OT - Not-so-good blood work (and a question for Delia)

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harmonybear's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 639
OT - Not-so-good blood work (and a question for Delia)

For me, that is. I've been not feeling well for a while now, so I went to the doctor last week and she did a bunch of tests on me. They all came back except one - the rheumatoid arthritis test. It's not a firm diagnosis yet, but it could very well be part of why I've felt so awful the last year.

Anyway, recently I've had several people suggest that we try a gluten free diet both for me and for A. And then I found out that there's some sort of link between RA and gluten intolerance (they often occur together, suggesting that perhaps one causes the other or that one exacerbates the other). So DH and I have decided to go gluten free for a while and see if it helps at all.

So a question for Delia in particular - what meals do you eat at your house? You eat a lot of Korean food, right? But so many of my Korean meals have wheat in them. For example, my gochujang has wheat, and one of my bottles of soy sauce has wheat. And I made my last batch of kimchi with wheat flour for the kimchi paste instead of rice flour, so that's out too! Tonight we had bibimmyeon (similar to naengmyeon), and we used buckwheat noodles, but they weren't 100% buckwheat. I suppose I could use dangmyeon (the noodles you use for japchae), but it's just not the same.

Anyway, just curious what you usually eat and if you have any tips! Smile

DunyaWolf's picture
Joined: 07/25/08
Posts: 223

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

I use that blog to find recipes for stuff to make all the time. Pretty sure its entirely gluten free. We aren't gluten free but I love the recipes!

babyJtime's picture
Joined: 05/23/05
Posts: 682

So while it's nicer to be one step closer to feeling better, getting a diagnosis isn't always easy!! Hugs to you!!

I wonder if it is RA, would that have effected your fertility? My sister in law has RA and they have not been able to have children and they aren't sure if it's because of the meds she is on, or the condition itself.

Going gluten free is not easy, but it is not impossible with Korean food! I have to be 100% gluten free because of my Celiac but if you are just trying it out for now, small amounts of gluten (that is present in soya sauce, etc.) would be okay.

There is gluten free soya sauce. In Canada it's called VH Soya Sauce. I'm not sure if you can get it in the USA. It doesn't taste the same as any Korean/Asian soya sauce but it works.

The kochujang and dwenjung paste are not gluten free and that really sucks!!

I make bulgogi sauce lots, that is probably the main gluten free Korean thing we have. And of course kimbap too! Can't have the crab that usually goes in it, but all the vegetables are fine of course. I make seaweed soup and add lots of seafood, etc. I've made dukguk before...yummy! And japchae of course, as you mentioned.

We buy our kimchi and it doesn't have any wheat in it, it lists rice powder.

We eat rice every day/twice a day and I make stir fries with whatever meat and vegetables and sauces. There are a lot of sauces that are gluten free, or else I create them and make them gluten free!

As for bread, I don't eat a lot of it. Gluten free bread is disgusting. Haha! If you really want/need bread, you can buy it at most supermarkets now. You MUST toast it (I toast mine twice) and it is what it is. Haha! I eat rice cakes (North American) lots, with peanut butter, meat, etc.

There are tons of gluten free products out there but I don't buy them usually. They are so expensive and I don't really need them! You can get gluten free tortilla shells, usually made out of corn. We have a big bulk store where I can buy a gluten free all purpose flour and I use that when we make pancakes! If you're going to be baking with gluten free flours, a mixture of 3-4 different flours is recommended and you would need to add xanthan gum to hold it together.

I hope this helps!! Keep asking questions!! Smile And good luck!! Smile

Raybay58's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 230

I'm sorry you're going through this. I have Still's Disease which is a form of JRA and it made me sick for a long time before I was diagnosed. I hope you get some answers and if you have any questions feel free to pm me. As far as RA affecting fertility there's speculation that it could. I know RA can cause inconsistent ovulation (which I have) so that can definitely play a part in everything. Even when ovulating and timing dtd it took Jeff and I quite a while to conceive Amaya. Cash didn't take as long and this one wasn't planned at all.

April777's picture
Joined: 10/01/08
Posts: 579

I have no relevant information for you whatsoever, but I wanted to say I'm sorry to hear about your possible diagnosis of RA. I do want to say though, that a dear friend of mine, mid-30s, has RA and with meds, exercise and diet she is able to live a full and complete life. In fact, of anyone I know, she's got the most energy and pep. There's no way I could ever keep up with her. So while it's not great news, try to be positive. If you do have it, once you're able to find the right combination of therapies to help keep it under control you'll be feeling a lot better.

harmonybear's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 639

Thanks, Jessica. I like my crockpot, too! Smile

Delia, DH doesn't like seaweed soup (though A and I both like it), and we both prefer deok-mandoo-guk to plain deokguk, but we're all fond of bulgogi and japchae. Soondubu is gluten free, too isn't it? I love soondubu....

