Re: IBS - Constant Prob & No Cure - HELP!!
There are at least seven different medical approaches to the concept of gluten sensitivity; perspectives from "it's just a myth," to "half the population suffers," with the most common approach being that only people with celiac disease have a problem with gluten. I'm glad you were tested for celiac disease; it's very serious. Celiacs generally suffer a host of maladies related to nutrient malabsorption until their guts recover (on GF diet), and they are prone to number of autoimmune diseases. UNtreated celiacs, however, face major health risks including some nasty cancers. The whole picture becomes very confused when you realize that there are celiacs with negative blood tests & positive biopsy, as well as celiacs with strongly positive blood tests, but negative biopsy.
Evolving research suggests that quite a few people -- beyond the celiac population -- suffer from some degree of gluten intolerance.
For non-celiac gluten intolerants, the choice is to decide whether to eat gluten & suffer, or to not eat gluten and have less physical discomfort, though we may suffer some social inconveniences & perhaps a higher grocery bill.
I have non-celiac gluten intolerance, discovered when I decided to cook GF for the entire family when both my children became quite ill from gluten. Unlike my kids, I have no genetic predisposition for celiac, and no antibody blood markers. Nor do I have a positive reaction to wheat allergy testing. However, with the elimination of gluten, my severe IBS-C disappeared. I had suffered from gut pain & severe constipation since infancy, had been hospitalized several times over 5 decades, tried ineffective drugs -- and had simply accepted a life of daily pain, sometimes enough to confine me to bedrest.
I have a friend I made in a round-a-bout & embarrasing way. She introduced herself to me & I congratulated her on her pregnancy. -- which it turned out was not a PG, just that she had inadvertantly ingested gluten & found that, whenever she did, she bloated up to look about 6 1/2 mos. preggers. Talk about sticking yer foot in yer mouth, I did it! But she was very gracious, and we did find the gluten sensitivity a commonality between us.
As to the specialty GF items, yes, they are pricey. If you stick to a healthy whole-foods diet, it's not that expensive, as Harry points out. Learning how to produce your own GF baked goods is another possibility. Purchasing nonfood items (cleaners, paper goods, shampoo, etc.) at discount stores makes room in the budget for a few GF specialty items. If our family, with 2 teenagers, can adjust to the GF diet, anyone can!
There is no research-proven cure for either celiac disease or for gluten sensivity, at the present time, other than GF diet. On the horizon is a drug (currently being tested) to cure leaky gut, which may help some of us out. There are also specific gluten-cleaving enzymes under development, which may make it possible for us to eat gluten with tablets alongside, the way many lactose-intolerant folks consume dairy along with Lactaid tablets.
But for now, I'm afraid you may have to decide whether to go with the diet, or to go with "your situation." As a word of encouragement, the GF diet does become second nature with time, just like anything else. There are ways to work around social situations as well, but that aspect is more difficult if one is inconsistent in the diet.