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  • Scott Adams

    One Celiac Man's Harrowing Covid-19 Survival Story

    Scott Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      One celiac man's story of Covid-19 infection and survival is helping to paint a brutal picture of the virus that is wrecking havoc on the world.


    Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--Patrice CALATAYU from Bordeaux, France
    Caption: Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--Patrice CALATAYU from Bordeaux, France

    Celiac.com 05/19/2020 - A Kentucky man with celiac disease has shared his experience with Covid-19 with the local press. His story is both illuminating and quite sobering. The man's name is Greg Pritchett, and his story of Covid-19 infection and survival is harrowing. 

    Pritchett says that in the beginning, he didn't feel too bad. The sturdy 6-foot-3, 62-year-old Henderson, Kentucky resident was in reasonably good shape and good health, except for having asthma and celiac disease. He watched his diet carefully, did regular yoga and worked out a couple of days a week.



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    By his own account, he was “in very good shape compared to the norm for people in Kentucky my age.” That may be why he is still alive. Part one of Pritchett's story begins on Saturday, March 14, when he began to suffer from body aches, and runs until his wife took him to the local medical clinic, only to be forced to say goodbye to him as they sent him over to St. Vincent Hospital in Evansville on Wednesday, April 1.

    In between, Pritchett describes the progression of Covid-19, and his struggles as his condition continued to worsen and the first crucial symptom of COVID-19 appeared as he had a fever of 101.7 degrees. He also recounts his bouts of vomiting and significant abdominal pain. Covid-19 left him unable to eat. Fortunately, his wife was able to bring him some protein shakes to provide nourishment and help keep him hydrated. He managed to keep the shakes down.

    He tells of the difficulty he had in simply walking twenty steps to the bathroom, and how coughing would leave him exhausted. Fever. Coughing. Shortness of breath after the short walk from bed to his bathroom. At one point, he noticed that he showed all three major symptoms of COVID-19. Eventually, he would test positive.

    Part two of Pritchett's story details his hospitalization and recovery from Covid-19, beginning on April 1st, and ending with his discharge from the hospital on Good Friday, April 10.

    At the time of the interview, Pritchett was recovering at home and using the steps leading to his front door to rebuild his strength after more than a month of being ill.

    Pritchett shares his two-part story of Covid-19 infection and survival with The Gleaner:

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    I’ve wondered how having celiac disease might affect Covid-19 ssymptoms/recovery. This story didn’t seem to have anything to do with celiac disease. Egg McMuffins? It’s great Pritchett survived, but there were no indications Celiac altered the course. 

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    On 5/20/2020 at 7:26 AM, RMJ said:

    Why is someone with celiac having breakfast sandwiches at McDonalds (Part II April 1).

    It is possible if he was following his  celiac diet he would not have been as sick or sick at all.   This story feels like a hoax.   

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    Might be better to look at it like he was considering the McDonald’s meal as his last. Under such circumstances he may have wanted it over a gluten-free meal. What would you eat if you thought you might die? Still not advisable by Celiac.com or any doctor, but hopefully none of us ever end up in his shoes and are faced with such a choice.

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    1 hour ago, Scott Adams said:

    Might be better to look at it like he was considering the McDonald’s meal as his last. Under such circumstances he may have wanted it over a gluten-free meal. What would you eat if you thought you might die? Still not advisable by Celiac.com or any doctor, but hopefully none of us ever end up in his shoes and are faced with such a choice.

    No way!  Consuming gluten and setting off the autoimmune reaction before going into the hospital when you are struggling with COVID-19 could be the “nail in the coffin”.   Dr. A. Fasano said something like managed or treated celiacs are at no greater risk than the general population.  But untreated/undiagnosed celiacs?  Who knows?  

     

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    I’m not condoning it, but he was very I’ll, and that’s what he ate...he had celiac disease, right there in paragraph 1. Again, he may be on the ~25% of celiacs who regularly cheat, or this may have been a one time thing based on the belief that he may die, we just don’t know. 

    He indicates he had lost over 15 pounds, was having issues eating. and .”He said he was beginning to comprehend the mindset of people he had known who elected to end their misery by suicide.” I’ll stick with my interpretation that he thought he was dying.

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    15 minutes ago, Scott Adams said:

    I’m not condoning it, but he was very I’ll, and that’s what he ate...he had celiac disease, right there in paragraph 1. Again, he may be on the ~25% of celiacs who regularly cheat, or this may have been a one time thing based on the belief that he may die, we just don’t know.

    McDonalds would not be my choice for a last meal, that is for sure!  😆

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    Guest Smithbrother

    Posted

    I was having a steak and potato and salad dinner dinner out with a friend . she claimed to be gluten free but took some sort of pill so she could have some of the bread i have had celiac disease now for 30 years and had she had to problems with gluten I have had;  I would NEVER cheat or ingest anything with Gluten. Speaking of McDonald’s, I hate that place due to their dishonesty. When first diagnosed I was eating their fries confirming from them that it was a safe food. Years later , from what I understand ,they were sued  for their dishonest as their fries were flavored using flower as the medium of exchange, coating each and every one. Disgusting and Dishonest. I will NEVER eat there again . When I do eat out at Burger king and have a burger ,it is the patty ordered w/o the bun . If it comes with the bun it is returned and reordered. Windy's Baked potato , plain I find quite tasty. Thank you for this forum.  I may have an account but way to long ago to remember what it may have been. 

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


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