Sunday, August 29, 2010

Always check the meds

I had a horrendous relapse last week. My gluten sensitivity is apparently so intense that any sort of cross contamination sends me into full blown food poisoning-like symptoms. I went to CVS to gather a supply of the necessary rations (Dramamine, Maloxx, Imodium, ginger ale) and realized I needed Ibuprofpen as well. In keeping with my new declaration to "read every and all labels", the pain reliever was no exception.
Then I came across this:
.. which stunned me. I took this box and a box of regular ibuprofen to the pharmacist counter and asked the man standing there if this meant that all other forms of their ibuprofen contain gluten? He answered that the brown coating on the pills does contain gluten.


Great, which I have been taking for years, as has my dad.

So I guess the moral of my experience is that when it comes to meds, buy brand name. I checked on Advil (Canada?) website and it said:

Q: Is Advil gluten-free and is it safe for people with celiac disease to take?
A: Advil is gluten-free and is safe for individuals with celiac disease.

Promising, though I'm not sure if Canada's requirements are different than the US.

Conclusion- if Canada can do it, so can the US. I plan to investigate more meds considering I just spend $30 at CVS and I'm not sure I can even use half these things.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In the beginning..

I was diagnosed with Celiacs Disease in February of 2008. I was a junior in college who had just returned from a trip abroad to the land of delicious bread (read: France). I began showing symptoms while I was traveling, but talked it up to be nothing more than:
  1. "something funny that I ate"
  2. a few instances of being hung over
  3. stomach ulcers
All of which it sort of was. I returned to the US feeling a little fatter and in a terrible mood, but still nothing that raised any red flags. I just thought I had eaten too many meals of bread and cheese for my own good and I was just unhappy to be returning to the US after such a wonderful experience abroad.

Cut to a month later when I was convinced I was allergic to salad. (fact.)

My dad is the first one I called from my apartment to say something was wrong with my stomach. I explained my symptoms and he responded with the one thing I subconsciously knew but was denying. "It sounds like you're gluten intolerant." My dad has been a Celiac for as long as I can remember. His sister and my two cousins have Celiacs. My dad's mom was diagnosed with Celiacs about 6 years ago. So I guess you could say it runs in the family.

I went to my doctor (still was seeing my pediatrician) and told her about my symptoms and that I also believed I was allergic to salad. She laughed and assured me it wasn't salad, and she didn't think it was Celiacs but that we would do a blood test just to be sure.

A few days later I received a phone call from her and I quote:
"In all my years as a pediatrician I have never diagnosed anyone with Celiacs, however today you are my first. According to your blood test, you are REALLY, REALLY allergic to gluten"

And so it began.