What’s in your Medications?

I posted this on my other blog Wendy Cooks, but thought it important enough to post it here too.

When you have a food allergy or intolerance it is very important to know what all the ingredients are in our medications.  However, it can be hard to find reliable information about the inactive ingredients.  I’ve asked my pharmacist to be sure to check the ingredients, but they are busy, and I’m sure some of them don’t actually check.   When I was diagnosed with Fructose Intolerance (malabsorption), I asked my pharmacist to check to ensure there were no ingredients in my medications that would make me sick.  He told me that I wasn’t on any liquid medications so I didn’t have to worry.  I wasn’t really happy with that answer, so I looked up the ingredients in the medications I bought that day.  I soon found that one of my medications had Mannitol in it, something I should not be taking.  It was easy to rectify, I just called my doctor and got a prescription for the regular tablets.  However, if I had taken the pharmacist at his word I would have wondered why I was continuing to get sick.  (and unfortunately, I had to pay for 2 prescriptions)

I was looking at the Health Resources listed on my library’s website, and I found this wonderful site.  Pillbox, is part of the US National Library of Medicine, it gives “rapid identification, (and) reliable information” on medications.  Pillbox, has two ways you can check for your drugs.

One is a Quick Search, and one is the Advanced Search.  I used the Advance Search, simply because I found it first.  The Quick Search has photos of the medications, it is still under development, so some medications may not have photos.

In the Advanced Search, just fill in what you know about the medication, and it will give you a list, choose your medication and it will give you all the information you need.  I tried it on a few of my medications, including an over the counter allergy medication.  One I put in the name, one I just put in the description, and one I just put in part of a description.  For most it found the medication I was looking for, the only one it didn’t find was one that is labeled as a pharmaceutical food supplement.  It gave all of the ingredients on all of the medications except the over the counter allergy medication, but they are listed on the box.

I hope this will help you and give you more peace of mind about the medications you are taking (or giving to your children).


Please let me know if you use the Pillbox site, and how well it works for you.

Feel free to comment and subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss a post.



The fraudulent Gluten Free Baker, Paul Seelig, owner of Great Specialty Products, was found guilty of 23 counts of fraud, and sentenced to no less than 9 years in prison.

To read more about this please see my post on Wendy Cooks: Fraudulent Gluten Free Baker Sentenced.

Thank you all for supporting me through this.  I’m so glad this is over, and I put it behind me.  I used to buy gluten-free products from local bakers, trying to support our local businesses.  Now, that has been spoiled.  How can I trust people to really be baking gluten-free?  Until the FDA states the requirements for a business to say their products are gluten-free, I won’t be buying any products that aren’t certified gluten free.

I think I got Glutened.

It’s so hard to know for sure, with all the GI trouble I’ve been having, but this is different.

Last night after dinner.  Which was very good, by the way, my stomach started hurting so bad.  I ate a brand of “Gluten Free” pasta that I don’t normally eat.  I have eaten it before, but only once or twice.

I read on the internet today and it said that they make their gluten-free pasta in the same facility that they make their regular pasta.  It does not say that on the package.  It doesn’t even say that on their website.  I found it on a Celiac site.  I tried to contact the company and the Contact Us link wasn’t working.  I really thought this was a reputable company.  Today, I’m questioning that, because I feel really bad.

All night, I kept waking up with my stomach hurting and with horrible gas pains.  I told Stuart that I felt like I had piranha in my stomach trying to eat their way out.  Pepto was my very good friend last night.  I must say, I didn’t get a lot of sleep.

Today, I still don’t feel good, and I can’t stay out of the bathroom.  This time, it’s very painful.  My stomach really hurts, like it used to before I stopped eating gluten.  My head hurts, and I ache all over.  Yes, it sounds like I have the flu, but I’m not that sick.  I just feel like crap.

I’m also very afraid to eat, but if I don’t eat, my stomach hurts.

I hate getting glutened.

