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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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Being The Only One: The Lonely Life Of A Celiac

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When I was younger it seemed like I always felt bad. Like most "normal" little kids, I enjoyed the multitude of gluten-filled foods that the world had to offer me. I was a hard-core lover of macaroni and cheese, peanut-butter brownies, and fried chicken. The only problem was that my stomach was always kind of off, but this was my norm so I never thought much of it. Apparently neither did my parents, that is, until my junior year of high school.

I was 17 and sick. I had suffered from depression throughout most of middle and some of high school. Now that I had almost defeated the depression, I was dealing with an entirely different problem: I couldn't eat. I hated putting food in my stomach. I knew it would only make me sick and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with it anymore. I was constantly dealing with head colds, insane migraines every night, and spending the majority of my days on the toilet. It sucked. I could feel it when I was going to get sick: the hot flashes started, things began to get a little dizzy, and then I'd have to sprint down the hallway to the bathroom in fear that I wouldn't make it in time.

The worst part was that I was fighting for a chance to play college volleyball while constantly feeling like utter dirt. My parents began to complain and notice that I was struggling when they noticed I was "stinking up the house." My mom told me it was because I was unhealthy (which I definitely was not). It was only when I started coming home from practice and going straight to bed that my parents began to worry.

At first we thought it was lactose intolerance. I tried an elimination diet and cut all dairy out. Not much changed. I still had headaches, stomach problems, and body aches... just not every single day like they had been. I stuck with this elimination diet (because at least it helped a tiny bit) for around 3 months until the migraines got so bad that I couldn't focus on my school work or sports at all. There was one time when my team was out of town for a tournament that I had the worst headache I have ever felt in my life. I was in tears, rocking back and forth on our bus trying to make the pain subside. One of my coaches got in touch with my mom and got permission to give me some of her prescription migraine medicine. I don't remember what happened after that because apparently I passed out.

After much research, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't the milk in my amazing frosted mini-wheats every morning that was causing all the trouble; it was the cereal itself. I began a gluten elimination diet the second I came across a list of symptoms I had come across on a website geared towards intolerance and allergies. It only took one day for me to notice a difference and it was the first day I hadn't had a headache in over 2 years.

While I was overjoyed at my discovery, I knew that the struggle had only just begun. Eating gluten free was a pain and I was starving. In the first 2 months I lost 20 pounds. It wasn't until I began to experiment with recipes and research for more options online that I finally felt like I could successfully keep this lifestyle change.

The only issues? My parents could care less about what I can and can't eat and they can't comprehend the concept of cross contamination. I am the ONLY person in my entire family (including extended) that has this problem or anything even remotely similar. I still have bouts of stomach issues because I also have IBS. And I crave every single food I can't have and it sometimes drives me mad.

But the pros outweigh the cons and I am so happy that the majority of my symptoms are gone!

Continue fighting the Celiac fight!
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lol that's funny, mac and cheese was one of my all time favorite foods, I was eating so much of it shortly before thing's went really south, I didn't get the obvious stomach troubles until after I tried something for the depression, my parents refuse to give up gluten, but they do a pretty good job at keeping it in their own small well cleaned area's


Thanks for sharing, keep fighting the good fight :D

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Hi dear, you're not the only one - My situation was exactly the same as the way you described yours - I was diagnosed at age 17 and struggled with it from my fragile highschool years until now (im in my 20's) and still battling on. Thanks for sharing - We all know the feeling too well and you're not alone in this!!

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