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5 Things you didn’t know about Celiac Disease

Happy Celiac Awareness Month! Here's 5 things you probably maybe didn't know about Celiac Disease!

((I am not a doctor or medical professional so please consult one if you have an issue that you think might be related to celiac disease.)) I DO have celiac disease. Read my full post about how I finally got around to getting diagnosed last August here.

1. It usually takes someone 6-10 years to be diagnosed [1]

Often is it misdiagnosed as countless other things, the usual misdiagnosis being IBS. It can also be misdiagnosed based on the many other issues that it causes. If I’m honest with myself I probably had this most of my life, but my really bad issues started in high school. I was diagnosed last August at age 25. The decline into the symptoms is often slow, so you don’t really know how bad you feel. You have felt that way for so long that it starts to feel normal.

2. Celiac Disease now has over 300 symptoms[2].

When Celiac Disease was taught in med school many years ago, the picture of someone with Celiac Disease was underweight, with chronic diarrhea and malnourished. My worst symptoms brain fog and anemia! I also was definitely not underweight, but actually was started to gain weight which was unexplained. Some days I thought I would have to drink a gallon of coffee to make it through the day. I've shared this infographic from Gluten Dude Before but I'll share it again!!

3. Eating Gluten Free isn’t that hard, but dealing with Cross-Contamination is

What is cross contamination? Say I’m at a restaurant and I see that the nachos are labeled gluten free. Chances are, they probably AREN’T(This just happened to me last week). If they fry the chips in the same fryer as their [breaded] chicken wings, WOMP WOMP. Not gluten free anymore by Celiac Standards. The gluten floating around in the fryer really can “Gluten” us. Same applies to knifes, cutting boards, toasters, pans, etc.

4. It is estimated that 83% of Americans living with Celiac Disease are currently undiagnosed[3].

That’s why Celiac Awareness week is so important!!! Let’s get these people diagnosed!! Do you have a family member that has Celiac Disease? Maybe you should get the blood test! When I was diagnosed, my Mom, Dad, and brother all got their blood tested and My father at 67 YEARS OLD was diagnosed!

5. YES we miss the foods we used to eat. BUT We love our new life so much more!

For so many of us, getting an actual diagnosis was something to celebrate! I honestly feel like I was given a new life the day my GI doctor told me that my endoscopy showed positive for celiac disease. I could start my Gluten Free Life! I started feeling better only two weeks into it. Now that I’m 8 months into my Celiac journey, I feel so different. My skin has completely cleared up, I have so much energy, my stomach is rarely bloated, my iron levels are normal, and my digestion has evened out. There have been bumps and accidents along the way and I'm sure there will be more in the future, but overall, WOW. I love my life. So don’t feel bad for me, just bring me some gluten free cookies!

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1. "Celiac Fast Facts." Beyond Celiac. Last Viewed on May 7, 2018. <https://www.beyondceliac.org/celiac-disease/facts-and-figures/>

2. "Disease Symptoms." Gluten Dude. Last Viewed on May 7, 2018. <https://glutendude.com/celiac/celiac-disease-symptoms/>

3. See no. 1

 

Lauren Therese Anderson, Mezzo-Soprano

©2018 BY LAUREN THERESE ANDERSON