I was looking in one of my Korean cookbooks today, and I have a recipe for making your own dwenjang and gochujang - and neither of the recipes call for wheat (the dwenjang recipe calls for barley, though - is that a gluten-free grain?). If you're interested, I'll send them to you!

babyJtime's picture
Joined: 05/23/05
Posts: 682

Barley is NOT gluten free. That is the gluten that is in our gochujang. Sad

Yep Soondubu would be gluten free!! Smile

harmonybear's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 639

"Raybay58" wrote:

I'm sorry you're going through this. I have Still's Disease which is a form of JRA and it made me sick for a long time before I was diagnosed. I hope you get some answers and if you have any questions feel free to pm me. As far as RA affecting fertility there's speculation that it could. I know RA can cause inconsistent ovulation (which I have) so that can definitely play a part in everything. Even when ovulating and timing dtd it took Jeff and I quite a while to conceive Amaya. Cash didn't take as long and this one wasn't planned at all.

Thank you so much. Smile I am also suspected of having endometriosis, so I always assumed my sub-fertility came from that, but it's tough to say.

"April777" wrote:

I have no relevant information for you whatsoever, but I wanted to say I'm sorry to hear about your possible diagnosis of RA. I do want to say though, that a dear friend of mine, mid-30s, has RA and with meds, exercise and diet she is able to live a full and complete life. In fact, of anyone I know, she's got the most energy and pep. There's no way I could ever keep up with her. So while it's not great news, try to be positive. If you do have it, once you're able to find the right combination of therapies to help keep it under control you'll be feeling a lot better.

Thanks, April. Smile I'm starting to come to terms with it, though of course it's still not an actual diagnosis. I think what makes it seem not quite so bad is that fact that my doctor also wants me to get an MRI to check for multiple sclerosis. :eek: I think I'd take RA any day over MS....

And like you said, having a diagnosis means treatment. That means feeling better, and that would be a huge relief.

harmonybear's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 639

"babyJtime" wrote:

Barley is NOT gluten free. That is the gluten that is in our gochujang. Sad

That really stinks that you can't buy gluten free gochujang. But all that my recipe calls for is red pepper powder, soybean powder, mulyeot (which is sort of like corn syrup, right?), and water. Maybe some salt, too? But nothing that even resembles gluten to my layman's eye.

Also, I wanted to ask - if it's not celiac, just gluten intolerance (and I think that's likely the case), then there's the possibility that eating small amounts of gluten would be OK, right? I mean, it depends on the level of sensitivity how much you can tolerate, of course, but it's actual celiac where your intestines get torn up from teeny tiny levels of gluten, right? Or am I completely mistaken?

Girlandi's picture
Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 49

For gluten free soy sauces look for Tamari sauce. I have to find ours in the health/organic section. It tastes better than soy sauce IMO, and at least the one we have is totally soy, no wheat included at all. I get San-J, but I think anything labeled Tamari would work.

babyJtime's picture
Joined: 05/23/05
Posts: 682

"harmonybear" wrote:

That really stinks that you can't buy gluten free gochujang. But all that my recipe calls for is red pepper powder, soybean powder, mulyeot (which is sort of like corn syrup, right?), and water. Maybe some salt, too? But nothing that even resembles gluten to my layman's eye.

Also, I wanted to ask - if it's not celiac, just gluten intolerance (and I think that's likely the case), then there's the possibility that eating small amounts of gluten would be OK, right? I mean, it depends on the level of sensitivity how much you can tolerate, of course, but it's actual celiac where your intestines get torn up from teeny tiny levels of gluten, right? Or am I completely mistaken?

Yes, little bits of gluten would be fine for you, especially if you're just trying out the gluten free diet. So the little bits in soya sauce, gochujang, etc. would be fine. Stay away from the obvious glutens.

Actual Celiac, you can not have ANY gluten or else you are damaging the intestine, not getting nutrients, etc. Even though I am able to tolerate tiny bits of gluten on the outside (no obvious side effects), I know my intestines are suffering with that little bit. So I obviously don't risk it!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Sorry to hear about the RA, but hopefully now that you know it might be that, you can manage it and start to feel better!