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Diagnosed with Celiac Disease? How Lucky You Are! By Danna Korn

Diagnosed with Celiac Disease?

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2004 edition of's Journal of Gluten-Sensitivity. 06/08/2010 - At first, a diagnosis of celiac disease can be daunting, to say the least, and for some people, even devastating.  It means giving up some of your favorite foods—pastas, breads, pizzas, cakes, cookies, and pretzels—at least as you used to know them.  So why should you consider yourself lucky if you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease?  Because you’ve been given the key to better health.

Okay, so I’ve never been good at saving the punch line for the end.  It’s true, though, you DO have the key to better health: A gluten-free diet.

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Still not feeling like you just won the lottery?  Well, consider this: Celiac disease is the most common genetic disease of humankind—yet for every person diagnosed with celiac disease, 140 go undiagnosed.  They may still suffer from gastrointestinal distress, headaches, depression, joint pain, or other symptoms.  Many are told they have “irritable bowel syndrome,” fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome—and that there’s nothing that can be done for them.  “Go forth and live your life in misery,” is, in essence, their lifetime sentence.  You, however, know that simply a dietary modification (no, I didn’t say a “simple dietary modification,” and you’re probably acutely aware of the difference) is the key to better health.

The gluten-free diet is a medical necessity for our family, but it is also a healthy way of life.  Sometimes I used to think, “If only I could not have to worry about making tonight’s meal gluten-free, I’d make…” What?  What would I make?!?  Would I make macaroni and cheese from a box?  Ick!  Would I make spaghetti?  So what!  The gluten-free stuff is just as good these days.  Would I make a quick trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken or a pizza place?  Oh, now there’s a healthy meal (well okay, every now and then maybe!).

People often tell me they find the cost of the gluten-free diet to be prohibitive.  True, the cost of a loaf of gluten-free bread could buy you an entire meal in some restaurants…but think of this: What if your condition required prescription medication?  The cost of even some of the cheapest medications could buy (at least) a loaf of gluten-free bread each day.

We are fortunate to live in a time when celiac awareness is at an all-time high.  Gluten-free foods are delicious and readily available (even the “PollyDanna” in me couldn’t have said that with so much conviction 13 years ago when we first began this lifestyle!).  These days, customer service reps on the other end of the toll-free lines at food companies actually know what we’re talking about when we ask if their products are gluten-free.  Excellent cookbooks and resource books abound, as do support groups and seminars. 

Yes, if you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, you can consider yourself lucky for a number of reasons.  If you’ve read my books or heard me speak, you know my mantra, so sing it with me now:  “Deal with it…don’t dwell on it!”  Before long, you too will realize how very lucky you are. welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).

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10 Responses:

Sara Gird
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said this on
15 Jun 2010 9:19:40 AM PDT
Wow....I have been saying this to anyone who would listen for many years now. Was diagnosed 13 years ago when no one even knew what Celiac was. How much healthier can a diet be than fresh vegetables and meats and fish without all that processed stuff that everyone else eats. Glad to hear it from someone else!!!

Yafa Greenzweig
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said this on
16 Jun 2010 4:57:49 AM PDT
When people ask me what the secret is to my healthy figure and perfect BMI, at almost 48-years-old, I no longer think of my mandatory gluten-free diet as a curse. It is a blessing!

Kay Idol
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said this on
16 Jun 2010 5:02:03 PM PDT
A very encouraging article for those of us who have celiac disease. I have yet to think of it as a blessing.

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said this on
13 Jul 2010 9:30:48 AM PDT
A wonderful positive outlook on a less than wonderful diagnosis. You have given me a new vision for a life long issue with wheat gluten, and for me corn too. I have lost twenty five pounds since eliminating wheat and corn from my diet. I am more clear headed and feel healthier. Thank you!

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said this on
30 Jul 2011 7:03:54 AM PDT
Fabulous article...I have been saying this to many people for many years. I have been a diagnosed celiac since I was 18 months old and I am now 38. I live in Kenya and every time I meet a new group of people they ask me how I cope without eating gluten and wheat-based products. I tell them I look at it as a way: to keep me trim and fit because I do not have access to all that bread and all those sweet snacks that are so easy to eat if you are not gluten free. Give me a bowl of fruit or a plate full of broccoli any day!

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said this on
17 Feb 2013 8:24:46 PM PDT
I too live in Kenya, Becky, and would like to know how and where you were diagnosed because I suspect my husband has coeliac disease.

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said this on
04 Dec 2014 5:50:46 AM PDT
My father lives in Kenya and a physician there suggested he may have celiac disease. Does anyone happen to know if blood tests are available in Kenya?

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said this on
25 Jan 2017 6:38:50 AM PDT
Hi, I am a Kenyan and I think that my brother who is 31, and has been sick all his life but has being treated for acute eczema has problems with gluten. Do you know of a doctor in Nairobi where we can take him for blood test? Please help.

( Author)
said this on
25 Jan 2017 9:26:31 AM PDT
Be sure to join our forum to get help:

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said this on
06 Oct 2013 5:01:31 AM PDT
I haven't been diagnosed but I had a hint that I was having issues with wheat. I switched my diet took out all wheat, oats and barley and am using less sugar when I make things by scratch.
I feel so much better my belly doesn't hurt anymore even my woman time has less pain.
But the energy level of improvement WOW!!
I lost way too much weight but now that I have found buckwheat I am starting to put some weight back on I can make nice breads and deserts still cutting the sugar in recipes having issues with blood sugar levels too low usually but things are starting to balance out. Thanks for all the information. I think my 2 kids have issues too with sugar and wheat but they love my new baking so a switch for them might make them feel better as well...thanks again!

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All Activity Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Forum - All Activity

We have gone gluten free, our whole house, as of a month ago. It was pretty seamless since I had been gluten-free for 5 months last year. I have found many good recipes, and my picky husband and one of my boys who is also a picky eater, even prefer many gluten-free recipes to the regular ones. My husband did see my point about the size of the gluten protein means nothing. Its a gluten protein period, that's what you are avoiding. It doesn't matter if its hiding in the scratch of your baking sheet and you can't see it. You can't see the wind, but it's still there. I hear you on the anemia. I've been anemic for several years, I just thought it as because I was getting a little older. Has your anemia gone away or do you still have problems with it?

Ennis, it is made out of metal, coated with plastic I think. You have such a hard time, my heart really hurts for you. But you are such a support to those on this board, and a great teacher for those of us who are new.

Thanks everyone! I think its hard for people to fully accept because they cant see the damage it does every time you get glutened. It's invisible. Im glad to know I wasnt being paranoid. I sure was when I was first diagnosed. I laugh at myself now, but its a pretty steep learning curve.

FYI......anxiety is a common symptom with celiac disease and NCGI. It seems to resolve on a gluten-free diet. ?

Yes, I will definitely update you and would love to hear what your experience is. I'm glad I found this forum because you're right--it's nice to not feel so alone. I'm also prone to anxiety--so waiting and worrying is not fun! Cyclinglady, thanks for sharing your experience as well. I do plan to maintain a gluten-free diet for a while at least if the biopsy is negative just to see how I feel.