Celiac disease

Celiac disease is a genetic disease that causes a person to not be able to handle gluten.  If the person eats gluten then his ability to absorb vital nutrients declines.
I know that much, at least.
The doctors are trying to find out why my blood work shows me as malnourished, and celiac is the most likely candidate.  Funny, I don’t mind.  Of all the possibilities this one is one of the good ones.  I would be the first in the family diagnosed with it.  The fix is fairly simple, avoid gluten.  But, gluten is in a lot of different things… Wheat, barley, rye… Malt too… Fast food is pretty much out, no problem there, I can’t stand the stuff any way, I always feel sick after eating fast food.  (I wonder if my aversion to it has anything to do with my body saying it’s not good for me?)
I would have to give up most breads, cakes and cookies too.  Here again, this doesn’t bother me, I naturally don’t eat a lot of bread.  (Is this my body avoiding things I shouldn’t have?)  I do like bread but I don’t need it to feel satisfied.  I love potatoes and rice and these would be ok for me to eat.  I am beginning to see a pattern.  If I listen to my body I’ll be ok.  Neet how that all works.

I wrote the above a few months ago. I have, since then, been diagnosed with Celiac. My diet has changed much more than I expected. I have to read the labels on absolutely everything that has been processed. One barbecue sauce may be ok while the other ten I look at won’t be. I have to worry about light mayonnaise and other staples. Mixed nuts? Yup, some of them have gluten in them. What about beer… no way, barley is a no-no now. I remember clearly my first week on the gluten-free diet. I was out so much that I had to rely on fast food a lot that week. I nearly starved. I began to live off of peanut M&Ms and Diet Coke. Not that I mind, I love both of them. But everyday for five, six days as my only snack? Yeah. It didn’t satisfy. I have since bought myself several gluten-free snacks that I keep in my car. I also remember a time a few weeks ago where I actually filled up at a meal. I hadn’t realized that I was eating so little. One of the reasons for figuring out the diagnosis was that I was losing weight. I was at a healthy weight but I didn’t have room to lose more and the scale kept slipping a pound or two a week. One of the problems I’ve had all of my life was that when I get hungry I get grouchy and my blood sugar drops. I need to keep my weight steady and I need to eat frequent meals. Finally, I haven’t lost or gained any weight in the past few weeks. My gluten-free diet seems to be settling in. I’m getting used to it. People, friends, ask me why I don’t get upset about not being able to eat something I like, or want to eat. My answer, “I have to give up some things so I can be healthy. I could have been dealing with something much, much worse than Celiac and I’m happy that I’m not. I can’t change it so there’s no need to worry or get upset about it.” It’s like having freckles or being short or having curly hair. I can affect it some but I can’t really change it. I just have to accept who I am and move on.

I hope you can accept who you are and enjoy every aspect of it. You are who you are because that’s the way it is. Change what you must but accept what can’t be changed and move on.

Thanks for reading,
w

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