My Celiac Story
In early 2011, I began a friendship with a woman named Kathy. We met for tea and a chat and I offered to bring something baked and wonderful along. She politely said that as much as she would love that, she did’t think there was any thing I could make that was safe enough for her to eat…. (Huh?)
To me that seemed a bit extreme but I said ok.
Before this point, I tried not to consider myself a hypochondriac. But I had all of these seemingly unrelated issues- strange peeling skin- particularly in my eyebrows, migraines that would take me out for 3 days, tummy troubles, anemia, and other things. Because of these issues (especially the skin and tummy stuff), I thought that perhaps I had a food allergy. I had started tracking what I ate and how it effected me with a food diary. But I had no insight yet. I didn’t realize that something like Gluten could be in so many different things! Kathy had planted the idea in my head and encouraged me to be tested.In April of 2011, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
Although there is no cure for this disease, the solution to effectively treat it, is to follow a strict Gluten Free Diet. So on May 1, I began a completely gluten free diet. I found out quickly that there were Many things in my current diet that I could no longer eat. But I suddenly began to see things labeled “gluten free” at nearly every grocery store I shopped! These items, though typically a bit more expensive, gave me hope. The more research I did, I discovered that you can create or purchase a gluten free version of just about anything!
What’s more, in just one short month of eating carefully, I felt like a brand new person! It was a long time until I had another headache. My skin cleared up, my tummy was happy, and my other symptoms remedied themselves. It is incredible how soon my body bounced back. After all, I wasn’t born with the full-blown disease. It lay dormant in me for years until I had a stressful situation to wake it up. In my case, it was dental surgery: having my wisdom teeth removed. For some people, it takes physical stress, maybe a pregnancy or emotional trauma, or extreme weight loss or gain to wake it up; everyone’s different.
But now that I’m here, now that I know how to fix it, I do whatever it takes.
I have an incredible husband. We were still dating when I was diagnosed. Without his support and encouragement, without his willingness to taste test my trial and error creations, I highly doubt I could have made it this far. Eventually, he went gluten free as well and since then, things have been even easier!