OK, I found this place thanks to the Admin...
and I have been living GF for a year and a few months full time.
My Sister was dx'd as Celiac when she was 16 and going through post-menopause
They did no testing other than the blood tests which came back both positive and negative
My dad and mom were the next diagnosed, and it took a while for me to come to terms with the fact I also had it as I have all the classic symptoms really since birth
I went GF without testing, but after talking with my doctor, and everyone on my mom's side of the family that is a direct family member has it, but refuses testing and lifestyle change. We all chalk it up to 'bellyaches' that run in the family. (funny it's only after you eat certain things...!)
My brother has thus far refused to go on the diet, as he is married and his wife is already a very picky eater and has a hard time coming to terms with eating food in general (long story). He has Dermatitis Herpetiformus (confirmed) and his teeth are literally falling apart (another CD sign)... as well as the typical heriditary bellyaches.
I'm really the only one keeping kosher, though my parents have been removing pork and other unclean things from their diet. Dad is allergic to sufites, corn, salicylites and other chemical makeups that are in veggies, so we have to be very vigilant with him. No additives, no spices, very little veggies and NO SALT.
That means while we must get meats for him, they cannot have been salted unless we can prove the salt is only from the sea or a land filled area, and no corn added to prevent caking.
Very frustrating stuff!
Myself, I have topical reactions now to any gluten, I can't have any pork products (even gelatine!) without a reaction, and I have to be very vigilant about where and what I touch and don't touch and washing up after. I found that my pets when I have them will have to be on the diet with me (there are some GF petfoods in the States, but not overseas - you can find it at Wholefoods/Trader Joes or Walmart!) because I have reactions when I pet animals who have been fed gluten, as they also lick their skin and it travels that way
DH and I plan on having a cat and dog, but it will have to wait until Baby is here and I can run after them. hehe. We planned on a kitten sooner than that, but there were extenuating circumstances that prevented it. We were going to go by Dr Pitcairn's methods, as this is what my CD sister is doing with her two cats and they have done beautifully on the diet! (and are little
for real food, and now have no fleas!)
I found out a couple of weeks ago that I am expecting a baby, which was told by one of my past GYNs would be almost a miracle since I had endometriosis (another additive to the auto-immune disorder that is Celiac Disease) and had quit his treatment (depot Lupron which I think further kicked into gear the disease).
The laugh is on all of us, and we are pleasantly suprised. Baby will also be GF (as is my husband, though he does not have CD) and I will have to be vigilant about shots and things to help stem/stave it off in case baby does definitely have it. Testing is available here, and they reccommend after 8 months to introduce gluten etc etc - but since I cannot touch or be around it (not even smell it) - I can't do this as it will hazard my own health.
Fun thing, I live in an apartment above a bakery/post office, which presents some interesting things.. I can't go collect or mail things downstairs, last time I had a horrible reaction on my hands that set me back a month. . . and all I touched was their pen and the paperwork I had to sign to prove I came to pick it up.
I have to be careful touching our adjoined foyer door, as sometimes I have reactions to that - and the workers downstairs are also smokers (and I am highly sensitive to cigar and cigarette smoke as well as some perfumes - usually those with formaldehyde), so that throws in another mix.
I found at supermarkets I have to totally bypass the bakery section, and really be careful if I have to pick up anything that is placed near that section of the store (gluten particles.. fun!)... people here think I am a hypocondriac, but really I do have reactions, and the smell of gluten gives me horrid headaches now.
I moved in June from Alabama to Germany (that was where dad retired to after getting out of the military, though we lived all over), so that throws in a whole slew of new things to learn (incl what is and is not kosher in a new language, as well as having to find out what additives are ok and not ok) - and a whole new medical field (re-learn how to go to the doctor and how doctors treat patients, insurance etc) to learn.
That's just the basics.. Nice to meet Ya'll!