What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease of the small intestines. The small intestines are where your food empties into, after your stomach breaks it down. The purpose of your small intestines is to absorb the nutrients from your food, through finger like tissue called villi. When you eat gluten, wheat, rye, oats, barley and more, this triggers an autoimmune system. Your immune system starts to attack your small intestines if even a molecule of gluten is ingested. This destroys the villi and other tissues that absorb nutrients. If destroyed, even if you eat the healthiest of foods, no nutrients can be absorbed for 6 months to a year after ingesting the gluten. Continually eating gluten can cause cancer, infertility, diabetes, neuropathy and more. This is a lifelong disease, until a cure is found. Gluten must be permanently avoided.
What Treatments Have I Tried?
To my knowledge, there is no treatment for Celiac Disease aside from a gluten free diet. Gluten free means that you must avoid wheat, rye, oats, barley and more. Gluten is usually in sauces and spices as a filler, in baked goods and pastas.There are many gluten free alternatives available these days, so you don’t have to miss the cupcakes and pastas. Many foods are naturally gluten free, such as fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and more.
How Does Celiac Disease Affect My Life?
The biggest challenge with Celiac Disease is staying committed to your gluten free diet. I can do this completely successfully, because I have these amazing parents who will find a way to create a gluten free alternative to anything that I ask for. Not everyone is that lucky, many people think this diet is ridiculous, that eating gluten once in a while can’t do any harm. They are wrong. As mentioned earlier, even eating a molecule of gluten can trigger all out damage – this means you also have to avoid cross contamination. If my parents use a knife to add butter to their bread, they cannot use the same knife nor butter to butter my gluten free bread. This can seem like a tedious task, but it is vital. Many have no symptoms from eating gluten, despite the fact that the very same damage is going on, so they eat gluten once in a while. This is dangerous. When I eat gluten, I experience the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. Others can get brain fog, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting and other unpleasant symptoms.
This can get awkward in social situations. People gawk at you for eating different, and when you explain why, sometimes they treat you differently after hearing that you are diseased. I personally do not eat out, because most restaurants cannot guarantee that there will be no cross contamination in their busy kitchen. I personally never have issues from waiters for bringing my own food to restaurants. I love bringing my own food, sometimes it’s even better than what the restaurant can offer. My personal favourite part is that I can eat while everyone waits for their food, no need to starve whilst waiting. I am very successful in sticking to my diet because of my amazing parents, but not everyone has that support.