It’s Mailbag Time!

celiac mailbag

Snailtag. Trailmag. Pailrag. Bailwag. MAILBAG!

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

I just stumbled onto your site today, while trying to research where to go on an upcoming vacation. Wow! I love how you tell it like it is and your dry humor. Anyway, I am wondering why the posts are from 2015 or before, mostly. Since you celebrated your 5th year recently, do you still have a following?

I used to blog a lot. Like seriously a lot. As a matter of fact, to help raise celiac awareness, I once blogged for 31 straight days. By the end of the month, I joined a long list of people who were officially sick of me. My point is, yes I’ve slowed down a bit. Instead of 3-4 posts a week, now I’m writing 1-2. Aiming for quality over quantity. Do I still have a following? The numbers say yes, but all I really care about is helping people. I’m not caught up in the numbers anymore.

I was wondering if you have ever heard of the product, “E3 Advanced Plus”, which is supposed to help alleviate symptoms after being glutened? It is created by a doctor (Dr. Tom O’Bryan) who is well known in the field, but the product seems too good to be true. Have you ever heard anything about it?

Not a fan of the good doctor and certainly not a fan of these types of products, which seem to be popping up everywhere now. Sounds too good to be true? Then it usually is.

I was diagnosed 1 year ago with Celiac and have had some times when I feel I’ve turned a corner to getting well and then I go back to feeling horrible. I eat gluten-free food, but I’m wondering if even small amounts affect me. The rest of my family also eats gluten foods and I wonder if even small amounts from their food is affecting me. If I eliminate gluten-free foods, I’m not sure what to eat. Also, is it fair to ask my family to get rid of all the gluten foods in the house?

Yes…small amounts can affect you. Not sure what you mean be “eliminate gluten-free foods” unless you are talking about the processed crap. If that’s the case, yes…bag it until you begin to heal. What can you eat then? Fish, meat, veggies, fruit, nuts…and the list goes on. As for your family, I suppose it can’t hurt to approach them about it. See what their initial reaction is.

Would you be interested in doing a product review on our new organic and gluten free crackers?


I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in June of this year and I have followed the diet to a T, no cheating and here I am four months later still getting the same cramping and issues that led me to the GI in the first place. If I eat, I get even sicker and feel awful. When I ask the doctor about it, I just get a new pill to try. I’m just wondering if you struggled like this also or how your journey went until you felt better.

Forget the pills! It took me years to heal after my diagnosis. And I still struggle with pain every so often. It’s just the nature of celiac. Try giving up dairy. Helped me tremendously. And don’t eat any processed “replacement foods” for now. Let your body heal. And just be patient. You’ll get there.

I came across your blog when I googled “gluten sensitivity rage” after a blow up with my husband and he left when I asked him a question he did not like that normally would not cause a fight. He has a gluten sensitivity (we both do) and he recently decided to throw the towel in and stop avoiding gluten, meaning eat it cause he’s sick of trying to figure out what to eat. I fear that our times of fighting regularly will return and after reading your post about how it affects you and how you reacted to your wife and coworkers after eating gluten, wish that I could get him to read what you wrote and somehow convince him to go back to trying. He really doesn’t think its the gluten and it makes me so frustrated. Is it my over reaction to feel like it is similar to living with an alcoholic and fear it will end our relationship? He is a good man but not the same man I love when he eats gluten.

This one is over my head a bit. Anybody out there have some advice??

I recently got a minor infection that required antibiotics. I told my doctor that I had celiac and needed to make sure the drug prescribed was gluten free. The doctor said it was the pharmacists responsibility to make sure the drug was safe; the pharmacist said it was the doctor’s responsibility. The manufacturer only has an answering machine and won’t return messages for at least 24 hours. What do I do?

It is so crazy in this day and age that we still play russian roulette with our meds. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a labeling law for our medication? Wouldn’t it be nice if all the parties came together for the BENEFIT of the patient? Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to jump thru hoops to get a dang prescription filled? Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older; then we wouldn’t have to wait so long? (Beach Boys)

I’d love for you to do a post on oats. Can we eat them or not? What kind of research is out there for/against oats? Is it true that some celiac so just can’t handle oats, while others can? Do you eat them?

