Celiac Awareness Month Mailbag

celiac mailbag
helping celiacs

Dude note: To help celebrate and promote Celiac Awareness Month, I will be writing 30 blog posts over 30 consecutive days (weekends excluded) with the theme “30 Days of Helping 30 Celiacs”. Each post will be aimed toward helping one specific person or group of people. If you or someone you know needs help, guidance, advice or a shoulder to cry on, please contact me and I will do what I can to help. On the 31st day, you’re on your own. Totally kidding.

Today’s 30 for 30 blog post is for: A whole buncha people!

When I kicked off the 30 Days 30 Celiacs extravaganza, there are a few things I didn’t expect that altered my schedule a bit.

  • I didn’t expect to suffer my worse glutening since I got diagnosed with this disease.
  • I didn’t expect my work life to be so crazy (a good problem to have).
  • I didn’t expect some personal issues to arise.
  • I didn’t expect social media to anger me so much that I had to take a mental break to keep my sanity.

What does all this mean? With only 4 days to go in Celiac Awareness Month, I’ve only helped 23 people. Well…I’d like to think I’ve helped a lot more, but you know what I mean.

There is only one way to catch up.

It’s mailbag time!!!

Q: Have you seen that video from when Charlize Theron was on Handler’s show?! Outrageous!! Please for the love of Celiacs everywhere tell me you’ll rip that clip apart. What a good chance for some serious education.

I saw it. And yes…I’ll be approaching it in my own unique way 😉 All in due time.

Q: Yesterday at work, someone offered me a Starbucks muffin. I turned it down kindly, and once again explained that I have celiac disease. I have told her this before many time, but I understand it’s not her job to remember. However, today one of my students said in class, “Ms, Ms. ***** said she brought you Starbucks and you said you didn’t want it because you didn’t like it and that was rude.” Whether or not those were her exact words, the fact is she felt strongly enough to discuss the situation later with a student. This is not the first time I’ve felt almost discriminated against at work. Once I had to go to lunch by myself because my coworkers would not go to any of the several GF restaurants near by. I also get very rude comments at staff luncheons. I’m a definite people-pleaser and I hate conflict, but I also have to stick up for my immune system. How do I navigate the workplace with Celiac Disease?

You know how they say “you can’t fix stupid”. Well…you can’t fix ignorant either. I will never, ever understand why people care so much what we eat. Whether they understand the disease or not, how about a little compassion? Look, you can’t change people and this person, who would go so far as to mention it to other people, is beyond repair.

So what’s the solution? Educate where you can. Speak up for yourself when you are treated unfairly. And just keep working on your inner strength. As a celiac, you’ll need it.

Q: My husband has been in the military for the past five years, and he’s about to get out this summer. In order to get a few things sorted out we’re going to be staying with his mother over the summer, and visiting other family members in the meantime. I have no idea how to go about being gluten free in other people’s homes. Usually if we go to social functions I eat beforehand. All of our family knows I’m gluten free, and I’m sure they’ll be understanding, but it still worries me. I expect that I’ll have to refuse some food, bring my own food, and make my own meals. I just don’t want to come across as rude or insulting. If anyone in the community has any advice on how I can make this temporary transition a little easier on not only myself, but those I’ll be around, I would be so appreciative.

As a celiac community, we need to get off the idea that we’re being rude. We’re not. We’re treating our disease. If you are staying long term at these other houses, I would say it really depends on how receptive your hosts are to learning what needs to be done to keep you healthy. A little education ahead of time can go a long way. Just be as diligent as possible. Shop for your own food. Help with all of the meals so you can keep tabs on how things are prepared. Your hosts may have the best intentions in mind, but if they don’t understand the nuances of our disease, and how easily we can get hit, all of those intentions will go for naught. Keep it simple and have a great summer!

Q: I’m 16 and just got diagnosed with celiac disease. I’ve been getting prepared to go into the military for the past year going to military camps and such. I just realized that I am not allowed to join the military and am really depressed. I’ve had depression and anxiety and now this, and I don’t know what to do. I know there’s medicinal marijuana but I know doctors give a hard time about it. I’m in constant pain and don’t have a clue what to do so if you wouldn’t mind just answering this so I could get some advice from you that would be greatly appreciated.

You’re young and you’ve got your whole life in front of you. Heck…I was in my 30’s before I really decided what I wanted to do with my life. You will find your path. As far as your pain, I wouldn’t go the medical marijuana route so quickly. Find yourself a good doc. They’re out there. Good luck to you.

