I browsed the buffet of party snacks. Oodles of homemade cookies, trays of veggies, slow cookers filled with appetizers and bags of chips started back at me. Like always, I was careful to choose foods that fit into my gluten-free diet. I loaded my plate with fresh veggies (minus the gluteny-ranch dip) and a few all-corn tortilla chips.
“You should try the dip I brought. It’s super yummy,” a gal mentioned as I browsed the table and she filled her plate.
This was the first time I have socialized with this group of people, so they had no idea I that I have to be careful with what I eat.
“Thanks,” I said to her. “What kind of dip is it? It looks good.”
She went on to explain how she made it and then I asked my usual questions about the ingredient list and explained that I need to avoid gluten.
“Ohhhh! I’ve been wanting to talk to someone who’s done that diet. Have you lost a bunch of weight?” she asked curiously.
As I explained my Celiac Disease diagnosis and that eating gluten-free is a medical necessity for me, not a weight loss plan, her interest quickly waned.
Situations similar to this scenario happen to me at pretty much every social event, yet, I never get tired of trying to educate people about an autoimmune condition called Celiac Disease that damages the small intestine and inhibits the absorption of nutrients in the body, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
I’ve been following a gluten-free diet since November 2010 based on the recommendation of my doctor. Thankfully, many of my outward symptoms of the illness resolved after changing my food choices. Fast forward nearly eight years, and my digestion system has new issues.
I recently met with a gastroenterologist and it’s time to follow-up on my initial Celiac diagnosis from so many years ago. She feels my current issues may be from my Celiac Disease, which has so many complications that many people never hear about.
One issue with Celiac that stood out for me during our conversation was the ongoing, lingering inflammation that resides in the small intestine if your Celiac isn’t well managed. When left to fester, inflammation can do lots of damage to the body.
For some, eating gluten-free is enough to quiet the disease. For others, their entire world has to be gluten-free, from lotions and shampoo, to medications and the air in their homes.
So, this spring I’m embarking on yet another twist and turn in my Celiac adventure. It’s time for a follow-up to see how my body is managing and healing (or not) internally. I’ll be having a scope of my stomach and intestines performed later this month as well as a battery of blood tests to get a gauge on the progression of my Celiac Disease, eight years into my diagnosis.
I’d love to have a few friends along for this journey. If you’ve gone through this process or just want to show support, please reach out! I purposely went through my last two health issues/scares last fall solo and think this time around I need a team of support.
Until next time,
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