When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease the first thing I felt was relief. You read that right, I was relieved.
You see, ever since I was about 12 years old I'd been going to the doctor for my annual check up and telling them that something just wasn't right. I couldn't tell them exactly what it was, I just knew that I shouldn't feel so tired and sick all the time. I was tall but rail thin. Strangers would tell me I looked ill, my friends would ask if I was anorexic. As a teenager I had achy joints, bad skin, and I was always coming down with whatever illness was going around at the time. When I wasn't dealing with the flu or a cold I was just run down and tired. I ate really healthy foods, and was getting regular exercise. The doctors told me that I was anemic, that and my hay fever was what was making me feel tired. Blood tests always came back normal, so they had no answer for why I was getting sick, except to say that I was just being a hypochondriac. I was given prescriptions for allergy pills and told to take iron supplements. They didn't help.
When I was 26 years old I got a bad case of gastroenteritis. A few weeks after I was able to hold down solid foods I started getting really bad stomach cramps. At one point the cramps were so bad that I went to the Emergency Room. I thought for sure I was having gall stones or Appendicitis. The ER docs ran a series of tests and as usual they all came back normal. I was not in any danger, but the doctor was concerned that I was in so much pain. He decided to schedule me an endoscopy for the next day thinking that maybe I had an ulcer. I had the procedure and was given some pills for the pain.
A week later I got a letter in the mail asking me to come in for some blood work. Now, if you've ever gotten one of those letters you know that they are seriously scary. I had no idea what was going on, I just knew that they must have found something. I got the blood work done and tried to wait without freaking completely out.
So there I am sitting on the table at my new doctor's office (he was the Gastroenterologist that had done the endoscopy) waiting for him to tell me that I had some kind of inoperable cancer and he says I have Celiac Disease. He says it's nothing to worry about, but that the only treatment was to go on a strict gluten free diet. I was relieved. Not just because I didn't have cancer, but because there really was something going on with my body. I felt vindicated!
I asked the doctor why it hadn't been found before and he explained that that's why he needed the extra blood work. I have what's know as 'Silent Celiac". My blood test came back absolutely normal, but the endoscopy showed the damaged villi. The doctor recommended that I go on the diet and see if it helped. If it did then we knew I had Celiac Disease, if it didn't help then we knew there was something else going on.
Well, the diet worked. After about six weeks I was feeling better than I could ever remember. There was no doubt in my mind that I had Celiac Disease.
Two weeks after I was diagnosed I took my daughter to the doctor because she had been complaining about a stomach ache that wouldn't go away. I told her doc about my recent diagnosis and she agreed to give her the blood test. The tests came back positive, so we put her on the gluten free diet too.
Before her diagnosis she had been having a lot of problems in school. Her poor Kindergarten teacher was incredibly patient, but was about to suggest that we get my daughter screened for ADD. Then we found out about the Celiac Disease and how it can cause some behavior problems. It was amazing how being on the diet transformed my daughter. About two months after she started the diet her teacher told me what a difference it had been. She was acting so much better in class it was like she was a new kid! Even now, if she gets accidental gluten her reactions tend to be emotional and behavioral rather than physical ones.
With my daughter and I both diagnosed with Celiac Disease we changed the way things ran in the house. Since I am not a short order cook we decided that all the family meals would be gluten free and we would 'segregate' breakfast and lunch. It would have been easier to just make the whole house a Gluten Free Zone, but in case you haven't noticed gluten free food is way more expensive. So we keep both kinds of breakfast cereals and both kinds of bread in the house and are extra careful about cross contamination.
A year after my diagnosis we were blessed with our third child, a very solid little boy. Neither one of our sons has had positive results on their Celiac screenings, but we watch them closely just in case.
So there it is, my story. Like the top of the page says: I'm not a Gourmet, I'm not a Nutritionist, I'm just a normal person dealing with Celiac Disease every day.
P.S. I don't get any kind of compensation for my product reviews. I buy everything myself and give my completely honest opinion. If any company were to ever send me something for free to try (hint,hint) I would absolutely disclose that to my readers, but I'm still going to give an honest assessment. My taste buds can't be bought.
In the spirit of honesty and full disclosure I want to let my readers know that I set up an Amazon Affiliates account. That's where I can link to products on Amazon and if you buy that product from my link I get a little kick back. I'll put those links at the bottom of every post.
Just in case you were curious: We live in Northern Utah, and my kids were born in 2000, 2003, and 2008. I'm a stay at home mom and aspiring artist, my husband works in Customer Service. Oh yeah, we also have a gigantic German Shepherd Dog.