I read this recent article on Jezebel about a the difference behind going gluten free for genuine health concerns, and making the choice because it is the latest, greatest diet fad. The poster talked about the complications that arise from having a health concern become a fad, stating that people are now taking the true needs of gluten free by necessity individuals less seriously because many people are doing the diet “just because.”
This post struck a chord with me. There has been something that I have wanted to get off my chest for a long time and this article really just gave me that last push to spit it all out.
I am positive that I have Celiacs disease. I have yet to be diagnosed, because when our daughter was, I was dealing with a hernia. I got that repaired, spent a few months getting strong again and then got pregnant. My pregnancy has been complicated with risks of stroke, etc. Not that any of that would have mattered, since I am not going on gluten for 6 weeks and making myself sick when I have a baby depending on me to be healthy for him.
So needless to day, my full diagnoses has been put on hold for a while.
Should that really matter to anyone else? No. Should I eat gluten simply because I haven’t officially been told I can’t, even though it makes me sick? No.
Unfortunately, that is not the way that many people in my life feel. Sadly, I actually get where they are coming from. There are a lot of people, especially young girls/women, who are making the choice to go gluten free because they think it will help them loose weight. It is due to them that many of the people I have spoken to are concerned for me. As if I need additional validation against the “fad” that has risen out of the gluten free wave.
Let me be clear, I am not talking about anyone who feels they are gluten intolerant, or parents of children who have had to make the choice due to developmental disorders, etc. If you have a genuine medical concern related to going gluten free, or someone in your household does, then I get it completely.
Some facts about my case in particular:
Our daughter was diagnosed around her second birthday. You can read all about it here.
I am the carrier of the gene that was passed onto Lilly. We know that. It is in my side of the family.
I spent nearly 2 years after Lilly was born with tremendous stomach problems. I was eating horrible food at all hours of the day/night, because I was an exhausted new mother. I wasn’t working out, and yet I was the lowest weight I had been since I was 13 years old…something there does not add up.
Fact about Celiacs Disease, it can lay dormant in a person’s body and be triggered by a stressful event. Such as a big move, marriage, PREGNANCY, etc.
When Lilly was diagnosed, I quit gluten along with her. It just seemed easier. ALL of my stomach issues went away! Suddenly I was no longer dealing with excess bloating, fatigue and nausea. Also, some issues I had been having with arthritis in my hip stopped flaring up – a common symptom for some individuals with Celiacs if they have gluten.
Also when I quit gluten, I gained a good 10lbs. I felt healthier and stronger. I had better colour and my close family stopped saying that my face looked sunken in.
Will I go get a diagnoses one day? Yes, very likely. When I am done with all this hernia (which needs to be repaired again), babies and stroke business, then I will go put myself through 6 weeks of hell to get a little piece of paper and validate FOR EVERYONE what I already know.
I am not asking everyone to go out of their way to make my life easier. I can and have been preparing and bringing snacks and food for Lilly and I when we go places. I am not asking for sympathy for the new lifestyle we have.
What I am asking for is for everyone to kindly butt out of my personal health choices and stop saying the contradicting phrase ‘well, you haven’t actually been diagnosed.” Yes, thank you. I am very much aware.
For now, it is my body, my lifestyle, and I will do what I feel I need to do, to be in the best of health I can be for myself and my family.
Ideally speaking, everyone else will kindly back off.