The List

Oh. God. Oh god. Ohgodohgodohgod.

When I wrote about the cold front, and my sudden lack of appetite, my friend Shauna (who you might know better as Gluten-Free Girl) called me instantly.

“Jess,” she said. “You have to get tested.” Shauna said a lot of people have pregnancy-induced celiac disease, and that it often starts without major gastrointestinal symptoms.

I promised. I put it off until my next rheumatology appointment, a month later, but I did it. That was last week.

Today, the nurse practitioner that had sworn lupus and celiac disease are almost always mutually exclusive called with the test results.

“Your gliadin antibody is high, which would indicate you may have celiac disease,” she said. “Your IGA is normal, though, which is strange – normally people with celiac show positive results to both tests.” She was speaking a language I’d never heard.

So, wait . . . I got tested, but the results are inconclusive?

She ordered more detailed bloodwork. She said it could be a wheat allergy (as opposed to an actual inability to digest gluten), or simply that my body, in its general autoimmune frenzy, just really likes making antibodies. I’ll get the results Monday or Tuesday.

I spent a year in college not eating wheat. I wasn’t religious about it, but I payed enough attention to know it’s a major life change. Back then, the attempt was sort of inconclusive. (Okay, the truth: I moved to Paris. The experiment stopped.)

I plan to spend the weekend having break-up sex with gluten. Just in case. I just took two sticks of butter out, to make my favorite chocolate chunk cookies, and started a list, called Things To Eat.

Suggestions welcome.



Filed under gluten-free, lupus

17 responses to “The List

  1. If it were me, I’d gorge on bread. And beer.

  2. betty crocker gf chocolate chip cookie mix. quinoa tabouli. why attack your immune system? why not give it a break and try some of the new gf products out there. there’s lots. Babycakes has an awesome cookbook. shauna has awesome recipes. it’s not as hard as it used to be. and good luck!

  3. kathy

    omg i thought you were going to say you were pregnant!!! gluten free is so cool–all the hipsters are gluten free. my god, your timing is so perfect!! hugs

  4. Roasted potatoes. Apples and cheddar. Corned beef. Polenta. Broccoli in spicy peanut sauce (what we had for dinner last night). Many delicious things. Including… chocolate. Be well.

  5. Sharon

    I think something simple and oh-so-pleasurable is in order. For me, that’s Trader Joe’s microwaveable pasta, tossed with EVOO and lots of good parm. For good measure, mix in a handful of pitted kalamata olives. Love in a bowl!

  6. Pancakes, waffles, muffins, coffee cakes, crepes… just eat breakfast for the next 48 hours. I hope you get good news, but I know you’ll rally even if it’s not what you hope to hear. You’ve got amazing GF (human) resources on your side if need be.

  7. Carlie

    Go to Elliott Bay Subs/Pasta on Queen Anne and order the Chicken Caesar Sub. Eat lots of toast with butter. None of this potatoes and polenta nonsense, you can do that when you have to be gluten free. Eat bread, it just isn’t the same!

  8. Gluten free beer. We’re checking it out next weekend.

  9. Playin_d_fiddle

    The more you research the more you’ll see that a lot of people’s test come out with conflicting results, false positives, double negatives, etc. The docs’ll head toward a biopsy, if they’re taking it seriously, and if the results are conclusive you’ll have a whole new life of feeling great, eating even better, and sharing the kind of community and care that Shauna is a huge part of. Diagnosis day for me was not my best, but my life has improved by leaps and bounds ever since. You won’t even miss the gluten! Good luck with the docs and with your break-up-gluten-sex!

  10. Cassidy Stockton

    You can do it! Shauna is an awesome resource. You already eat so well, taking gluten out can just mean more room for other wonderful foods. If that is what it takes to get you eating and feeling better, it should be worth it. Totally terrifying? Yes. End of the World? No. Good luck, Jess!

  11. annie

    Jess, I’m sorry to hear about your inconclusive prognosis, but not totally surprised that you may have problems with gluten. Autoimmune diseases do a real number with your whole body, and great damage to your gut. Many people with AI have higher incidences of candida, allergies, and food sensitivities. To the person that expresed the opinion that gluten free is cool and hip, she does not know what it’s like to live with these conditions. It is downright frustrating, and upsetting not being able to eat like “normal people”, and worrisome to leave your home and eat out and try to find something to ingest that will not make you ill. Good luck, and listen to your body, you might feel better changing some of your food habits. I really miss breads, pasta, peanut butter etc. so I would definitely gorge on bread and pasta and cookies and cakes!!!

  12. Thanks, all, for your kind words and suggestions! I have to say, there’s a little sun on both sides: If I have celiac disease, I might have found a way to feel better on a daily basis. And if I don’t, I don’t have to give up wheat! And Annie, I think Kathy was kidding… Still waiting for results!

  13. Freya

    Soy sauce. Here in Australia, the majority of brands have been thickened with something containing gluten – you can get gluten-free, but it takes some hunting and checking.

  14. Brenda

    Two things: cheesy polenta and Pamela’s products!!! Love the chocolate cake mix! I’d say eating gluten-free is better than being on a strict vegan diet 🙂 wishing good health to you!

  15. Oh, you dear girl, hang in there — and what a trooper, finding green grass on both sides of the fence! We hoover gluten like nobody’s business around here, but I must say, thanks to good people like Shauna, I see a huge crazy good life on either end of the gluten spectrum. Fingers crossed for good health, whatever the results.

  16. erica

    Soften butter and spread liberally on warmed loaf of french bread. Devour.

    Who cares if you have Celiac disease? Consuming a loaf of bread in a sitting just sounds like a good weekend to me:)

  17. Pingback: A good purge «

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