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Gluten Free Beauty

While sitting in my class today I decided to put on some hand lotion, my celiac friend grabbed the tube and mentioned that there were oats in it….oats, processed near wheat, grown near wheat fields, cross contamination, touching food, gluten is on hands, gluten goes onto my apple, bam I am ingesting gluten, yikes!! This then sent me into a gluten paranoia, forcing me to check my lip balm, lipsticks and other makeup, body washes and body lotions.

Now ingesting gluten in any form is a no no in celiac disease, however some celiacs experience a form of dermatitis when they come into contact with gluten topically.

Dermatitis herpetiformis will affect between 15-25 percent of people with celiac disease at some point in their lives (Blumer & Crowe, 2010). It has been deemed the celiac disease of the skin and manifests itself in the form of a skin rash that affects the skin of the:
-Elbows, Knees, and buttocks as well as the  face, scalp and back
-Pink, blister like sores that are raised above the skin in these areas will appear when in contact with gluten
-Itchiness will accompany the sores

The most common nasty terms I found in my products were colloidal oatmeal, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and hydrolyzed wheat germ and modified vegetable proteins which could contain wheat.

Now while I could populate my own list of gluten free beauty I thought that I would refer you to one fabulous gluten free resource The Celiac Diva, her site has a very extensive and newer list of current gluten free beauty. Visit this link http://www.theceliacdiva.com/category/gluten-free-beauty-products/ for an amazing product list and other interesting articles.


Celiac Disease and Cold Season

Staying healthy during cold and flu season is as about as fun as playing leap frog with a unicorn, as in not very. However I have found several things to work for myself in attempts to maintain my immune system during epidemics such as the one Alberta is under right now.

1) SLEEP. your body cannot repair itself nor defend itself if you are over tired, opt for at least 7-8 hours per night of uninterrupted sleep. With work and school as life this can be something that is extremely difficult to maintain but if you can manage it most nights your immunity will reap the benefits of catching those extra zzzz’s.

2) Vitamins, now while it is a myth vitamin C aids in cold prevention it has been shown that proper vitamin D intake is crucial in maintaing ones health and as celiacs we suffer from malabsorption of the sunshine vitamin so be sure to talk to your doctor about a supplement amount of vitamin D that is right for you. As well zinc is a fantastic supplement for your immune system. Also iron for celiacs is another supplement that is very much needed as we are typically anemic which makes us vulnerable to the outside world during cold and flu season.

3) Already sick? try a soothing combination of peppermint tea, freshly grated ginger (about a teaspoon) and a tablespoon of honey, and some sliced lemon. This will ease a sore throat, clear the sinuses and the ginger with the peppermint will sooth a upset tummy.

4) I invested in a nebulizer about 8 months ago (can be found at eden in the Calgary Farmers Market as well as Saje stores) you add essential oils to water and it moistens the air as well as dispersing soothing oils into the air. Eucalyptus in one of these is a godsend when congestion and cough strike. I found it aided in getting a proper nights rest.

My anniversary with celiac

with my one year anniversary of living with celiac fast approaching I was driven to become overwhelmingly nostalgic and this is what prompted the following:

My life before celiac disease-that is my life pre diagnoses was a trail of bread crumbs that kept leading no where.

Frustrating was the cystic acne that came out of no where, one that defied acutane and put the fine people of proactive to shame.

Saddening was the depression and anxiety disorders that popped up shortly after high school. Being sure that it must be the case because you did in fact just lose your father to a severe illness so depression isn’t that weird right? Waiting 6 months to see a psychiatrist to treat it was even more upsetting and then finding out you didn’t need all those little white pills years down the road was infuriating.

My anorexic appearance was disgusting, managing to lose 25 pounds without trying (something some women can only dream of) this  making me further self-conscious on top of feeling like a psycho with a bad complexion. Nothing alleviated this, I became at regular at peters drive in hopes milkshakes would allow me to fit into my jeans again. Gym rat I was no more in fear of running more pounds away. I never regained those pounds until I was diagnosed.

Hospital scares plagued my life, all because after your 8 am history class you find yourself with rectal bleeding. You go to emerg but no x-rays, blood work, samples find anything. It must “have been something poorly prepared” they’d say. Pfft try there was gluten in the food you ate and it’s killing you from the inside out (no advice I ever heard from the ER doctors).

Until that fateful day your family doctor finally thinks to order the blood test that will be your saving grace from the hell your life has become. Party hardy, go eat the last of your nibs, mini donuts and McCain oven curly fries because it will be your last.

With the celiac box ticked on the lab req you head to the lab with a heavy heart that lies in two worlds. The first world where you hope it is celiac so they will finally know what’s wrong with you and this can all stop and the second world where your scared shitless (pardon the pun) that your life of loving food is over forever.

Positive test results? One terrible colonoscopy/endoscopy and a gastroenterologist that seems a tad too thrilled to break the news to you and I start to bawl still slightly drugged and starved from the procedure. I still hate the nurse who insisted I have the arrowroot cookie and apple juice post testing as the truck was covered in it on the ride home later that afternoon.

One year later I look back at my life pre-celiac and smile, hell I even laugh. This laughter? Pure happiness that my new life began at the GI clinic when it did. Why so thrilled? because I’m a healthier, stronger, heavier and positive me. My problems pre celiac were frustrating and infuriating but they are far behind me. And the food? Friggen delicious.

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