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Overwhelmed by the Gluten-Free Lifestyle? Consider Hiring a Personal Coach

Celiac.com 06/24/2009 - If you are like the majority of people diagnosed with celiac disease, it probably took you many years of experiencing debilitating symptoms, talking to multiple doctors who gave you varied theories and diagnoses, thinking that you would never feel better…before you finally got it figured out.  Whether you had a positive experience with your health care professionals or not, hearing the diagnosis can lead to feeling lost and unsure of what to do next.  It can be quite overwhelming.  After all, food plays an important part in our culture – it’s how we share special moments together, celebrate, and nurture one another.  A big sense of loss can overcome someone when they hear that they can no longer eat wheat, barley, rye, and contaminated oats.  Some people say they go through the roller coaster of emotions similar to the grieving process.

Can you make the necessary lifestyle adjustments to feel better and regain your health?  Absolutely!  Everyone’s pace is different and you need to give yourself time.  Is there a way that may help you to adjust a bit more quickly and with less frustration?  Yes:  consider hiring a personal coach that specializes in food challenges.

What Is A Personal Coach?
Coaching is a powerful, ongoing relationship which focuses on clients making important changes in their lives.  Coaching uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build a client’s level of awareness and responsibility, and provides the client with structure, support, and feedback.  The coaching process helps clients to both define and achieve personal and professional goals faster and with more ease than would be possible otherwise.   In coaching, the focus is on designing the future, not getting over the past.

The field of coaching is booming and there are many coaching niche areas.  Business coaching for executives and teams has become quite popular.  Coaching children and teens to help them excel with academics is on the rise, as is parenting coaching.  Many small business owners higher coaches to help them increase revenue.

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Coaching usually occurs in the context of a long-term relationship, where the client’s goals, dreams, and vision drive the action.  The belief is that there are multiple paths to reach a goal, and that the client knows the way (though they might not realize it at the time).  The coach assists the client to become a “change master.”  To this end, coaching and adjustment to dietary changes go hand-in-hand.

A Personal Coach Specializing In Dietary Restrictions Can Help You To:

  • Learn the gluten-free lifestyle - Where to buy gluten-free food, product reviews, how to prepare gluten-free recipes, where to eat out, how to become a skilled label reader, understanding the safe & unsafe ingredient lists, decrease cross-contamination risk, how to set up your kitchen, where to find out if your cosmetics, hair care products, and medications are safe.
  • Develop a support network - Website resources, how to get the most out of your primary care doctor, engaging a specialist such as a dietician or nutritionist.
  • Vary your diet, taking into consideration essential nutrients.
  • Adjust for the financial impact- Learn to live gluten-free on a budget.
  • Brush up on your advocacy and education skills – Practice explaining celiac to friends, relatives, and coworkers, advocate to you/your child’s school, learn how to eat out safely, manage your anxiety.
  • Monitor any ongoing symptoms and known associate health risks - Iron deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, fertility problems, leaky gut syndrome, candida, food sensitivities, other auto-immune disorders.
  • Keep up on the latest research and what it may mean for you – there are many exciting studies happening that may have an impact on how you take care of yourself.
  • Assist with other goals to help your life feel more balanced.
How Does Coaching Work?
Generally, most coaches have a structure that includes three to four sessions each month, with quick check-ins by phone and email in between.  Coaching sessions can be either one-on-one, in small groups, or a combination of both.  They can be in-person, via phone, or a combination of both throughout the month, which allows for financial and logistical flexibility.  In-person sessions can include shopping, practice with advocating, and cooking.

A coach will encourage clients to set goals that they truly want, ask them to do more than they have done on their own, help them focus in order to produce results more quickly, and provide the tools, information, support, and structure to help them accomplish more.   It’s like having a personal trainer to assist you with making adjustments to improve your life.

Who Should Consider Hiring A Coach?

  • If you are feeling unsure as to how to adjust your lifestyle around your food challenges.
  • If you are feeling limited by food allergies/intolerance/sensitivities.
  • If you are not sure where to go for information or are overwhelmed by all the information you are finding.
  • If you are restricting yourself from enjoying going out to restaurants, parties, etc.
  • If you are having difficulty sticking to the gluten-free diet.
It’s important to find someone that you “click” with.  Most coaches offer a free initial session to help get to know them, and to answer any questions you might have about the coaching process.

Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).





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3 Responses:

 
Dolorres Eilers
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
01 Jul 2009 7:08:16 AM PDT
Very good. We need all the help we can get to help us realize our goals of good health with this disease.

 
Jenna Drew
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
23 Sep 2010 12:09:28 PM PDT
In my gluten free coaching, many of my clients are also busy working parents of children who benefit from a gluten free diet who do not have excess time to research all known aspects of living gluten free, but they want to know how to help their children live better lives.

 
Carolyn

said this on
22 Jun 2015 7:41:14 PM PDT
I would be careful and ask plenty of questions up front when considering a health coach for celiac disease. I have run into coaches that went to Integrative nutrition that don't believe in celiac disease. Integrative Nutrition teaches that if you have a problem with a food to avoid it only 80% of the time. Unfortunately it also teaches people to be non inclusive about cross contamination because they feel there is no need. Integrative Nutrition has graduated a lot of nutrition coaches over the past more than 8 years.




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So, here goes...my visit with the GI specialist is on Monday. I had tested positive for the IGG antibody and all other bloodwork was negative. I had numerous trips to emerg with stomach pain, lower back pain, tingly tummy, and diarrhea with alternating "c" (I had the word constipation). One diagnosis of diverticulitis, another of IBS, and symptoms continued to get worse....Low B12 for 7 years and abnormal liver (something like hepatocellular disease with cirrhosis). I only have a glass of wine on the weekends...I had been diagnosed in my early 30s with IBS and imodium helped. I also had a rash on my elbows and back and that is when my new GP said maybe it is celiac and she sent me for bloodwork and 3 months later finally get to see the GI specialist. I went gluten free and at first it was hard. It is much easier now...I think at time I give myself contamination because I get some bouts of pain on occasion and I take buscopan and immodium and then I am fine....I am 100% convinced I have celiac but I guess I really do not understand how the rest of the panel would be negative... The rash, the GI symptoms, the B12, and the liver issue all paint a compelling picture...I never thought I would say this but I hope it is truly diagnosed because then I can move forward with a plan. I am down 22 pounds and back at the gym very hard and feeling almost normal for the first time in many years....I also find is so strange that my "gluten" attack usuallys starts with a pins and needs tingly sensation in my back and tummy...I have written a full history and have copies of all my test results so the GI specialist takes me seriously...I read his reviews and they are not good....I understand I will have to do gluten before the endoscopy but that fine...just looking forward to this being partly over...Have a great day!

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faqs/ You can also find lots of information on celiac at the University of Chicago celiac site. One test they suggest is the anti EMA antibodies. I don't see that one listed in her results. Probably because it is more expensive to do. So they may have skipped it. The other test they usually do is the total serum IGA levels, which is used to prove that the person's immune system actually makes IgA antibodies. Some people don't make IgA antibodies, so the IgA tests are useless in them. It looks to me like she makes IgA though, if this is the serum IgA result. IgA 133 mg/dl Reference range 33-200 There are also gene tests they can do. The genes indicate the possibility of developing celiac disease, not the automatic presence of celiac disease. About 30% of people in the USA have one of the genes for celiac disease, but only about 1% develop celiac disease. Some of the celiac genes are associated with other autoimmune conditions besides celiac disease. So there are lists of AI associated conditions with celiac disease. Sometimes called related conditions. http://www.drschaer-institute.com/us/celiac-disease/associated-conditions-1051.html

Blood was drawn this afternoon... they said I could get results tomorrow or even the next day! I also have a GI appt scheduled for June 9th. I am so glad I will have at least some kind of answer pretty soon. I'll let you all know. Thanks again for being so helpful!

Thank you so much for those links, I will check into it. Her pediatrician told me this afternoon she is wanting to repeat the bloodwork since that one test was elevated. I'm relieved that her pediatrician didn't dismiss it like the other dr in the practice did.

http://www.houstonceliacs.org/ https://www.csaceliacs.org/csa_chapter_25.jsp You can check with these groups to see if they recommend any doctors in Houston.