I have just been doagnosed with Celiac disease. I have been anorexic for about 20 years. I am curious about the relationship between the two and have been doing some research on this. I think that I have always had the Celiac, it just went undiagnosed and was possibly inactive until the past year. My father had it as a child but says he has now outgrown it (though I thought you never outgrew it). Anyway it seems to be hereditary and this is where it seems to have come from. I would have been tested sooner if I had known the extent to which he was affected. He always said it had been a temporary allergy to wheat and I never put it together. I didn't know much about Celiac until the past week.
Certainly anorexia did nothing but irritate the condition. I had a relapse in the past year and had gotten my weight down to about 103, at 5'6. Since then I have gained a little over 10 pounds towards recovery. Everyday it's a struggle to maintain this weight because I hate myself at this weight. But now that I have a REASON to eat healthier, I am going to do so. I was living on Whey protein bars, Whey protein shakes, whole grain cereal, and whole grain lean pockets. And I just kept getting sicker and sicker. I managed to gain weight but I felt even more miserable physically than I did when my body was in starvation mode. No wonder - I was consuming almost all wheat protein products. I can't think of a worse diet. I had all of the symptoms of Celiac, but still had no idea until a few months ago when I started to repeatedly go to my regular Medical doctor.
I would go in with a constant low grade fever, loose bowels, nausea, extreme fatigue, irritability, sleepiness, restlessness, depression (was being aggravated) - and each time they would do some type of test to rule out things such as bacterial infections, etc. After pretty much everything had been ruled out, they were at a loss and sent me to the gastroentologist. I'm glad I pushed it with them. Imight not have found out everything, had I not pushed them.
I went in for an upper and lower GI scope, not knowing what they might find. At first, he told me I had pernicious anemia and gastritis. Then when I went to the follow up appointment he hit me with the Celiac Disease with anemia instead. I was sitting there in shock as the doctor told me all about it. I knew people had allergies to wheat but I never had given it a lot of thought. Well, as he told me he wants my diet to be gluten free completely, I started to realize how much of a change I would need to make in my eating habits. It kind of put me in shock.
I immediately started the new diet last week then. I bought some guide books on what to eat and what not to eat. It seemed overwhelming but I have been getting through it. It's very triggering for my anorexia and I'm afraid I will relapse in the anorexia because now all of a sudden I have to think even more about food than I already do. I have lost about 4 pounds in the past week alone because of the change. Part of me is excited about that, but part of me knows how out of control I have been in the past and I don't want to wind up in the hospital AGAIN for anorexia. I have gone to the health food stores and purchased gluten free items and baking ingredients. I was never a great cook before. Now I will probably be cooking and baking pretty often.
I was wondering if there are any people in my area who would know about any groups or support resources? I live in Michigan. Or where I could look? I've seen celiac.com and some others but none seem to be right in my area.
At the very least, I'm happy I found this group and hope I can find some support in theis huge change in my life.