My Celiac Story
First, let’s talk about what is Celiac. Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications. You can find more about Celiac at Celiac.org
Five years ago I was diagnosed with Celiac and it completely changed my life for the better. I went almost 8 years misdiagnosed. They thought I had IBS, Crohn’s disease, Fibromyalgia, and one Dr thought it was all in my head.
Every time I saw a Dr they prescribed me antibiotics and antidepressants. Nothing helped. In fact it just made things worse. I hurt all over my body. I had horrible tummy troubles. My hair was falling out in clumps and I was sick with a cold year around.
Finally in the Summer of 2012 I went to a new Dr because my Dr was on vacation. Turned out the flu saved my life. Dr walked in, asked me a dozen questions and then he looked at me and said ” how long have you had Celiac?” I had NO clue what Celiac was so I just sat there looking at him like he was crazy.
He ordered lab work and a emergency colonoscopy. He sent me straight over the ER. They admitted me and the next day they did the colonoscopy. That afternoon the Dr told me I had Celiac. My white blood count was so high he decided I needed to stay in the hospital a few days.
Google became my best friend. I’m Italian and I remember just sitting in the hospital bed crying, thinking I would never be able to eat pasta again. The first blog I found was the Gluten Free Girl, She made me cry so many happy tears. She seemed to be living a normal life with Celiac. I was so inspired. I remember by the time I left the hospital feeling so empowered.
Here are some Celiac symptoms :
- abdominal bloating and pain
- chronic diarrhea
- pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
- weight loss
- weight gain
- irritability and behavioral issues
- dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth
- delayed growth and puberty
- short stature
- failure to thrive
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
If you think you might have Celiac please get tested. I would love to hear your story. <3