To think that going gluten-free is hard?(43 Posts)
I recently visited my GP with a host of different symptoms and have been recommended to try a gluten free diet while waiting for my coeliac blood test.
I've had mixed messages on what sort of food to eat and, although I am feeling a little better, I am struggling to have varied and balanced meals. I wasn't this bad when I was a vegetarian, or lactose free. It just seems so much harder .
Finding it all a bit difficult - I know it's much easier to be gluten free now that fad diets had started to pop up a bit more, but there still seems to be conflicting information online - and would love some tips from fellow gluten free mumsnetters
Don't go gluten free before the test- it will invalidate the results!
Then look in the allergy topic here, there are lots of threads.
Thank you - I'm having my test on Monday and after that will begin going gluten free, I mistyped in the OP.
If you're waiting to have the blood test, you absolutely should not be on a gluten-free diet. You need to have gluten in your diet for the blood test to work (unless you're waiting for the results of the blood test, in which case ignore that).
What sort of thing are you struggling with? Some people don't buy specific "free from" products at all but I like to have some pasta in the house as a nice quick meal. All the bread tastes rubbish so I don't eat bread anymore. Dove's Farm flour is good if you like baking. I made gluten free mince pies today (don't shoot me ) using Silly Yak pastry.
Pom bears are GF. Vimto is not. You get used to working out what is GF and what isn't really quickly
It's an absolute pain in the arse.
But less of a pain in the arse than shooting yourself regularly and being crippled with gut stuff.
I've realised my OP is confusing! I have been waiting a while for the blood test due to availability, and have started eating gluten again in the last week
It's dead easy and after a while you'll do it without thinking.
"Enjoy" one last proper thick pan pizza (although you won't enjoy the after-effects). They do not make gluten free pizzas as beautiful as normal ones.
But less of a pain in the arse than shooting yourself regularly bloody hell you had it bad!
It's better than it was thirty years ago, there was nothing in the supermarkets, my first breads came in tins and I remember walking the streets of London crying because I couldn't find anywhere to eat. However the list if stuff you could get in prescription was huge compared to now.
The basics - not having bread or pasta, but gf versions, I'm okay with. But I enjoying cooking and use a lot of sauces, spices and dried herbs which some internet sources say are okay, and some don't. A lot of recipes say to substitute flour for rice flour when doing sauces - is the outcome the same? I know spices can have flour as a filler, is it worth making my own or is it really too much effort?
If you're coeliac, and some internet sources say "not okay", trust them. Just don't take the risk. Maybe that's me being over-cautious though.
I've gone gluten free by accident, 'cos I'm eating a low carb, cholesterol reducing diet - which is more or less chicken, white and oily fish, green leaves, avocado oil, olive oil, brazils, pecans and walnuts, eggs, herbs and spices. I throw in the odd tomato here and there, and don't fuss about stuff like onions or garlic (I am not a measurer), plus I do eat red meat once or twice a week too. I'm finding it rather fun, which has surprised me! Once you get away from grain-based meals (things on toast, sandwiches, pastry, pasta) it turns out there are loads of options. Probably not so many if you don't enjoy cooking, though.
Vimto is actually classed as GF www.vimto.co.uk/faq.aspx
I'd also say don't go gluten free until you have a confirmed diagnosis. For adults you generally need a biopsy in addition to a positive blood test to get a confirmed diagnosis of coeliac disease and you need to be eating gluten for the intestinal effects to be evident too. Your GP (along with many others) seems to be giving duff advice.
Gluten free eating is fine once you get the hang of it but you need to be able to cook. Meat, fish, veg, fruit, rice, dairy are naturally gluten free. It's when they start processing food it tends to have added gluten, but that is becoming less common. Maize starch is often the thickener of choice rather than wheat.
Contamination is the bit you need to watch if you are diagnosed with coeliac disease but really, don't worry about it or try it until you have a confirmed diagnosis. My daughter was 2 and seriously ill and malnourished but we had to keep feeding her gluten until it was confirmed. It was heartbreaking but worth it now as she has all the ongoing healthcare benefits if the diagnosis.
It is a PITA, but labelling now means you can just read the label on things and know whether they contain gluten (and I thank the EU deeply for this).
I use Doves Farm GF flour as a straight substitution in everything, and unless its bread or pastry, this works beautifully and in sauces you wouldn't know at all.
