Fact: I was diagnosed with celiac disease in (I think) April of 2008. I say “I think” because I was also diagnosed with bladder cancer and a pulmonary embolism (multiple blood clots in both my lungs) in the same time period so sometimes I forget which order they came in. Yeah…good times.
Fact: Immediately after my diagnosis, I stopped eating gluten 100% and never looked back. Well…I looked back in sadness many a time…but never caved.
Fact: From all of the celiac bloggers I began to follow and articles I read, I expected to feel better right away.
Fact: Two years later, I still felt like shit and Mrs. Dude was about to throw me out the window, if I wasn’t going to jump first.
Fact: I gave up dairy in hopes that it would help. It did…a bit.
Fact: I then stopped eating gluten-free replacement foods and just started eating…food.
Fact: And THAT is when I began to heal.
And why am I regaling you with all of these facts? Because of an email I received this morning. It reads as follows:
Oh wait…that’s my journal entry from last night. Here’s the email:
First, I want to thank you for everything you are doing. This is the only resource that makes me feel normal. Heck, I even just received your book from Amazon.
I was recently diagnosed on 12/30/2019. Happy New Year to me, right…. Needless to say, starting my new journey has been a little rough.
Why am I reaching out? I am looking for a little bit of guidance on how long it may take to heal. Some days are better than other days now, but still sometimes there is a struggle. Sleeping has honestly been my biggest hurdle. I used to be a great sleeper – so good I could fall asleep in a bar with loud music. (This is pre-glutening that I knew about).
Now, I seem to be plagued with night sweats. I’ve been to my doctor twice about it and all they can find is I’m slightly Hypothyroid. This started happening as I went GF, never before. Is gluten withdrawal for real? How long does this crap take? With golf season just around the corner in NJ, I’m running thin on patience! Can you relate to any of this?
I also want to say, you and Mrs. Dude totally give me hope. (Saw your video on YouTube). My boyfriend has been incredibly supportive through all of this. We used to love going out to eat but he’s also an amazing home chef. This is the only part that makes me feel subhuman… I love going out! Any advice here? I feel like I am trapped in my home.
Great email. We’ve all been there…and then some. So first I presented some facts, not I’ll throw out some advice from a celiac veteran.
Advice: Try not to compare yourself to others. Everyone has their own celiac story and everyone heals differently.
Advice: Be patient. Your intestines are pretty f**ked up right now. Healing can take time. I wish someone told me this 12 years ago.
Advice: Stay out of the gluten-free aisle of the store…for now. Try to eat as much real food as you can (meat, fish, veggies, fruit)
Advice: When you start to feel better, you can slowly introduce gluten-free replacement foods (cookies, breads, pizzas, etc.), but go easy on them and find the ones that aren’t loaded with crap. Your intestines have been through hell and back. Be nice to them.
Advice: Listen to your body. Understand that you now have an autoimmune disease and you may have stretches where you just don’t feel well. Do what you need to do to get through these stretches.
Advice: It’s an awesome community here. Never hesitate to reach out.
Advice: Understand that you’ll be able to eat out again. But yeah…it doest change the dynamics a bit. That’s just a harsh reality.
Advice: Keep your left arm straight but flexible and keep your head down. Sorry…a little golf advice thrown in for free. FORE!!!