About Me!

My name is Jen, and I'm a Celiac.  It feels therapeutic to say!  In 2008, after every meal I had, I was ill.  I burped uncontrollably (which can get pretty embarrassing!), to the point where even Howard Stern may have been offended.  I felt nauseous or spent hours in the rest room.  Obviously, I knew something was very wrong.   I realized I really needed to see a doctor and began my journey...  I started with a primary care physician who told me I had acid reflux disease, and I needed to stop eating chocolate and drinking wine, which was equivalent to a death sentence to me.  Thankfully, I’ve never been a coffee drinker, or I really would have thought life was over when the doctor said coffee was out of the picture too... 

Then, I was referred to a gastroenterologist.  And the many tests began.  I should have been on a first name basis with everyone in the hospital.  I did the barium test, if you've never done it, thank your lucky stars.  You digest way too much of a disgusting substance the night before, then have the pleasure to digest more the next day, only to be put in a machine and messed with to see how your digestive system works... It was loads of fun...  Then came the egg salad test -- another favorite of mine -- of course, I HATE egg salad!!  The egg salad is filled with radioactive dye - and you are supposed to consume as much as you can (I was barely able to eat half without vomiting) and a machine tests how your digestive system works tracking the radioactive dye as it moves through your system.  Then my doctor put my through an endoscopy -- this is where you are sent to the hospital for a one day procedure.  I was put under by anesthesiologists, and the doctor put a camera down my throat to check out my esophagus.  Apparently, he said it looked like I may have Celiac disease... and he would send to me take further blood work to verify it.  Bottom line, the blood work came back and the doctor said I did NOT have Celiac disease, and instead kept me on acid reflux medicine. 

Meanwhile... 2 years goes by, and I have given up alcohol, lowered my chocolate intake, and have still had miserable side effects.  Still burping like a sailor and having all sorts of stomach pain and not having chocolate to soothe my sorrows just SUCKED.

Thankfully, I knew I needed a second opinion.  The minute I walked through the door and discussed my issues, the doctor knew I had Celiac disease.  I told him all I'd been through in the last 2 years and said he was going to have to prove I had Celiac, given that my previous doctor said I didn’t... and he did.  I took another blood test, and low and behold - it was positive for Celiac disease.  (Little did I know at the time that these tests were only about 80% effective!  Useful information to know!!)...  After one blood test being negative, and one positive... my thought was, why should I believe it this time??  The doctor informed me that there was only one final test he could do, he could test me for the Celiac gene - as this is a genetic disease.  I said let's do it... and I did, and it was confirmed...  No more hiding it.  It was official - Celiac it is.  I was given pamphlets and my life was turned upside down instantly. 

I am an international attorney (I help importer and exporters – typically when they are in trouble with federal government agencies, like U.S. Customs and Border Protection) and given my hectic schedule, I eat out every day, typically twice a day.  For those of you with Celiac – you know how hard it is to eat out, and can understand why it’s been such a rocky road, to say the least!  I love bread and chocolate cake, they’ve been staples of my diet. I have finally found some great new staples to my diet, including bread and chocolate cake, all of which is GF!  I wanted to start a forum to share the great restaurants and products I have found on my journey – and truly hope it’s of assistance to others.

I’d love to hear your story and welcome your comments and suggestions.  If you have a restaurant or product you’d like me to try, I’d be happy to – send me an email at jen@glutenfreebeat.com.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Gluten Free Beat