An Inside Look at Celiac Disease. I would like to share a fact about me that my readers, unless you are a friend or family member, don’t already know. I have struggled with gastrointestinal symptoms for years. After many, many tests, I was finally diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I am going to use this post to explain what that means. In the future I will be posting Recipes. Most, if not all, recipes will be gluten free. Let’s get started.
There is an influx of the popularity of the gluten-free lifestyle among the mainstream population. This means that fewer people look at me with quizzical expressions on their faces when I reveal to them that I have to follow a strict gluten-free diet. It means that it is easier to find gluten free choices in most grocery stores and restaurants. What it does not mean is that people fully understand what it is like for me to live a gluten free lifestyle under the constraints the autoimmune condition celiac disease places on me and others out there with the condition.
I Can’t “Cheat.”
Many people who choose to follow gluten free diets are able to allow themselves an occasional cheat day or cheat meal. For me, allowing as little as a cheat bite of a food with gluten can be enough to trigger an extreme reaction due to the extremely sensitive nature of celiac disease. In addition to the physical gastrointestinal symptoms I can suffer, each bite of gluten is causing damage to my small intestine.
I have to watch what beauty and skin care products I use. And….
I Can’t Just Remove the Bread.
Eliminating gluten holds enough challenges on its own, but for me, the real challenge lies in cross contamination risks. I can’t simply move a piece of bread off my plate. If something with gluten touches my plate, I need a whole new meal to be prepared for me before I can safely eat it. This is because even trace amounts of gluten are enough to make me sick. This makes explaining my condition to anyone preparing food for me of critical importance. If I decline to eat out or at someone’s home, it’s not because I don’t want to, it is simply because the risk is too high.