I have been 100% gluten free since October of 2012. But my Celiac story really started years before that. I do not know the exact year, but at one point in my life before I was diagnosed with Celiac, my dad was having pretty significant health problems. After many tests, his own research, and thinking back to the fact he felt best when he was doing low carb diets, he came to the conclusion he probably had Celiac. He had the testing done and was confirmed a Celiac. After learning more, and learning that is was a genetic disorder my two siblings and I underwent both the blood test, and biopsy. At this point it was confirmed that my sister had Celiac and had intestinal damage, and that I had Celiac and no current intestinal damage.
At this time our family started having gluten free foods in the house. We bought all new pots, pans, and toaster for gluten free foods only. Some meals we all ate completely gluten free, others like spaghetti night we had gluten free and full on gluten options. This was a point in time where gluten free foods were not that great to be honest. I tried the gluten free foods and swore I would never go gluten free despite my diagnosis.
That was until I started feeling sick after eating. I can remember the day I finally decided I had to go gluten free. It was October 2012 and my high school dance team was doing a walk for breast cancer. Before heading to our meeting spot my mom and I stopped at Panera and I got a bagel for breakfast. I had told my friend we could run the race instead of walk and by the time the race started I already was not feeling well. I ran a bit, but eventually found myself in pain and terribly needing a bathroom. I finally found one and diarrhea happened (sorry not sorry I have damaged intestines and talking about poop doesn’t bother me anymore). I found my team after that and finished the walk. Looking back on it, I very stupidly took a free Panera bagel for the ride home. At this point I cannot remember if I ate it, or just threw it out. The rest of that day I laid on the couch in pain and realized I could not continue living that way.
At this point I was 17 and in my junior year of high school, so at some times it was difficult. My friends did not really understand and we still did everything we had done before. For example after Friday night football games we still went out to our favorite pizza place and I just did not eat. At home it was pretty easy because the food was already in the house. More than anything I am glad I switched to the gluten free diet before going to college. I believe this made going to college and eating gluten free easier than if I would have had to switch during or after college.
So technically at this point I celebrated my 6th year gluten free-iversary (?) this past October. There are still good days and bad days with my Celiac. I occasionally do get glutened and feel pretty bad, but I’ve found the places I feel comfortable eating out at and learned to cook for myself. I have also found a great group of friends that are understanding of my condition and make it easy to live gluten free. They know that I will hurt them if they put their bread in my toaster, and what to look for on labels when buying food, all of which I greatly appreciate. I’ve accepted that Celiac is a part of my life and now I am hoping that I can tell my story and help others along the way.
More about what Celiac Disease is in a future blog post!
I want to hear from you. Tell me in the comments…
- My GF (gluten free) friends: When did you go gluten free and what is your favorite gf brand/product?
- Non-GF friends: What would you like to know about Celiac?