Q: Hey Dude. I’ve had Celiac Disease for around 7-8 years now. I recently got married and after that applied for life insurance. They hiked the premium for me by $560 because of my Celiac Disease. Have you ever heard of this before? Have you or anyone you know had this issue with insurance? Thanks for everything you, your team and this community does every day. Before I was mostly hiding from the disease but now trying to meet it head on! Thanks again Dude!

Yikes…that sucks. I’ve had term life since before my diagnosis so I have no experience with this. Not sure what you can do. Perhaps a note from your GI that says life expectancy should not be affected as long as you stay on a strict gluten-free diet. Other than that, look online and ask for quotes from multiple vendors. Perhaps some of them have a clue.

Q: My co-worker, who also has celiac, is insisting there is a pill from Australia that helps celiacs digest gluten. I’m trying to convince him that digestion isn’t the issue. He isn’t hearing it and is hell bent on getting it. Sounds like snake oil to me, and will cause more harm than good. Have you heard about this?

As Springsteen says, “At the end of every hard day people find some reason to believe”. There are a number of companies out there pushing pills that say they help celiacs, including the utterly ridiculous Gluten Cutter. To me, it gives the non-disciplined the hope they are looking for to be able to cheat. And it’s complete crap of course. Can it help “digestion”? I have no idea. But I’m not putting my health in anybody offering false hope.

Q: I recently started a new relationship and my partner is Celiac (found out at 23/24 – 4 years now). Poor bugger. Naturally every time I had him over for dinner or on a date, I always ensured the the meal was gluten free. but somehow he always ended up in some pains. This has been quite hard lately as I have been interstate for work and he is alone at home. The burden of food shopping, preparing his meals and choosing what drinks he can have when he goes to a bar (as they most certainly do not stock GF Vodkas) has really gotten to him and he has become a shadow of his former self. Gluten Dude – is there a correlation between Celiac Disease and Depression? I try to remain a positive influence in his life, but every time he discovers another thing to add to his “cannot have” list, it hurts him even more.

It’s tough love time. Is he really complaining about the “burden” of food shopping and cooking? He’s 27 years old. That’s life. If he’s been diagnosed four years and he’s still depressed about food he cannot have, than perhaps there’s more going on than just celiac. I’m sorry, but while giving up some of your favorite foods is tough at first, it is absolutely no reason to be depressed about it four years later. Perhaps he should speak to a professional about what’s going on. Seems to me he’s using celiac as an excuse to be depressed.

But I will give him something to smile about. Non-flavored vodka is gluten-free!!! Hopefully that will put a smile on his face 🙂

Q: I just got diagnosed with Celiac in October of last year and I’ve been having a lot of issues since then. I’m a senior in high school and I was just wondering: Does the morning nausea ever go away? Does the depression and food envy decrease? Will I ever feel normal again? How long will it take me to find a medicine that works for nausea and cramping that doesn’t have gluten in it? Am I going to die because I feel like I am.

Not sure why you have nausea and cramping. May or may not be related to celiac. Get yourself to a doc about this please. Yes, the depression and food envy definitely gets better. You’ve gotta move on. You’ve got celiac. You will have it for life. The quicker you can process that, the better off you’ll be. You are NOT going to die. Ever. Just kidding. Hang in there. I know it’s a drag and at your age even more so. Try to keep a positive attitude. You got diagnosed. Your body will heal and you will live a long, healthy life.

Q: My 18 yr old recently diagnosed, celiac disease. Bought gluten free cereal, stored in plastic container (live in Florida). He seems to get sick after he eats it. Can it be cross contaminated????

Cross-contaminated from the plastic container? Highly doubtful. Cross-contaminated from the “gluten-free” cereal? Unless it’s certified, I suppose it’s possible. Living a celiac life can be summed up like this: If you eat something and you don’t feel well afterwards, don’t eat it again. Yes…it really is that basic.

Q: I wanted to hear from you and the community about something that has been on my mind recently. I am at an age where I should be thinking about having children soon. My problem is that I am terrified I will pass Celiac onto them. I cannot imagine a worse feeling than basically knowing I gave Celiac to someone, especially a young kid. It’s such an awful disease that I am almost scared to take the risk. Since I have Celiac and plan to have kids someday (of course I’m aware of the high infertility rate of Celiacs too), is it worth it to have them biologically or should I consider other means?

With all due respect, I think you’re over thinking things too much here. You want to have kids? Have kids. If they end up having celiac, you’ll deal with it.

