A celiac Story

Your entire world changes. You cry, you’re mad, you’re depressed, you’re excited, but mostly you feel SO relieved.  Now there is A Reason, a diagnosis: Celiac disease.

You’re the 1 in 133 people genetically affected by gluten*. Your body has an autoimmune response and it wreaks havoc on every single aspect of your life. You’re moody, pregnant with bloat and inflammation, constantly exhausted and dysfunctional with extreme brain fog, but now you know you can fix it.

To eat or not to eat, that is the question a celiac or food allergy faces. It’s not just food, its gum, medicine, cough drops, chapstick. Every single thing that enters your alimentary canal. Gone are the days of just grabbing a quick bite, or ‘sure I’ll try some’, or ‘yeah I’ll have a taste’.  The silver lining to losing all food freedom? As you wave goodbye and mourn the simple luxury of freely ingesting anything, you’re ailments start to depart; the healing process different for everyone, but I am so much healthier and vibrant at 36 than I was at 24. Nothing tastes as good as feeling well.

The learning curve is intense. The fear is real. The healing process long and painful; but your body, your mind, and your life change when you go strictly gluten free. Twelve years later, I’m still learning, still sleuthing every label, still nervous at new restaurants or group dinners. I feel left out, I feel like I’m a burden and a pain, I dislike the attention, but I’ve slowly (and painfully) learned to speak up, embrace this unique chance to educate others, and most importantly claim control over my health.  I’m a celiac with food allergies, my life literally depends on it.

Celiac disease and/or a food allergy, makes you realize the power you have to be in charge of your health. The power every one of us has to vote with our dollar, chose the food that fuels our body, ingest only what makes us feel good, appreciate nutrition, value the restaurants, manufactures, and small businesses that actually take care and cater to our life threatening needs, and life sustaining need to eat. As Hippocrates said “let food be thy medicine”.

*Beyond Celiac. https://www.beyondceliac.org/celiac-disease/facts-and-figures. Accessed 1/29/19