Posts Tagged Celiac Disease
There’s no outgrowing it. It’s not a childhood disease. It’s for life. If you have it now, you will have it tomorrow, and next week, and next year, and next century – should you be lucky enough to live so long.
I’ve had several people tell me, now, that they had celiac disease when they were kids, but they outgrew it. And it drives me bonkers. I try to tell them, no, you should get checked. But they don’t want to hear it.
They are absolutely confident, in a way only the blindly faithful can be, that they do not have celiac disease (and I have been guilty of this, too). And meanwhile they have any of a dozen different symptoms that can result from celiac. I feel like I’m watching someone drowning, and I’m reaching out to grab them and drag them back to shore, but they keep telling me, No, no, the water’s warm.
It’s after my Wednesday evening acupuncture session, and I’m trying to explain to my acupuncturist that, while I’d really like to take the herbs she’s giving me, I need to make sure there isn’t any gluten in the pills.
I kinda figured this would be problematic. Her English is good enough for most things, but there have been times when she’s had to call in the man working the front desk to translate (I’m assuming he’s an acupuncturist in training, because he seems to know his stuff pretty well). In this case, he was at a loss, too.
After all the run around and nonsense I went through with Blue Shield (BS) over the last several months, I finally have my authorization to see a nutritionist. Mind you, this would have been more useful when I was re-embarking on the gluten free lifestyle back in July. Better late than never.
Long story short-ish: BS only covers nutrition services for diabetics. Anyone else is SOL.
Three months after my biopsy, my celiac blood test results are almost normal; which means I’ve been successful at avoiding gluten.
Only that first result is problematic, and even then, it’s in the equivocal range. Not outright bad.
I did, however, have a magnesium deficiency. And a chloride deficiency (I didn’t even know that was possible). I’m also skirting the edge of having a sodium deficiency, which seems utterly insane considering how much salt I pour onto my food.
The magnesium deficiency may explain the frequent muscle spasms and cramps I’ve been getting in my legs lately, the massive increase in migraines, and my recent chocolate cravings. The low sodium, no doubt, explains the light headedness when I stand.
I’m definitely not fully recovered. That could take up to a year. But I am making progress.
These are easy, open and serve kinds of foods. The kind that can show up at a potluck and no one will think – Oh, celiac! Also, the kinds that non-celiac friends can provide without driving themselves bonkers.
This is by no means a comprehensive list; I’m sure there are tons of things I don’t know about yet. But it’s a start. I’ve named specific brands when that sort of thing matters (not all tortilla chips are made equal). And, you know, it’s a good idea to check ingredients.
Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownies – Awesome. These were dense and gooey, which is what I like in a brownie. Strong chocolate flavor. As good as regular gluten-full brownies.
Gluten Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownies – Also awesome. As good as the Betty Crockers, certainly. These reminded me a lot of the Ghirardelli brownie mix that used to be my favorite. They’re slightly richer than the Betty Crockers. Gooey and dense. Very chocolatey. My gluten eating friends seem to really like them, too.
Enjoy Life: Perky’s Crunchy Flax Cereal — Honestly, I’m kinda neutral on this one. It’s all right. It is crunchy, and stays crunchy in milk for a surprisingly long time. The flavor is pretty bland. Not much sweetness, which is a good thing. And hey – flax. I added sliced up strawberries to it, and that worked out quite well. I don’t know that I’d really want to eat it without some sort of fruit.
Tried a different CPAP mask last night and, according to my fitbit, slept slightly better.
Still not great. I should be around 95% sleep efficiency, ideally. And I ought to have more full sleep cycles in there; most people need a full 90 minutes to have a complete sleep cycle. It looks like I had two blocks that were long enough. I really would like to have three full cycles a night.
Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic says that on average in the US it takes 9 years from the onset of symptoms to a diagnosis. I’m pretty sure it’s taken at least that long for me. Probably longer.
I have what would be termed silent celiac. I didn’t have the traditional intestinal symptoms of diarrhea, rapid weight loss, obvious malnutrition. If I had, I expect I would have been diagnosed a lot earlier. I had hormonal irregularities. The summer before I left for college, my father started having me tested to see why I had such irregular periods. They’d started when I was around 14 or so, but never regularized. I once skipped an entire year.
Interesting study on the correlation between sleeping disorders and celiac disease. I haven’t read through the whole article yet (I will, after work) but the gist of it is that sleeping disorders occur more frequently in people with celiac disease, whether they’re on a gluten free diet or not. This article traces the sleep disorders to anxiety and depression, which are also higher in the celiac population.
Of course, I am a biased audience. I want to believe that my sleeping disorders and my celiac disease are connected.