Celiac.com 06/06/2012 - Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to the component of wheat, barley, and rye called gluten and can affect the entire body. Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a blistering and extremely itchy skin rash. It’s usually symmetrical in shape and is most commonly located on the elbows, knees, buttocks, and upper back. It’s common for people with DH to have rashes appear in the same spot, and they can either be consistent or come and go.
When I was first diagnosed it was very hard for me. I didn’t know what had gluten in it, what body products to use, etc. My mother Tina Turbin, founder of GlutenFreeHelp.info, gave me some great advice. She told me to do my own research. So I set off to get a real understanding of celiac disease and DH. I was going to have to live with them both my whole life so I felt it couldn’t hurt knowing more about them.
This was the best advice anyone could have ever given me. With the broad knowledge of celiac disease and DH available these days, I was able to read so much information and get a real grasp of the subjects. I finally was able to easily know which products would have gluten in them and what the gluten actually did internally to my body.
I really made being gluten-free a priority in my life. I made sure this priority was known among my family and friends as well. They all were more than willing to help. Now, whether going out for brunch with friends or traveling, the people I surround myself with are always picking places where I will have an easy time following my gluten-free diet. Just yesterday, a friend of mine let me know she picked a place for us to eat that would prepare any of their pasta dishes with gluten-free pasta.
So, my advice to you is this: First, do your own research. There are so many people out there with great advice and so much information to share. The more we join up with others, the easier it will be. Secondly, inform the people you are surrounded with of your dietary needs. Too many people think being gluten-free is just a fad when in reality celiac disease and DH are extremely important and should not be made fun of.
Last, enjoy life. Living gluten-free can actually be quite fun. The food is delicious and the health benefits are outstanding. Being gluten-free doesn’t have to cause you stress. In fact, by following these guidelines, gluten-free living can become quite rewarding.