I started this blog as an outlet to describe ‘links’ in my life that are (or that I believe are) connected to years of un-diagnosed celiac, to finally getting tested and diagnosed, and to the gluten-free diet itself – thus – the creation of my personal Celiac Chain Link Fence.
As so many of us know, the longer a person goes without diagnosis and a gluten-free diet, the more likely he/she is to develop other autoimmune diseases. I was born in 1960 – diagnosed in 2000 – and had many many issues in between those years that I connect to un-diagnosed celiac. One of those red flags (with information currently available to the medical community), was hypothyroidism, which I was finally diagnosed with in 1984. And who knows how long I suffered with symptoms of hypothyroidism before even that was discovered.
I had my first child in 1983. It was a little earlier than we planned, (we had no money). But she was greatly wanted (I had dreamed of having kids from my earliest of memories). We made it work, naturally. The odd thing was, the “IBS” that I had recently developed over the few years prior to getting pregnant, disappeared. My energy and overall well being improved greatly. Being pregnant seemed to improve the way I felt. Years later, when looking back, I had 4 very clear times in my life when this kind of sense of ‘well-being’ (and weight) increased to a more appropriate level: my late teens, my first 2 pregnancies, and when I was diagnosed with celiac and went gluten free. I have often wondered if there is some sort of “hormonal remission” of sorts (for a lack of my own medical education or definitions).
Could it be a brain tumor?
I remember thinking this was the reason for other issues I struggled with: fatigue, bruising, very dry skin, inability to gain weight, although hypothyroidism generally results in weight gain, not loss. Comments from doctors along the way suggested it ‘odd’ that I was so thin, but no one had an answer or suggestion for a possible answer. Of course, I eventually discovered I had another issue to blame – celiac. But that discovery didn't come until many years later.