Why?, you might ask. Well I'll tell you why. For every person diagnosed, there are still many who don't yet know they need to be gluten free; who don't know that by eliminating this protein from their diet, their life can drastically change. I know this because I lived it, and I've seen and heard the same story over and over. (*Not everyone with undiagnosed celiac, however, has obvious symptoms, and not everyone with symptoms look alike.)
I share these stories every chance I get, in hopes that they will be shared and that someone will recognize the symptoms in themselves and get tested. (So please, share.)
Decades of Symptoms
- Lactose intolerance and other digestive issues since childhood (since childhood!)
- Six years of rashes prior to diagnosis. (Dermatitis Herpetiformis)
- The devastation of two miscarriages followed by infertility
- Gallbladder removed
- Deficiencies in iron and vitamins D and B12
- Depression and mood swings through her teen years and periodically as an adult
- Perimenopause at the young age of 40, followed by menipause by only 47.
During the year before diagnosis, Lila experienced brain fog, joint pain, bone pain, blurry vision, memory loss, extreme fatigue, energy depletion, and extreme mood swings.
Could it Be Celiac?
We trust our physician's education, so when he told her "no," she blamed her symptoms on perimenopause. And that's the fact of things. All TOO OFTEN, our symptoms get pushed onto something else. Heaven forbid the doctors test for the most common but most undiagnosed- misdiagnosed genetic autoimmune disease. Maybe an, "I don't think so, but lets test and find out," might be a better answer.
You're Not Skinny
Heavy sigh and frustrated expression on my face right now as I am typing. Actually, its anger. Yes, I'm angry!! It is time that doctors come out of the dark ages and recognize that being overweight CAN BE a SYMPTOM of undiagnosed celiac. Infertility issues CAN BE a symptom of undiagnosed celiac.
Even though she was over 40 and in the stages of perimenopause, Lila knows she was still in childbearing years, and she wonders.
Gluten Free = LIVING!
Several years of burning, itching rashes: GONE!
Mood Swings: Gone
Bone and joint pain: Gone
Digestive issues: Gone
Gluten contamination happens, and when it does, she is reminded of what she lived with every day before going gluten free: knee pain, digestive issues, constipation, fuzzy vision, brain fog, mood swings, fatigue.
So often we don't realize that what we're feeling is sick! How can a person know what its like to feel rested if they never experience it? Fatigue and pain become "normal." And this was the case for Lila. "I figured this was just the way it was for me."
Lila now wonders:
Make a Difference
To those reading this: Please Share! There are others facing these same symptoms without knowing that gluten is behind them. If this story reaches just one of them, it is a very important life changed (as are the lives of all those in that person's life).
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you a questionnaire.