Hey there. I’m Maureen, I like long walks in the park and Yanni. Oh wait, wrong website. Anyway, I have Celiac Disease. August 2005 was the last time I ate gluten (well, knowingly at least). Unknowingly is another story that so does not have a happy ending.
When I was initially diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I felt confused, isolated, and totally uneducated. I mourned for the food I could no longer eat. I was angry that I had this stupid disease and I literally knew not one single person that was gluten-free. So I started writing (sometimes venting) and found an amazing gluten-free community out there!
Hold The Gluten is a place I hope you will visit when you want to connect with others who “get it”. When Aunt Matilda makes you a loaf of her famous pumpkin bread (with tons of gluten) and is totally offended when you don’t eat it, take a moment to remember there are others out there going through the same exact scenario. Well, I personally don’t have an Aunt Matilda, but you get the picture. Stop by, stay awhile, there’s safety in numbers! I hope this blog and podcast helps you to feel that you are not alone.
You WILL be healthy. You WILL be able to survive and thrive gluten-free.
How I Found Out Gluten Was Destroying My Body (and Life)
I guess you could say 2005 was a stressful year for me. In March of 2005, I was six months pregnant with our second child while chasing around our energetic first child. My husband and I were selling our current home and building a new one. Apparently factors such as stress and/or pregnancy (bingo!) can trigger the onset of celiac (I unknowingly had the gene, it just was inactive). So in March 2005, the evil “D” began (aka explosive diarrhea). It was ridiculous — too many times a day to count. No one knew what to do with me — my primary care doctor, my first GI doctor, nor my OB/GYN doctor. No one wanted to touch the pooping pregnant woman. After three hospitalizations, I was initially told that the cause of the “D” was “Pregnancy Induced Diarrhea” and would go away after the birth of my child. In May 2005, despite how sick and weak I was, my son was thankfully born strong and healthy (he must have been chowing down on ALL of my nutrients!).
But the pooping continued. Next came the diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis. Then began the joy (insert sarcasm) of enemas and extensive meds (and GI Doctor #2).
Yet, the pooping (insert expletive) continued…
Finally, desperate for some relief and scared out of my mind that I would never live a healthy life or leave the bathroom, I went to a local Health Food Store in search of alternative medicines. There is where my life changed. A nutritionist happened to work on-site and, as I described my symptoms, she matter of factly told me that it sounded like I had Celiac Disease. This amazing person wrote down the exact bloodwork tests I needed. I called my GI doctor immediately and requested these tests to be done. Wouldn’t you know it, I did have Celiac. Not Pregnancy Induced Diarrhea, not Ulcerative Colitis, but Celiac Disease. I finally had an answer and found that I could heal myself without medication (or enemas, thank god), but by omitting gluten from my diet.