrid Mattress

Pros: This bed is heavenly. It's so comfortable and just the right balance of soft and firm. It's comfortable and supportive. I love the memory foam pillows and the sheets are so soft, they are the nicest I've ever owned, and keep me nice and cool. I've been waking up aches and pains free, and actually feeling rested. When one of us moves, the other doesn't get woken up because we don't feel it. It's awesome. Falling asleep has also gotten easier, and my husband loves the bed too. The first time he got in, he had the biggest smile on his face. We feel spoiled.

Cons: I've found myself kicking off the covers in the middle of the night. It could just be the duvet itself, we have had a heat wave in New York the last few weeks. I think we are going to purchase Tomorrow Sleep's mattress protector to keep our mattress nice and also because of its cooling technology. The memory foam pillow is awesome (see pic of Przemek above), but maybe a little bit high if you are a stomach sleeper (like me). I adjusted in about a week though. I have no cons for the sheets, they are perfect, 500 thread-count doesn't stink.

Special Offer to my Readers from Tomorrow Sleep

If you are looking for a mattress, I have $100 savings to offer my readers on any Tomorrow Sleep purchase over $500. The best part? The mattresses ship for free and there's a 100 day trial so you can make sure you choose the best mattress for you.

To take advantage of this offer, use the code: FOODIE100.

Offer expires 12.31.17.

The post Just how important is a mattress to a good night’s sleep? appeared first on Whole Foodie Booty.

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