We cannot live our life in fear folks. Yes, celiac sucks. But it’s manageable. No need to be depressed about the food. No need to think you’re dying. No need to stop traveling. Is that really how you want to live your lives? Not me.

As Andy Defresne says: “It really comes down to a simple choice. Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

I prefer to live.

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29 thoughts on “Celiac Awareness Month Mailbag”

  1. To the person concerned about having celiac kids: both my siblings are gluten-intolerant, an aunt has had celiac for fifty years, and my father figured out that he is gluten-intolerant, at age seventy. Everyone goes to gluten-free restaurants when we go out, shares recipes, and e-mails each other the latest research. (And our spouses commiserate about having to sneak sandwiches.)

    It’s so much easier having relatives that are NCGS and celiac. Have kids: it’s like growing your own gluten-free support group–and if they do have celiac, it will be much easier for them than it was for you, because they have you to help them with it.

    1. I am7 months pregnant with my first child and while I hope he never develops Celiac, I know we will be able to deal with it if he does. When I was first diagnosed, my mother was so guilt ridden thinking she had passed this on to me. I told her i would rather have good parents and bad genes, than bad parents and good genes! There are so many unknowns when we have children that all we can do is take care of ourselves and trust that all will be okay. There are so many worse diseases than Celiac.

  2. Trying this again, dudes blog ate my homework 🙁

    Starbucks- 2 important things to remember: you can only be walked on if you lay down & invite people to do so (this disease requires a thicker skin) & 2 realize you aren’t dealing with an adult, but a chronologically advanced child. Adults don’t need to use students to bully others!! Yes you are being bullied!
    As its the last day of school here, suggestion is next year offer a skit/program/kit on preventing bullying. Include all the usual reasons: too tall/short, fat/skinny, glasses, weird food & include kid to kid some of the things that were hurtful to you. Sometimes adults need to be reminded they are acting like children.
    Military mom- one dependent to another, thank you for your service (yes I mean you not just your husband) look up dudes travel kit of essentials for sharing a vacation kitchen. Offer to help with meals, avoid soy sauce/tariyaki marinades & show hosts that “real whole foods” are the easiest thing to make. Might introduce healthier eating habits.
    Military teen- celiac disease is just a fork in the road for you, not the road block you’re making it out to be… yes traditional military is out, but there are so many places the same work you’ve been doing can be utilized. Police, FBI, any of dozens of government contractors immediately come to mind.
    As for the medical MJ thing…I live in colorado. MJ DOES NOT FIX CELIAC DISEASE!!! As for pain, if you’d stop eating pizza, donuts & gluten cake while feeling sorry for yourself that pain would magically go away.
    You are at a critical cross road & only you can decide if you continue on the fork of public service, duty to country & clean living OR
    Go down the rabbit hole of drug fueled self pity that leads to the gutter. Medical pot is $500 an oz here, legal or not NOTHING costing $2000+ a month is going to help you get & keep a job in government or public service. They do hair, blood & skin samples for a reason!

    1. Miss Dee Meanor

      To your comment “Go down the rabbit hole of drug fueled self pity that leads to the gutter. Medical pot is $500 an oz here, legal or not NOTHING costing $2000+ a month is going to help you get & keep a job in government or public service. They do hair, blood & skin samples for a reason!”

      Did you hear me clapping over here? Amen, Sister.

  3. To the high school senior, I went gluten free for Celiac three years ago, then a year later completely grain free because I still had discomfort. This past few months I too have had cramping and some nausea. Turns out it is probably IBS. So on the advice of my naturopath, I have given up certain fruits and vegetables (fodmaps) and voila! No more stomach aches etc.! This disease (celiac) seems to be an ongoing issue, not just “give up gluten and you’ll be fine!”

  4. Comrade Svilova

    For traveling, depending upon how long you’ll be traveling, bring your own cutting board, small pot, wooden spoon, etc. If it’s a short trip, just pre-make a lot of meals and pack them. On short trips I bring almost all of my food, making a trip to the store for perishables once I’m there. Usually have to spend a lot of time reassuring family and friends that I’m all set and have my own food, but it takes the worry and stress out of visiting folks.