Oats themselves are ok. BUT…and this is a big but (hence the uppercase), they are majorly cross-contaminated so unless they are grown and stored in a certified gluten-free field/facility, stay away.

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease almost a year ago, I hate it! I miss everything on a daily basis, but I manage. What I truly suffer with is my family’s ignorance. They don’t put any effort in during family functions (and we have a lot! !) I have to ask what went into everything or bring my own food. I get constant jokes about my all of a sudden “allergy” like it’s all in my head, like it’s something I’ve made up. I don’t want to be celiac, I didn’t want a tube down my throat or up…..somewhere else. But I am and I’m trying to deal. I try not to blame my family for not wanting any inconvenience but I expected a little more… that too much?? Honestly am I being unreasonable? Any advice??

No…you are not being unreasonable. Your family members are being moronic, inconsiderate boneheads. I have words for people like this and I’m sorry you have to deal with it.

And on that note…I’m outta here. Happy Friday everyone.

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24 thoughts on “It’s Mailbag Time!”

  1. In response to one of your letters above……. I am a pharmacist with celiac, and it is NOT your doctor’s responsibility to know which medications have gluten and which don’t That’s ridiculous. I would never tell a patient that. All medications come with a package insert that list all of the inactive ingredients of the medication. Sometimes we can tell just by looking at them if they are safe. Sometimes we can’t, and that’s when we (and I saw WE, meaning the pharmacy) offer to contact the manufacturer for the patient. If your pharmacy won’t do that for you, find another pharmacy.

    1. Thank you! I’m the letter writer above, and I started crying in the middle of the pharmacy trying to find out if I could take this damn medicine or not. The pharmacy tech was not helpful, and the pharmacist just stayed in the back. They called my doctor to try to get a different antibiotic prescribed, but it made no difference since they didn’t know whether the second one was safe either! It was my first such experience since being diagnosed.

      1. You can look up your prescription on If you still have a question or concern, just write to the webmaster, Steve Plogstead, and he will get back to you quickly. There is a link to click on at the bottom of the home page. Steve is a pharmacist at Children’s Hospital in Coljmbus. He runs this site for us at no cost!

        1. Danica. I think you may be my pharmacist. Recently I switched pharmacies and my new pharmacist (who looks like your picture) took the time to call a drug manufacturer to make sure their was no gluten in my prescription before giving it to me. I was floored by this act of educated professionalism, kindness and compassion. As a person with celiac, I’ve never experienced a pharmacist taking the time to be sure my prescriptions were safe for me. Thank you for calling me back. My hope for all of Gluten Dude’s readers is that they find a pharmacist like you (or your look- alike :). Thanks for keeping me safe!

    2. I tried asking my pharmacist if they would check for me & they told me, “not too many even have gluten in them & those that do are so small” I explained that I have a severe reaction to a small amount & I need to know if they will or will not be checking for me. The response was “well we don’t really have an option for gluten but I guess I will add it to the comments section”. Needless to say I am looking for a new pharmacy

  2. On the fighting couple who both have gluten problems? Well, first of all–COMPLETELY GF HOUSEHOLD–a no-brainer there! Second of all…well, being a woman and a wife here, I’m trying not to dwell on how her husband appears to be behaving badly in more ways than one. You don’t use excuses for bad behavior, not even bad gluten reactions. They both need to talk together in a respectful and loving manner and come to an understanding of how they need to live their gluten-free lives, and I’m thinking that may include more than just what they are eating. She is obviously wanting things to get better and searching for help and found your blog post online where you shared how being glutened affected your body and your mood and how you recognized that and were dealing with it (with Mrs. Dude’s help!). Now she needs to discuss it with her husband. And if he won’t…would he agree to counseling?–because that’s all I’ve got!

    1. Gluten has been linked to schizophrenia so its very possible it causes other mood issues. I don’t have any marital advice as my husband also needs to go gluten free but won’t because “it’s too much trouble to do at work”.


  3. Why don’t you like Dr Tom O’Bryan? I don’t follow him that much at all anymore and I don’t like the product mentioned.
    Just wondering your take on him.

    Thanks for all you do for our community.

