I don’t have it, but my daughter does. (Well, we think she does. We didn’t get her tested and now she’s been gluten free, so we’d have to put her back onto gluten to test, and we’re not willing to make her sick to get an official diagnosis. Symptomatically, she’s sick when she eats wheat/rye/barley and not sick when she doesn’t. Good enough for me.)
First thing to know - those tests are not good. A whole lot of people who are gluten intolerant (that is, have symptoms when they eat gluten and don’t when they don’t) show up negative on the tests for Celiac Disease. False positives, on the other hand, are pretty rare. So if you test positive, well, now you know and you cut out gluten. If you test negative…well…you just don’t know. It might still be worth cutting out gluten from your diet and seeing if the symptoms subside.
Actually, being gluten free is a lot easier than an IBS diet, IMHO. (Of course, it’s possible to have both Celiac’s AND IBS, which would really suck!) There are so many good gluten free alternatives these days, it’s not really the deprivation it was in the past.
Here’s a list of ingredients which may contain gluten. It looks overwhelming today, but you’ll learn pretty quick that a bunch of them really aren’t in many things, and there’s only about a dozen things you’ve really got to watch out for.
My personal recommendations for good gluten free foods:
Udi’s bread. Most gluten free bread is just awful. Udi’s is good. Their muffins and other things are great, too.
Betty Crocker cake and brownie mixes. Very good, and quite a bit cheaper than specialty brands. Some Betty Crocker’s frostings are also gluten free, although they’re only labeled as such in tiny letters on the side, not blazoned on the front. Again, cheaper than what you’ll find in the specialty aisle.
Schar pastas. Some of the best. Whole Foods own gluten free brand of pasta is pretty good, too. We prefer the corn pasta to the rice ones, with the exception of rice noodles you can find in the Asian section.
Glutino pretzels. Yum! Taste just like pretzels, and dip into chocolate really well. Oh, and my daughter just added that Glutino’s cheese flavored crackers are her favorite gluten free crackers.
Kinnikinnick’s K-Too sandwich cookies. Almost exactly like Oreos.
Celiac.com is a great website for articles, information and forums.
I actually hope, for your sake, that it is gluten intolerance/Celiac instead of IBS. The great thing about Celiac is that, once you’re off gluten, you really are symptom free. There are no “flare-ups” like IBS, unless you inadvertently eat gluten.
Off to make some gluten free cupcakes now. We make a big batch and freeze 'em, so she’s always got some to take to school or birthday parties. If I think of anything else that might be useful, I’ll be back.