Tomorrow I should feel much better.  That’s always the up side of this, it does go away.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Nothing is better when you are sick than Chicken Noodle Soup.  My husband loves it, and it makes me feel good when I can pamper him a little when he is sick.  Unfortunately, I also got sick, but at least I home made Chicken Noodle Soup to make me feel a little better.

First I made Homemade Chicken Stock, but you can use purchased stock.  I like stock much more than broth because it much more flavorful.  Broth is usually watered down too much.  If I use a purchased stock I prefer Kitchen Basics Unsalted Stock.  Most purchased soups, broths, and stocks have way too much sodium, Kitchen Basics makes an unsalted version that is very flavorful.

Homemade Chicken Stock

  • You can use a whole Chicken, but I save up all the bones that have little bits of meat left on them from when I buy chicken on the bone and then need boneless chicken for a recipe.  (I hardly ever buy boneless, skinless chicken breast.  I buy split chicken breast and de-bone and skin it.  It usually cost much less that way.)
  • 3-4 medium carrots with tops cleaned and cut into big chunks.
  • 3-4 stalks of celery with tops (if they have them on there, a lot of celery I buy lately doesn’t have the leaves) chopped in big pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped in big pieces.
  • Enough water to cover everything

Place the chicken, veggies, and water in a stock pot that is big enough to hold everything without boiling over.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, and cook for at least 45 mins, until the chicken is tender and the veggies are pretty much falling apart.    You can remove the Chicken and Veggies by straining them through a colander and let the liquid run into another pot.  Return the liquid to the stove and cook until the stock is as strong as you would like.

I used part of the stock immediately in my soup, but to save the rest I dipped it in muffin tins and froze it (don’t fill it all the way to the top).  When the stock is frozen remove it from the pan and put the cubes in a zip loc bag for future use.  (each muffin tin holds about 1/2 cup, this is a good way to know how much stock you have, you can even measure out 1/2 cup muffin tin to be certain.)

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Chicken Stock from above.  (about 4 cups)
  • The chicken that you pulled off the bones from making the chicken stock.  (if you used left over bones and pieces like I did you may need to add a little more chicken.  I added a breast cut into very small pieces.)
  • 3-4 medium carrots cut in small rounds
  • 2-3 stalks of celery sliced in small pieces
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 teaspoons Italian seasoning.
  • Gluten Free Noodles (I had Tinkyada Elbows on hand so that’s what I used.)

Add all ingredients to soup pot. Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until veggies are tender.  Remove Rosemary, (if some leaves fall off it’s ok, I just like to take most of it out because the soup starts to taste more like Rosemary than anything else.)  Return soup to a boil and add pasta, reduce heat to simmer and let cook for about 15 mins (depending on the pasta you use.)  When pasta is ready the soup is ready to eat!

A New Me in One Year

I’ve been struggling with my health for most of my life. The past 2 years have been especially trying.

Today I had a colonoscopy, and it found nothing unusual. I’m tired of feeling bad and no one being able to tell me why. I’ve had lower GI problems for over 2 months now, and I’ve gained about 25 pounds in these 2 months.

Tonight I emailed a couple of nutritionist in the area asking if they can help me with an elimination diet to see if there is something in my diet that is causing this havoc.

I also walked around the block for the first time in months.

I should mention that I have many other things afflicting me:
Meniere’s Disease
suspected Celiac’s Disease (I am gluten-free and it has helped me immensely.)
Wheat Allergy
Chronic hip pain (I had a torn labrum twice last year. My orthopedist would like to perform surgery to see if he can figure out what is still causing so me so much pain. I’ve had numerous MRI some with dye, and none of them show anything that can explain the amount of pain I’m having. Note: this is a new doctor, not the one who did the 2 surgeries last year. He thinks my hip-joint could be pinching the cartilage, it wouldn’t show up on the MRI because you are in a relaxed position. My muscles and tendons are also too tight, even though I’ve had a lot of PT.)

This blog is going to follow my life over the next year, and my attempt to get healthier.