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How Would You Define Celiac Disease?

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Hey everyone,

I'm a college student and next year my school is implementing a substance free dorm. We are required to write an essay about how our lifestyle fits into the wellness theme and I somehow want to bring up gluten intolerance. I want to mention that I am unable to drink alcohol due to this illness and do not want to even come in contact with it for fear of becoming ill. I have been looking for a good definition of the disease that covers everything but in a fairly simple and understanding way. I'm also gluten intolerant, not Celiac and its not in my health charts because I have not given the school new charts since I have figured out this problem so I don't really want to mention the word celiac besides saying that its related. How would you describe gluten intolerance to 5 people who most likely know nothing about it?

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I would describe it as a full body and brain immune and inflammatory response to a toxin that is consumed by many on a regular basis. I would then go on to define a few of the subsets of effects like on liver and gallbladder function, the brain and the hormonal systems, amongst many, that people are not often aware of. I would also point out that undiagnosed it can lead to the body destroying itself. I know there will be others on with better descriptions but perhaps this can get you started.

Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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I would be careful to not phrase it as "celiacs cannot drink alcohol" because there are MANY alcoholic beverages that are completely gluten free. But saying that it has affected your digestive tract so severely that you cannot handle it without getting sick could be an example of how it affects different people in different ways, and can affect them severely, in a way that also affects social life (though I've never had not drinking really affect my social life...).

I would describe it as a genetic predisposition to an autoimmune reaction from the protein in wheat, barley, rye, and oats. The reaction can range, in different individuals, from virtually no symptoms at all, to significant, varied, systemic symptoms.

Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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