When I Was Diagnosed With Celiac

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In March of 2015, I was diagnosed with Celiac.

I know what many of you are thinking, no big deal; tons of people have Celiac and live perfectly normal lives. Well, I am not one of those persons who can just eat “gluten free” buns with my burger and fries. I have had to make a total switch to my diet and lifestyle in order to get rid of my numerous symptoms and pain.

About a year before I was diagnosed, I started having weird symptoms that seemed unrelated. Below is a list of some of my Celiac symptoms.

My Celiac Symptoms

#1 My stomach often hurt and felt like I was being stabbed. Every night before I went to bed, it looked like I was a few months pregnant, and, if that weren’t bad enough, I gained 17 pounds. Seventeen pounds! I have weighed the same weight since I was a teenager and my weight hasn’t ever fluctuated… until Celiac.

#2 I was experiencing hormone imbalance issues, my face developed dark, splotchy patches of discoloration and I was also breaking out – which was odd because I never struggled with acne.

#3 My joints hurt. My feet hurt around my arch and big toe area, my knees hurt, I had severe lower back pain and unusually frequent neck pain and migraine headaches.

#4 Lethargy and memory setbacks. When I ate certain foods (gluten and dairy mostly) they made me feel like I had been drugged. My husband would tell me something and I couldn’t remember even having the conversation.

I went to my family doctor and several specialists; no one could pin point what was causing these symptoms, and no one had solutions. I had X-rays, ultrasounds, exams, blood tests, urine tests, and other tests that I don’t like talking about… each specialist had a cream, drug, or idea of what they thought was causing my symptoms.

The foot surgeon said, and I quote, “this is what happens when you get older; your body starts hurting and not working like it used to.” Seriously, I was 35 years old on that visit. The family doctor I saw said, “you are probably working out too hard and lifting too heavy of weights. What you need to do is stop working out and drink more Gatorade.”

The thing is, I know my body. I know when it is acting abnormal, and something was wrong. Something was definitely wrong.

I began researching a TON. I started following (what I thought was the) Paleo protocol to see if anything changed. The problem with that was the “Paleo” diet I was following was the Pinterest version of Paleo, not the real thing. So many Pinterest “Paleo” recipes have ingredients in them that aren’t Paleo approved. So I ate some of those delicious recipes and continued my research…

Along the way I kept a journal of what meals/foods bothered me so I could narrow down the potential ingredients that were causing me problems.

I noticed that after drinking my protein shake, my stomach bothered me. I used peanut butter, whey protein, cocoa powder, milk, and bananas. It was delicious, and I still envy those who can eat those yummy shakes. 🙂

My stomach bothered me when I had wheat bread, oats, spelt tortillas, brown rice noodles, and milk… But the weird thing was, my stomach felt great after a Wendy’s burger, fries, and a frosty combo! Go figure.

I knew something was going wrong with my body when it felt better eating at Wendy’s then I did eating my “healthy” food at home.

I finally found a new doctor and about a week before my appointment I Googled reflexology foot charts. I have always found reflexology massages helpful, but it had been awhile since I looked at the charts. When I pinpointed the area the foot chart where I was experiencing the most pain, there were two words close to the area that made me feel like I wasn’t loosing my mind… those words were “Celiac” and “Thyroid,” the two things I was going to the doctor to get tested for.

My blood work shed some insight as to what was happening to me. I was tested fore the Celiac Disease Panel (IgA and tTG) levels. My blood work showed negative for IgA – simply because when you fast before getting your blood work tested, there is no gluten to flag this, but my tTG IgA levels were flagged as High. To learn more about the IgA and tTG IgA, click here. Basically, my paperwork showed that my “reference interval” was 11, and the paperwork stated that anything more than 10 was a positive result for Celiac. It was official, I had Celiac.

So what is Celiac? Does it just mean you can’t eat bread? I have learned so much since my diagnoses and if you will allow me to share some tips, pointers, and hopefully helpful advise, maybe together we can grow healthier and stronger as we help others in our struggles. Please stay tuned as I will be sharing more articles about the good, bad, and somewhat depressing parts of my Celiac journey. Until we meet again, if you were recently diagnosed with Celiac or another Autoimmune Disorder, I recommend that you buy these two books right away:

#1 The Autoimmune Solution

#2 The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

Whatever road you are currently traveling on in your health journey, please know that you are not alone and together we can help you figure out how to get better. Be kind gracious to yourself and others and you will find that you will gain more support than criticism that way.

 

Celiac Infographic

Photo Credit:
The Facts About Celiac Disease infographic is courtesy of Lauren’s Hope.
The Celiac Disease in the U.S. infographic is courtesy of Behance.

**The views and nutritional advice expressed by Lindsey Graves is not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. Purchasing a product, program or wellness coaching does not establish a doctor patient relationship with Lindsey Graves or her staff. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. We suggest that you continue to work with qualified medical professional as you engage in our material, products and services. No information offered here should be interpreted as a diagnosis of any disease, nor an attempt to treat or prevent or cure any disease or condition. Information and statements regarding products and/or services made available by Lindsey Graves have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Lindsey Graves products and services are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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