  5. Insurance- statistically celiac is still linked to cancer that costs them money. Much like someone with diagnosed heart disease, you’re just going to pay more because the disease we carry around kills people! That’s bad for their business 🙁
    Magic beans- friends & family sometimes TOO helpful, want to “help us be normal again” they forget that life changing disease often means finding a NEW NORMAL. Keep do what you’re doing & realize he has magic beans he’s trying
    To sell you & keep walking!
    GF boyfriend- if he’s had this for YEARS & you’ve been together months THIS ISN’T YOUR DEAL!!! An adult unable to cope with buying their own groceries, making their own food & not using guilt to manipulate a partner they chose that travels for work, HAS BIGGER PROBLEMS!! You aren’t his mother, you can’t “fix this” no matter how good your intentions & his getting sick easily could have to do with him having additional reactions he didn’t disclose (other grains, dairy, whey, malt, soy) as easily as it could be something else…like the real beer he had at the bar on the way home.
    My view is this ship is going down due to circumstances of his own making & disfunction abounds. Myself, I’d dump him not because of his disease but his inability to be a full partner able to take care of themselves in my absence. Google “co-dependent” does any of that look familiar?
    Gluten newbie- umm celiac doesn’t cause morning sickness, babies do. Cramping also leads me to not celiac if you’ve been following a proper diet. Being shocked you’re in high school DOCTOR NOW!!!
    A+b+c isn’t all celiac symptoms & if you’re getting proper care & following a proper diet, you shouldn’t still need a bunch of pills for nausea & intestinal discomfort.
    Food envy? Never goes away! Good luck, seriously get a check up today.
    GF cereal- one of my favorite marked GF cereals chex, really isn’t!! Look at the label… malt, barley extracts & being packaged on machinery that also handles wheat easily could be the culprit. Plastic isn’t my personal preference for storage that might get cross-contaminated… but no he isn’t likely to be reacting to a new plastic container.
    Baby making- this is probably going to sound meaner than my intention, but here goes…this disease killed my babies, robbed me of my fertility & ruined more than one relationship before i got diagnosed. I actually have looked into foster parenting specifically for celiac children because I know what to do, know what this feels like & already have the GF kitchen to keep them healthy.
    Why in gods name if you have the ability to even attempt to carry a child would a non-fatal disease you know what to do with be the sole thing that keeps you from having kids? I don’t wish miscarriage on anyone & strongly recommend celiacs of “breeding age” (sorry no other way to put that) to see a reproductive endocrinologist before they start trying, but friends wife helped get diagnosed had a healthy 7lb boy at easter. It is possible! Not easy, not a cake walk, but possible if you can get out of your own way. This disease hands us enough road blocks that can’t be moved, why create them where no evidence exsists they are real?
    Endo that actually diagnosed my celiac said “you don’t know for sure if you can or can’t get pregnant with this until you try” (yes she said that before I told her about miscarriages). We aren’t talking about a fatal genetic condition here, adoption is great & kids need homes but forcing that choice on a partner because you don’t even want to try is pretty cruel.

  6. Hi GD. Hope you are are making a full recovery from the gluten whack. Do you know what/how you got whacked? Reason I ask is if someone as knowledgable as you can get poisoned I don’t stand a chance.
    i want to attend my grandchilds 2nd birthday party this October and have done nothing but stressed myself over this for two weeks since told of the plan. It is being held 200 miles from me and all of us will be staying in hotel. I have no idea how to plan for my meals and i sure do not want to be a downer on others of where we eat. I attended a baby shower and the only thing for me to eat was cheese. I have such fear i will get sick if i go but i so want to be part of the celebration. but alos want to be able to make the 200 mile trip back home without spending another week or so laid up sick and with the oh so fun rash. so do i go and enjoy while i can and deal with the aftermath that i fear will happen or stay home and not be sick but miserable that i missed out? Is this how you get sick by just taking your chances ad pay the price later? It’s been two years since i was at death’s door in hospital when I was finaly diagnosed with celiac and I have only been out to eat a few times half of which i got sick. so now never eat out but going away really frightens me.
    appreciate any advice you can offer.
    stay well GD gentle hugs

    1. What GD meant to say is: travel is possible with a plan. New tupperware, portable cutting board & hotel with a mini fridge or DC powered car fridge are a good idea. Don’t be afraid to take along your own food, stop at a grocery on the way & pack your own bars.
      Salad, lots of salad is the usual answer to going out with others. Knowing what foods you react to is also a wise idea…corn salsa for example will cause me joint swelling but tamales I’m good. Don’t be afraid to make something & bring it along. Budding sliced meats for example are GF & pre portioned. If I’m sick of the 1000th salad I will eat this wrapped around some cheese with mini snickers bar chaser. Sabra hummus with kettle chips or carrots also make a nice snack.
      I get being afraid of “maybe” but we can’t stop living just because we have a disease.
      Stealing the shawshank redemption quote: get busy livin or get busy dyin…well that’s right”

  7. a regular GD follower

    Wow GD… think you got us caught up on your 30/30! Sorry to hear this was a rough month for you.

