Yep. I’m Celiac, too.

Celiac is a common occurrence among people with any kind of thyroid issue.  After testing with approximately 8 different doctors over 12 long years, I finally found one that got my thyroid numbers to be “just right” (thanks Goldilocks!) and I still felt crummy.  So she said the magic words.

“Let’s test you for Celiac.”

Celiac Disease:

Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

If you have Celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction produces inflammation that damages the small intestine’s lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption).

The intestinal damage can cause weight loss, bloating and sometimes diarrhea. Eventually, your brain, nervous system, bones, liver and other organs can be deprived of vital nourishment.

In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development. The intestinal irritation can cause stomach pain, especially after eating.

There’s no cure for Celiac disease — but following a strict gluten-free diet can help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing

source

Think you have Celiac?  Check out this chart from Gluten Dude:

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac Disease Symptoms – Courtesy of Gluten Dude

Those are the facts.  Here’s the anecdotal history.  I gave up gluten and the following things happened…

  • my skin stopped itching
  • my hair became much healthier. It was breaking off and was like straw.
  • oh my gosh my fingernails. I can’t tell you how much better my fingernails are. They would shred before. They are so much stronger now.
  • my finger joints used to hurt in the morning and don’t anymore
  • I have way more energy in the mornings and can now get up and run.  Before I couldn’t get out of bed until the last minute that I had to.
  • I crashed all the time and had to sleep for hours in the afternoon.

Did it completely cure me? Well, no. Celiac is an autoimmune disease. In case you’re curious about the level of serious….the following are also autoimmune diseases:
Type 1 Diabetes
Lupus
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Crohn’s Disease
Reynaud’s Syndrome

My point is…these are diseases that need to be managed. They are not cured. So you will have setbacks. You will have bad days and you will definitely have days where you have done everything right and you still don’t feel great. This is the nature of the disease. But if you are careful and you manage and respect the disease and yourself, you will have more good days than bad and you will feel a thousand percent better than you did before you went gluten free.

  • You HAVE to check labels
  • Take a probiotic. Probiotics are your friend. This brand was recommended by many fellow Celiacs. It’s a great price and you can be reassured it works well.
  • Google is your friend. I searched everything to teach me how to be gluten free. It’s not just the food. It’s the cooking utensils, the toaster, the kitchen counter, lotions, makeup, medicine, it’s all the little things that get you…you have to read and learn. But once you figure it out…you will get a handle on it.
  • Do not trust people that say “I’m pretty sure it’s gluten free”
  • And keep your head up.  When people are negative about it, and they will be, just remember it’s your disease. Who cares what they think.  You feel better and that’s all that matters.

In my experience:

My friends and family have been extremely  helpful in dealing with Celiac Disease. They go out of their way to make sure I always feel welcome.  They ask a lot of questions because knowledge is power. We all just want to understand and make sure we are limiting the mistakes made.

Don’t get discouraged.  It’s worth it. 

Don’t cheat. It’s not worth it.

Getting glutened can be discouraging but it happens. We work together to keep me gluten free but the buck stops here. I have to be on top of my game.

When I’m at a restaurant I make every effort to be polite and kind. For a server to understand, that is the most crucial first step. There has been the occasion that we have had to say, “thank you so much but we’ll go somewhere else”.

Don’t take chances. 

Read your labels. If it does not say gluten free then it’s NOT gluten free.  You can always email the company. I will search online and if the site that comes up is from 2011…I don’t trust it. I want up to date current information. I keep searching or I don’t eat it. Once you get that information, remember to go back every once in a while and check it again. Ingredients change and companies update. Yes, you can look at your ingredients but if you don’t know your ingredients well then don’t do it. Some ingredients consist of ten more ingredients. I mean…it’s such a risk. Know what you’re eating. We can sometimes do everything right and it all comes down to the warehouse. If the base of operations isn’t gluten free, the food isn’t. You have to be aware.

  • The safest way to eat is just to eat clean. I talk big since I eat Skittles but the cleaner you eat the less preservatives you take chances on.
  • “glutened” is totally a word.

2 Responses to Yep. I’m Celiac, too.

  1. Jen

    You STILL have digestive issues? 🙁 I’m waiting to get tested but all signs are pointing towards CD…digestion is a huge, distressing issue for me and it would kill to know it doesn’t improve.

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