I've been GF 18 years now, and its still a pita at times, but eating at home is very straightforward once you restock with stock cubes, tamari, etc
Definitely don't go gluten free before the blood test.
Before you go gf do go and eat some lovely things. I sincerely regret not having a last croissant.
A relative of mine has recently been diagnosed as coeliac - she was advised to continue eating gluten not just until the blood test, but until after the gut biopsy, as going gluten free after getting a positive result on the blood test could have caused her to get a false negative result when the biopsy was done.
There was a long wait (several months) between the blood test showing positive for coeliac and the gut biopsy confirming that she was definitely a coeliac.
She said that she was finding the dietary changes hard at first, as she was used to eating bread, pasta, processed foods containing gluten etc, but she said it's getting a bit easier as she's getting the hang of which things are gluten free and which aren't.
I've been gluten free nearly 2 years now feel tons better and it does get easier
I tend not to use substitutes or special gluten free foods as they are not that nice
I eat all meats fish poultry etc veg fruit salads eggs etc - the only thing I always carry is gluten free oatcakes as often when eating out there's not much choice of say desserts so I just have cheese n use my own biscuits
I've always cooked from scratch so haven't changed things much - at least these days stuff is well labelled and most cafes n restaurants are really helpful
Paleo recipes and blogs help. Be adventurous with food and try not to just substitute expecting things to be the same.
I don't eat corn or oats either so many gluten free things are not OK and I am also dairy free.
Things that are not processed are less likely to have unnecessary flour added so you might find that cooking with basic ingredients is easier.
A friend made me a cake this week from Deliciously Ella as a thank you for helping her. It was not something I would have tried, avocado on a date and nut base. It is delicious!!! (Some of DE's recipes need tweaking for my taste)
It gets easier after the first month. Large supermarkets have a good choice in GF food these days. I've even found gf donut mix in Morrison's!
Bear in mind you won't be able to have soy sauce anymore (tamari is a good substitute) or salt 'n' vinegar crips (although I have found one gf brand).
Freeze any reduced gf bread you find and start making your own cookies to save a few quid.
Once confirmed by blood test, do not go gluten free. You will need to continue to eat gluten until you've had a biopsy to get a coeliac diagnosis as an adult. For a biopsy to show positive you need to have had gluten daily for at least 6 weeks prior to the test.
Going gluten free isn't as hard as it first sounds. A lot of foods are naturally gluten free. Check every label and look for allergens in bold : Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rye and Spelt. Avoid these foods.
The thing to remember about coeliac disease is that it's not an allergy, it's an autoimmune disease. Your body is literally attacking itself every time you eat gluten even if you don't have symptoms. It can lead to various cancers, osteoporosis and brain disorders. If diagnosed you do have to be 100% strict about it, even down to avoiding crumbs/using separate toasters knives, butters etc.
But it isn't as hard as it sounds. My husband was diagnosed last summer and I was panicked about how to deal with it being the main cook and shopper in the house. After throwing out all gluten containing items and do a full shop it does get easier.
You need to be eating gluten containing foods for several weeks before the test so if you have been GF and only started to eat gluten again in the last week that will affect the result of the test
I'm diabetic and have to avoid carbs in general not just wheat... it's a hassle but I've come to enjoy basing my meals around meat veg and protein. It's not too hard when you plan in advance. The hard bit is when you're out and about, at an event on holiday or just trying to get something to eat at a service station.
My advice: throw yourself into it. Research food substitues such as paleo cereal. Yes, it's expensive but your health is more important than your wealth. Just accept the 'hardness' of it. Life is hard. Maybe you have it easy in another area of life where someone else would have it hard.
My daughter is gf. We've had to go back on gluten to have a coeliac test and were told twice a day for 6 weeks before it's a reliable test. She's been gf for 4 years (is 7) and it's hard when you're trying to keep things similar to friends.M&S now has a fab gluten free range, their chicken nuggets are much nicer than normal ones. Saintsbury's range is good for baked things. Tescos stock lots of frozen gf substitutes like cornettos and Yorkshire pudding. I mainly make stuff from scratch though. All sauces I've come across can be made successfully with cornflour. Thai green curry made with the paste and coconut milk is lovely, onion bhajis are often gf, you just have to check labels and ask in restaurants. For example, loch fyne will make a gf fish and chips if you take in your own flour. Pizza Express are great, as they now do most things gf. Hope this helps a bit. It is expensive though. I will never be happy about buying 4 gf crumpets for 3 quid!
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