    Can’t wait to hear your take on Charlize Theron… I am sure it will be classically GDesque.

    For the HS senior depressed teen – I wouldn’t necessarily say there is a direct link between CD and depression (although the jury is still out on that one), but you have a big strike against you right now for feeling your best, feeling like you fit in, being social with your peers, etc – and in your teens, that can be A LOT to handle. Chin up… and if you really feel like you can’t get above it, then seek professional help. Sometimes we need to kickstart our emotional well being to get it in gear – especially when navigating this GF world, teenage angst, etc. Pain and nausea should not be still present if you are sticking to your GF diet – but also keep in mind topical things like lipstick, chapstick, moisturizer, etc.

    And lastly – for the one contemplating having or not having children. This is my story… my husband has a progressive neuromuscular disease – that at this point is still undiagnosed. We have done genetic counseling, tests with the leaders in the research community in the US and Europe. We decided since it was still largely unknown whether it would be passed on to our children, we went the donor sperm route. And after all of that, we ended up with a child with celiac disease. It is unclear at this point whether or not our child inherited from my side of the family or the donor’s as there is no known history at this point. Her diagnosis came AFTER I had my second daughter from the same donor – but at this point she has not developed CD. Your children may go their whole lives without the autoimmune disease ever getting triggered – or you may have to face it all at once. But there is no guarantee that if you go an alternative route, that you won’t be dealing with something else. Although I was saddened to learn of her early CD diagnosis, really… a disease that can be treated by diet seems like a small price to pay for my beautiful family! And at least you know now how to keep your future children safe from gluten! Good luck to you!

  8. Hey, Insurance Guy – you know how people are ignorant about our disease? This can work in your favor. Do what I did – get another Celiac Panel blood test. It will come out negative since there is no gluten in your body for your antibodies to react to. Show the negative test results to your insurance carrier with a flourish and say, “Ta-da! Cured! Give me the healthy people rate!”

    As to Fertility, Babies, Etc. – Fertility is one of those things where you can’t know how good you are at it until you try. Same with everyone else on the planet. I was diagnosed at 21. Had a 9 lb baby at 30. Then my thyroid blew out. Had a miscarriage at 32. Had a 10 lb baby at 34. My older child has been having lots of vague health complaints for awhile. Even though her celiac test came back negative I took her off gluten. It is challenging but not life-altering. She is a very happy, sweet kid who will move mountains and will not regret being born.

  9. For the celiac wondering about having children. I was not diagnosed until I was 40 and had both my children tested. One had celiac. She was 14 and was used to having a bunch of GF food in the house so to switch to 100% was not that bad. At least, having a celiac Mom she did not have to go through life sick, being diagnosed at 40 and having a ton of issues that won’t go away. Also if a kid is celiac, having a celiac parent who understands is great. Now, as an older adult I have to say going to my celiac child’s house and eating her gourmet cooking is pretty awesome. My main advice is always have a good attitude about your celiac. I considered my diagnosis a blessing and that made it easier on my child. P.S. I did cry buckets in private when she was diagnosed. And moved on.

  10. Cross-contamination can happen from a plastic container if it was used to store a regular gluten cereal or other product and wasn’t properly cleaned before being used to store the gluten-free cereal. I’ve been glutened by a cereal container that wasn’t washed before putting the gluten-free cereal in, and I’ve been glutened by dishes/utensils that weren’t properly cleaned as well. They need to be cleaned in clean dish water and with a clean dish rag (no chance for any gluten to be in either of them). The best way, though, is the dishwasher. I always use my dishwasher when I think there’s the smallest chance that something with gluten on it ends up in my sink.

    1. I wanted to add that it’s important to keep your sink basins clean as well. I scrubbed mine out with Brillo pads initially and now wipe them down between washings with disposable wipes.

  11. Re: insurance: Maybe there’s a reason to rejoice if you don’t have an “official” diagnosis! And I agree with Jenny Bean about the Celiac Panel blood work. When applying for life insurance (shop around) it is never recommended to “volunteer” information – they ask enough questions to get the info they want (I actually found it odd that my recent shift in life insurance providers did not ask about any surgeries – many, but minor, like c-sections, hernia, negative biopsy, sinus, etc.). I did not find it necessary to volunteer my fibromyalgia or Meniere’s (the latter of which is environmental allergy induced, anyway) and I got the healthy person rate (and I am almost to the point ,after going GF and DF, where I’d say my health is excellent, whereas for years I only said “good”).

