Gary is currently in Toronto, ON (Sep 18th, 2014)
 

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Luxor and Celiacs Disease

I’ve arrived in Luxor. Today I was planning on visiting the Luxor and Karnak Temples. Instead I spent the entire day in my room sleeping. I felt horrible this morning. The cough I had gotten in Alexandria came back with a vengeance and to 20 hour days in a row wiped me out. Outside of eating a light lunch, I didn’t leave my room until 7pm. I’m still not 100% but I’m much better than I was in the morning. I’m still really tired and will probably sleep well tonight.

I also think with 95% certainty that I have Celiacs Disease which is probably one of the reasons I feel horrible right now. Despite the dramatic name, Celiacs is just an inability to process the gluten protein in wheat. I’ve been having serious stomach pains for years and I never knew what the cause was. Sometimes the pain would be so sharp in my stomach I couldn’t sleep. Eventually it would pass as the food worked its way though my body. I knew it was dietary but I always thought it was eggs or dairy or something. When I came across the symptoms of Celiacs Disease it fit perfectly.

I hadn’t had stomach pains for months while I was in Asia but they came back with a vengeance when I arrived in Dubai. I hadn’t been eating much wheat in Asia and now I was in a place that had lots of bread. I changed my diet to see if this was the case. I removed all wheat from my diet for several weeks and the symptoms disappeared. I felt great. When I did eat small amounts of bread I’d feel things going on in my digestive track. Last night for the first time in months I had a beer and ate some crumb cake and some chicken with breading. That was enough to set it off.

It really sort of sucks for traveling. It means no flat bread in the Middle East, no pasta in Italy, no bread in France and no fish and chips in the UK (the batter on the fish). It also eliminates most desserts, all sandwiches, beer, many fried foods and even gravy because it has flour in it. It is something I’ll have to do for the rest of my life or deal with the abdominal consequences, which you really don’t want me to go into here. Potatoes and rice are fine as are all vegetables and animal products.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say there wasn’t some benefits to this diet. Removing most fried foods, hamburgers and desserts is probably a good thing. The only things I can really eat in most fast food restaurants now are salads and french fries.

Tomorrow I have to leave the boat and will be moving to a hostel and I hope will get to visit Luxor and Karnak. The day after I’ll go check out the valley of the kings.

Now that I am a disease sufferer, you should cast a pity vote for me in the 2009 Lonely Planet Travel Blog Awards. I am nominated in the Best Travelogue and Best Image Blog category. It only takes a few seconds and there is no registration. Think of it as something like a “make-a-wish” program for a blogger.

  • 11 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. Craig says:

    My cousin is a celiac. In the UK you get special food on prescription and all sorts of goodies. There's even celiac-friendly beer (but I don't think you can get that on 'script)!

    Good luck in finding a viable solution as you travel.

  2. Stevo says:

    That sucks, man. I hope you feel better. It's an easy ailment to deal with if you're cooking for yourself, I can't imagine trying to manager your diet while “on the road.”

  3. Amit says:

    I don't know if you saw my twitter post to you, but I found a list of Gluten-free beers from around the world. It may not be the best list out there, but it's a start.

    http://www.glutenfreepassport.com/eatingout/gfb

    Of these I've only had Redbridge and New Grist Ale. The former was average (it's made by Anheuser-Busch); the latter is quite tasty (tried it at a Whole Foods chili cookoff and it's great both by itself and paired with chili).

  4. Shawn says:

    Mouse made the point that I was going to make. It is more likely that you have a wheat allergy than full blown celiacs disease, but the end result is much the same. Going gluten free is seriously difficult at the best of times. So while traveling is going to be interesting. I have a gluten intolerance of some sort also, and I found it impossible to wrap my mind around going totally gluten free. But I did get a good amount of success by just learning where gluten is found and one by one swapping those foods out for others. You won't find them all, but a big reduction is totally possible.

  5. Mouse says:

    YOu may also just have a bad wheat allergy. Gary, one plus side to this is that you will lose the weight that you mentioned was bothering you. I hope you feel better soon! Now I am off to vote.

  6. Martinha says:

    Hi..
    Nice blog..
    Congratulation..
    ? Martinha ?
    =)
    http://travelandtrips.wordpress.com/

  7. Joann Loos says:

    One of my friends is gluten intolerant. I found a good website that has
    warning cards for waiters and restaurants in a bunch of languages.
    Might make your trip easier, if you can figure out where to get them sent
    so they meet up with you

    http://www.selectwisely.com/index.htm

    Best,

    Joann

  8. Shame about your diet because you'll miss on some of the great food of the countries you'll visit. But much more important to stay healthy to keep your trip going.

  9. Francoise says:

    Hope you feel better soon! Can't be easy avoiding wheat while traveling, good thing rice and potatoes are staples in the Mid East. There are some interesting rice dishes in Italy though, risotto, etc.

    There's soooo much to see in Luxor. I spent 8 days there. If you want to see extra tombs at the Valley of the Kings…just buy another ticket (good for three tombs). That's what I did and it was worth it.

    Good luck in the LP Awards! I voted btw. ;)

    • Angela Brown says:

      Hi friend
      Wish you Best of Luck in your journey to Luxor. There are numerous place that you can visit in Luxor in addition to Karnak, you can know about it all if you visited
      Places to Visit in Luxor
      Goodluck for you and do not worry about the weather coz the weather of Egypt is always good

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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