  4. To the wife with the hubby who’s given up on GF. My husband and I just had to have a similar conversation. He was mostly gluten free, went completely gluten free, and then went back to mostly. He has no reason to stay or be gluten free technically, though I cook only GF at home. But I noticed his moods where much more uneven, something we had begun to pin on his 8 (yes…) concussions. So I spoke with him, when we were BOTH in a good mood, and simple asked that he reconsider going gluten free again because “I liked the GF guy better- he seemed nicer and happier”. And then I let him think about it… And he did come around! 🙂

  5. As always, helpful to read, nice to feel less alone, good to read again about having patience re:healing. I am having a bad day physically which always seems to affect my mental health . But I am grateful to have a partner who now regards gluten as poison. And please keep blogging. You are helping.

      1. Yes, I really think you’ve helped evolve the conversation around celiac in a big way. It’s nice to have this space. Take care of yourself!

  6. As for oats — About 1% of celiacs react to ALL oats as if they were gluten. Our bodies think the oat protein (avenin) is gluten, and we react. I cannot eat oats. Period. Bummer.

  7. On that last letter, I can relate. I’ve been getting a lot of blame from an immediate family member- “What’s wrong with you that you think you have all these diseases, do you want to be special?” That kind of stuff.

    I’ve finally reached the point where enough is enough and I’m letting myself grieve the relationship that never was. I’ve fought too hard for diagnosis to have people bringing me down!

    It helps to talk to people who have their heads on straight.

  8. From the post: “I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in June of this year and I have followed the diet to a T, no cheating and here I am four months later still getting the same cramping and issues that led me to the GI in the first place. If I eat, I get even sicker and feel awful. When I ask the doctor about it, I just get a new pill to try. I’m just wondering if you struggled like this also or how your journey went until you felt better. ”

    To the writer of the above.. it is possible that you also have SIBO – Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. My GI says that is commonly found with Celiac Disease. It can be treated with Rifaximin, an antibiotic which is unusual in that it is very poorly absorbed, so it works mostly in your gut and has fewer side effects than one which is absorbed into your bloodstream.

    This turned out to be a significant problem for me after my CD got going. For decades, I would occasionally get sick and especially very weak, and the only thing that made it better was antibiotics. It turned out to be SIBO.

    The other possibility could be trace contamination by gluten. Be careful that no gluten containing foods come in contact with your food.

  9. When I was first prescribed a medication after being diagnosed with celiac disease, my doctor told me to check with my pharmacist and he would check to see if it contained gluten. When I spoke with my pharmacist, I asked him if I really needed to be concerned with this and he (adamantly) said yes, then checked with the manufacturer to make sure it was GF. I recently was prescribed antiobiotics for a sinus infection and he did this again, and also found gluten free probiotics to take along with the antiobiotics. So unfortunate that all pharmacists are not this thorough, competent, and caring.

  10. For the newly diagnosed…don’t give up hope. Four months into diagnosis and there are probably some hidden forms of gluten that you just aren’t aware of yet. Unfortunately, wheat is a cheap filler and is in everything. I found the section is here for Newbies informational if you have’t read through that yet. Look at the un/usual suspects, pans, sponges, counters, shampoo, body wash/lotion, perfumes, cooking spray, food, pet food. If you have any question about a food being GF don’t put it in your mouth. Just one crumb can mess you up for a really long time & it’s not worth it. The better days will become more frequent and the bad days less and less. GDude also suggested dairy free- I was still sick when first diagnosed and did the dairy free for 6 months. The lactose free stuff made me sick too. There were no shortcuts. However, the damage to my small bowel/intestine is healung… I always feel best when i eat whole. I am getting further and further away from pre-packaged food. Hang in there- Best of luck for some quick healing for you.

  11. hey guys, even being totally gluten free four months may not allow for past gluten ‘paste’ still working itself free from the wall of your intestines between the villi. I am trained nutritionist and when advising GF diet I ask to allow 6 to 9 months of pro and prebiotics to thoroughly wipe clean the gut walls of past impacted ‘wallpaper paste (Wallpaper paste is just wheat flour) so patience is required. Also just discovered is ZincCarnosine that works in the gut to heal intestinal walls and leaky gut syndrome. Healing is more than avoiding gluten. You can also use MSM a teaspoon in water daily to lower SIBO without antibiotics. MSM plus vitamin C rebuilds collagen.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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