  12. To the senior in high school im a junior and was just diagnosed a couple of months ago and i also have really bad morning nausa too. Ive been sticking to a gluten free diet but havnt seen much improvemnt. I kinda feel like it will never go away. Just a question for anyone out there, how long did it take for your stomach pain to go away?

    1. Nichole, it really varies on how long it takes to feel better. You are young and that is a definite advantage. You have sustained some damage, but likely not as much as those of us who are older and have a lifetime’s worth to try and reverse. On average, most celiacs can take up to about 6 months to see noticeable improvement. You may feel it sooner than that, or you might take just a bit longer. If it takes longer, don’t be discouraged. Just stick with the diet, make sure your nutrient levels are ok (if your doctor hasn’t checked those already) and avoid processed food as much as possible. It may not seem like it, but it does get easier. Hope you feel better soon!

    2. Agree with the 6 month standard but would add its entirely possible you have additional issues:
      1) A STRONG 6 billion+ probiotic will help gut to re-adjust faster
      2) ENSURE you aren’t taking stomach remedies with flour in them (tums & generic advil for instance)
      3)Food diary- this will help identify dairy, soy & additional grain issues
      4) Check the bathroom for gluten- shampoo, body wash,vitamins, tooth paste, chapstick, make up

      Most people start feeling some improvement within a week & gradually improve from there. Its possible (& normal) to have 9 (more or less) additional auto immune diseases related to the celiac.

  13. love LOVE your blog gluten dude 🙂 You tell it like it is, and that is quite refreshing, as for your recent being glutened, I am SO sorry, sending healing vibes your way and wishing you well!

    One part of this post REALLY hit home for me
    “you can’t fix ignorant either. I will never, ever understand why people care so much what we eat. ”
    I don’t understand it either, why do others care SO much, to the point they judge, make us feel bad, or think we’re faking it! PLEASE if I could freakin’ eat the bread and pasta and cookies before me, I WOULD, but I can’t, period. I just wish those who were so ignorant and critical, could switch places with us for a day, just to see, and then they’d understand!

  14. I’m only going to comment on the final letter here. My boyfriend and I have talked about one day having children. Am I worried a bit about passing celiac disease to my future children? Of course I am, but that’s manageable. I have to be gluten-free anyway; it won’t be hard, if the situation arises, for me to put one or more of my kids on a gluten-free diet.
    Both of us are much more concerned about the fact that he’s had a particularly aggressive cancer that is genetic. He’s lucky to have survived twice (and be four years cancer-free now). He doesn’t want to ever put a child through the chemo, surgeries, and fear that he went through, and I don’t blame him. All we can do is genetic testing and go from there.
    I promise you, there are much bigger things you could pass onto your children than celiac disease, and people face them every day. I wouldn’t let it stop you from having kids of your own. You’ll know how to manage celiac or NCGS if it happens to one or more of your children.

  15. “I recently started a new relationship and my partner is Celiac (found out at 23/24 – 4 years now). Poor bugger. Naturally every time I had him over for dinner or on a date, I always ensured the the meal was gluten free. but somehow he always ended up in some pains. This has been quite hard lately as I have been interstate for work and he is alone at home. The burden of food shopping, preparing his meals and choosing what drinks he can have when he goes to a bar (as they most certainly do not stock GF Vodkas) has really gotten to him and he has become a shadow of his former self. Gluten Dude – is there a correlation between Celiac Disease and Depression? I try to remain a positive influence in his life, but every time he discovers another thing to add to his “cannot have” list, it hurts him even more.”

    I wanted to respond personally to this email Gluten Dude.

    Is there a correlation between Celiac and depression? Yes yes and yes! I suffered from severe depression for 20 years whilst being undiagnosed and for several years afterward my CD diagnosis while trying to learn and manage the gluten free diet. My wonderful GI doctor explained to me that the entire body is starved when gluten attacks the villi in the intestine and causes the body to be unable to get the nutrients it needs. That means that the brain is literally being starved as well as the body. When the brain isn’t getting the nutrition it needs, depression ensues for many people with CD. It is not an uncommon symptom of CD.

    Being gluten free now for 6 years has brought me back to full health and I have recovered 100%. I am no longer depressed. I don’t need psych drugs or any of the garbage the medical community pushes on people. I am healed by diet alone and that is a beautiful thing and something worth celebrating. But, it took time to heal. It will happen, don’t lose hope.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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