I am 47 years old and was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2003, at the age of 37, and have had severe Rheumatoid arthritis since the age of 24. Prior to my diagnosis of Celiac Disease, I trialled a wheat free diet for 6 months.
During my six months of wheat free eating, I thought I was doing a wonderful job avoiding wheat. I would not eat, except wheat free options, bread, pastries, pies, pasta, cakes and cookies - all the main foods I believed contained wheat. I had been suffering from severe heart burn and my doctor recommended I have an endoscope to rule out anything sinister going on - that is, from ulcers as a result of my medication. Well, thankfully, they found no ulcers but guess what?? Yes, the report came back advising me that I had Celiac Disease!! My first thought was “What's that?? I can't even spell it” So I am an example of people being diagnosed with Celiac disease when you are actually being tested for something else. It shows that you can have celiac disease and not recognise any major symptoms.
Once I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease I realized I had been kidding myself thinking I was abstaining from wheat products. When in actual fact, I was getting wheat from a number of “hidden” sources I was unaware of i.e. stock, soup, sauces, beer, flavored potato chips and chicken salt just to name a few. No wonder I never felt any better.
Over the last few years, I have tried to research what it actually means to be totally Gluten free. This has not been easy, as initially it was hard understanding what products I could eat or not eat. Information from medical sources were sometimes confusing with too much medical jargon.
That is what has influenced my desire to set up this website. To have a site designed to try and help people understand what Celiac Disease is, and how to live with it on a day to day basis. Life for most people is very busy and having to add a special diet to the family routine would be something most of us could do without. Hopefully after reading the articles on this site, you will have gained confidence and have a better understanding in knowing how to live with Celiac Disease.
Once you learn more about a gluten free diet, you will soon discover that a lot of foods are available to you and you can make delicious recipes. It will not be long until you are learning all the tricks of gluten free food and cooking. Even Gluten free bread is not too bad!!
I entertain a lot and my guests comment on what wonderful meals I cook. They do not even realize it is all gluten free!! I go out to restaurants for meals with friends and have had some wonderful gluten free meals. I never feel like I am being left out. I have traveled extensively around the world all while requiring a gluten free diet. A little planning is involved but well worth the experience.
So just because you have celiac disease doesn't mean you have to eat and stay at home for the rest of your life. Life is too short and as a friend says “Dance while you can”. If you would like to find out more information on a gluten free lifestyle please feel free to browse the various articles I have written. I hope this will help you on your road to understanding and conquering celiac disease.