Re: GLUTEN-FREE diet & misery...Help!
I too have been gluten-free since 2005. It is very difficult, initially, as your body craves the gluten even though it is bad for you. My MD and dietician, both, instructed me to eat whole, natural organic foods for the first several months. My diarrhea and abdominal pain persisted for at least 3 months after going gluten-free and them slowly, things began to improve. I was told not to eat gluten-free baked goods, crackers, breads, cookies, etc.
It seems like there is nothing that you can eat but then you begin to realize that there are hundreds of foods to choose from. My doctor told me to stay on the outside perimeter of the grocery store in order to avoid most of the bad food. Just don't buy any processed food for a period of time and see if you symptoms improve.
I swear by Pamela's Baking Mix too. When I did reintroduce the odd baked good or pancake, this is the only product I used. It may contain dairy though, you would have to check that. I now rarely eat any bread products. I don't need them or crave them. I eat my sandwiches and burgers on lettuce. There are many corn tortillas or taco shells that are gluten free when you choose to eat Mexican food. If I treat my sons to fast food, we go to In and Out Burger since they are very gluten-free friendly. Their fries are gluten-free and they have a protein style, lettuce wrapped burger. They will prepare my burger in a clean area while wearing clean gloves and then package it in a separate box, away from the other burgers that we have purchased. The only other restaurants I frequent are PF Chang and Outback Steakhouse. They both have a large, dedicated gluten-free menus. Their staff is well trained in gluten food allergies.
It is important that you do avoid gluten all together. If it is bad for you, it is bad for you in even minute amounts. You can not cheat here or there. Just tell yourself that it is poisonous and that you must not eat it, touch it, or inhale it. That is what I did when I was told and I have never even felt like cheating. Even my own mother tries to get me to cheat on the odd occasion but I just restate that gluten is a poison for me. It is not always easy but it can be done. I went to Italy and Paris a couple of months after being diagnosed and that was very difficult but I did it. You will find that you have a healthier diet than many of your friends. When eating out, you will have to avoid the bread, most high fat appetizers, and usually the starch that accompanies a meal. It really cuts down on the calories that one consumes.
You can do this. There are many on-line support groups for Celiac Disease and there are more gluten-free products available daily. There are great gluten-free magazines and billions of recipes on-line. Just for a couple of weeks, I think you should try eating the best organic produce and meat that you can buy and nothing else. I think you will start to feel better. It is a good way to eat whether you have a gluten problem or not. Good luck. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.