Hello internet world! I have been long gone on this blog and that can be for 2 main reasons. 1/ being i am just a lazy college student (lol) and 2/ for a more serious reason i had no idea what i wanted to do with this blog. Like a lot of things in my life, it was a spur of the moment decision to get a blog and had no idea what i intended to put on it! With all that being said, i have decided where i would like this to go. For all of my Celiac buddies out there or just anyone interested in nutrition you’ll probably like this the most! I hope to share my Celiac Disease story and my journey as i learn new stuff about my disease and what works for me to hopefully help some of you!
As i have previously mentioned i am a college student. I am currently 18 years old and was diagnosed with Celiac Disease about 7 months ago and have been on a gluten free diet since then. To make this blog post a little bit shorter i am just going to say some of the symptoms i had prior and all the false diagnosis i was given (it’s crazy how doctors can be so wrong sometimes! so trust and listen to what your body is telling you!!).
From a very early age i was always sick. Sinus infections, bronchitis, whooping cough, swine flu, pneumonia, mono (3x!!), the list just goes on and on! I was a pretty healthy kid for the most part. I was on several different sports teams and doing what every other kid did. In 4th grade i got eczema and doctors gave me some creams to for it and my parents harassed me to “just drink more water” and we never thought about an underlying cause for any of it. Skin can be a major telling sign for Celiac Disease! Then 8th grade and freshmen year rolled around and i started getting severe stomach pains (and i mean severe!). I would lay in bed crying unable to do anything. My friends would ask to hang out and i would always have to say no whenever my stomach pain was acting up – which was quite often. On top of stomach pain i would get flooded with anxiety and panic attacks. I remember sitting in class and suddenly feeling so trapped, sweating like no other, and feeling the need to just bolt out of there. I told my parents all of these things, so a doctors trip is what ended up happening. They diagnosed me with depression at the age of 13 and recommended either counseling or antidepressants.
Mental illness is a real thing and i am in no way hating on antidepressants or the fact that it is a real disease! However, i did not have depression because of a chemical imbalance in my brain-i had it because of all these other people not realizing my big red warning signs and then just writing me off with being depressed. I quickly became frustrated with doctors. To be fair to them however, we (as our own beings) need to take control of out own health. Do research yourself. Use doctors as a tool and ask for your own blood work-don’t just rely on someone else to figure your problem out! That is what i learned.
As for the vitamin deficiencies and other warning signs: I have hypothyroidism, i was anemic for about 4 or 5 years (prior to this diet), as well as other vitamins depleted such as Vitamin D.
My dad thought that i might have Celiacs, so i went and talked to a nutritionist and got tested and turns out he was right! However, another thing that makes me angry is they tell you that you have Celiac Disease and their advice is to stop eating gluten. Only 8% of people with Celiac Disease can be cured with just going gluten free! There is so much more that goes into it, and that is why i’m here!
Celiac Disease is not just a food allergy. It is an autoimmune disease. Yes, going gluten free is definitely necessary but other factors play a role in the healing process. When someone with Celiac Disease ingests Gluten (a protein that can be found in wheat, rye, barley, and also used as a preservative in some cases) the body begins to attack its small intestine, where the gluten can actually stick to your intestine. After this continual attack on itself, your small intestine is left damaged and inflamed. They say all disease starts in the gut, and in this case it’s true! With the small intestine being damaged, your body can’t absorb all of the nutrients that it needs to absorb. Leaving your body depleted of all the good stuff it needs to function!! So yes, going gluten free is one step in the right direction! But take advantage of the food you put into your body to help heal the damage that is there-because most likely it won’t just go away on its own. Finding a good dietician and taking the right supplements will further you on your journey to a healthy life.
I have struggled with so much from Celiac Disease and know how frustrating it can be. Good days are ahead of you and bad days are also ahead of you. Support definitely helps! It can be scaring not knowing so much about a disease that you have. Feeling like you’ll never have energy and be “normal” can get to you. But trust me-you can get better! I will be posting more frequently and sharing all the tips and supplements i take, along with food that i find to work for my stomach but also takes better than cardboard! Embrace your body and your Celiac. It will get better and you will feel better than ever!
The long journey is ahead of us, xoxo-jess