Celiac.com 01/04/2017 - Ever since I was a young girl I have always had a bad stomach. Last year, when I was 16, I decided to move to London. Circumstances became difficult, and I ended up becoming physically and mentally ill, which included anorexia nervosa and then onset depression and trauma, as well as almost crippling anxiety. Things led to me getting so ill that I went to a doctor who noticed that I had serious mouth ulcers—and this is what finally led them to diagnose me with celiac disease, after what seemed to be months of suffering.
At the time my diagnosis seemed to make a lot of sense because of the stomach pains I had, especially after eating certain foods. My symptoms included much confusion, dire pains, and resulted in my having a phobia of food. As most celiacs know, currently there is no medicine available to treat celiac disease, and the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet.
Let me explain a little about what celiac is. It is an autoimmune disease where the immune system kills off tissue in the small intestine in response to ingesting gluten. This can make eating more difficult, and a lot of the time I am left in pain with nothing to do but sit in agony and wait for it to stop.
But what if there was something else out there that could help with ongoing symptoms? I recently discovered that thousands are being helped by using cannabis to treat their celiac disease symptoms. Marijuana is gluten-free and for some, can ease the painful symptoms. Special note: This approach is NOT meant as a substitution for a guten-free diet, but for some people, like myself, it can offer additional symptom relief for those who need it.
Reset.me has this posted:
"Marijuana 'cools the gut,' in which it slows down the muscle contractions that move food through the stomach and intestines and reduces the secretion of liquid into the intestines associated with diarrhea (one of the most severe symptoms of the disease)," Deno writes. "Marijuana also controls the muscle spasms associated with diarrhea. It also increases appetite and can offset the inefficiency in the Celiac's ability to absorb nutrients from the food you eat."
"People with celiac in some states in America are able to get access to to medical marijuana if they have chronic pain. The rest of us [celiacs] are left with buying illegally or simply avoiding this one plant that may be the most effective celiac treatment of all!"
"Inflammation can be suppressed by activating the cannabinoid receptors, CB2, on immune cells. Though there have not yet been clinical human trials, this study opens up new avenues to investigate as possible treatment options for autoimmune diseases. Though this study only looked at THC, CBD is also known to help the immune system. CBD helps repair the bodies [sic] ability to recognize the difference between normal internal body functions and foreign entities, keeping the body from attacking itself."
Remember, Marijuana is not a cure, but is a natural anti-convulsant and can suppress seizure activity. It is also anti-inflammatory, and has helped people with other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and many others.
I smoked cannabis even before I was diagnosed, and I always found that it settled my stomach. I have since spoken to many other people with celiac disease online and face to face, and I've done a fair amount of research to find out if there are other celiacs who experience the same relief from their symptoms.
While doing my research, I came across an interesting post on Medhelp.org by Betherie Mommi about a girl with celiac who also suffers with IBS and has a history of chronic pain, nausea and, just like me, eating disorders. With such a weak stomach it's always hard to eat things without discomfort. She goes on to say that she uses medical marijuana becuase the meds that the doctors gave her have not helped with the pain and side effects of the medications, and the marijuana has also helped her appetite. She goes on to give one of the best descriptions of stomach pains, which I also get, but had difficulty explaining: "like velcro made out of razor blades being pulled apart in certain parts of your belly." She goes on to say that it also gave a sense of community back to her life, as you do sometimes feel excluded as a celiac, because there's a lot you have to miss out on. Betherie Mommi was a medical marijuana patient.
I really notice the effects it has on me, and how it relieves my stomach pains, including providing relief from the confusion and anxiety that I've experienced. I feel that other people shouldn't have to go through what I've had to experience, and I really do believe that this is an exceptional way forward for some people.
You can find CBD only "vapes", liquids, and waxes, which are also supposed to help, but in my case the THC, even if it is a low dosage, was essential to get rid of the pain.
What I have described in this article is only what has helped me, after much suffering, and I urge all celiacs to do their own research and speak to their doctors before making a decision. I really believe that this approach could be helpful to so many others, but I also realize that it may not be for everyone.