Living with celiac: what to expect?

Living with celiac disease

Sometimes we eat something that doesn’t agree with our stomachs. It can cause pain, aches, and unwanted trips to the bathroom. 

You assume you have a food intolerance, or perhaps something in the food was slightly spoiled. What you are experiencing might be more than a simple intolerance; you may actually be suffering from celiac disease

Celiac Disease

If you have celiac disease, once the body senses the presence of gluten proteins, it will build a negative reaction. These proteins can be found in many common foods, mostly from wheat, rye, and barley.

Celiac disease is your body going to war with itself, rather than with foreign substances. The war is against gluten.

After consuming gluten rich foods, you may get very sick. It will interfere with the function of your small intestine by causing inflammation.

If the inflammation in the small intestine is not treated, it can lead to chronic fatigue, anemia, infertility, cancer and more. 

Anyone at any age can develop Celiac Disease. Some may have a sensitivity to gluten but cannot be diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Overall, three million Americans are affected by celiac disease and 60% are undiagnosed. 

 If you are one of the 30% of people that carry the HLA-DQ2 or DQ8 genes, you’re likely to have Celiac Disease. If you do not carry them, you will never develop the disease.

People with celiac disease are instructed to refrain from consuming any gluten. They can get help from a dietician or nutritionist.  

Causes

There is no clear cause of celiac disease but there are some instances where it could develop. Sometimes surgery, pregnancy, high stress, or infection  could increase the risk.

Symptoms

Those who have celiac disease often develop symptoms like diarrhea, anemia (lowered red blood cell count), gas, bloating, stomach cramps, fatigue, itchy skin, heartburn, or joint pain. 

A Day in the Life Of a Patient Suffering From Celiac Disease

Imagine living each day worried about what you will eat. Worried that you might accidentally consume gluten. Scared to go to a restaurant with friends for fear of getting sick.

This is how people with celiac disease live day-to-day. 

Andy De Santis, also known as Andy the RD, is a registered dietician who practices in Toronto, Ontario, CA. His focus is on weight loss, diet, and nutrition goals.  Andy had an engaging interview with one of his patients, Ashley, who suffers from celiac disease. 

Ashley described her extreme weight loss at the age of 17 as totally unexplainable since she wasn’t changing her diet in any way. 

She would begin to feel tired at school, despite getting enough sleep. She would often complain of frequent nausea, along with random skin rashes and breakouts. 

Her doctor assumed she had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), a common misdiagnosis for celiac disease. 

After falling ill on a family vacation, she forced her doctor to send her to an allergy specialist where she was finally diagnosed with celiac disease. 

Not everyone is a dietician or is educated about gluten itself. Those who assume they may have a gluten problem will spend time testing themselves with trial and error. 

There are a list of challenges for people living with celiac disease. The most common are cross contamination, unpleasant stomach aches and cramps, avoiding any food containing gluten. 

Another challenge is having to explain that celiac is not a food allergy or a personal preference, it is a full auto-immune disease that disrupts the smooth flow in the small intestine. 

Sometimes, people who suffer from the disease will mistakenly consume it without knowing some foods contain gluten, which would of course cause them physical discomfort.

Ashley suggests that restaurants should disclose allergens in the food rather than the calorie count. People living with celiac disease want to be as cautious as possible, while still enjoying their life. 

People with celiac disease will often describe the condition both mental and physical. Patients with celiac disease will likely experience depressive episodes over it. 

Enjoying a night out can turn into a flurry of questions from people around you, with friends often wondering why you can’t eat certain meals. 

It can be troublesome always having to explain to others what’s happening inside your body. 

Living with celiac disease can be quite the hardship. It changes the way you eat, the choices you make, and you will unfortunately experience uncomfortable and painful days. 

Celiac disease is not something to take lightly because too much damage to the small intestine is hard to undo. 

The main point to remember is that you are not alone. Having the right support around you, helping you with the proper diet and cheering you on can be mentally beneficial!

Don’t live your life constantly thinking that something is wrong, or that your body has a simple sensitivity to food; it could be more than a simple tummy ache.

Testing for celiac disease

Living with celiac disease

There aren’t many blood tests available that can accurately determine if you have celiac disease. The tests offer little insight as to whether a patient may have it. 

The blood test may come back negative but there is a chance that your family doctor has a suspicion that you have celiac disease.

Our at home test kit for celiac disease 

Luckily, earlier this year we have introduced the celiac disease test. It is a useful and accurate at home testing kit that helps patients to check if they have celiac disease. 

The celiac test we have developed uses enhanced biomarker screening. The patient will use the kit in the comfort of their own home, prick a finger for blood, and send the kit back for results testing. 

In a matter of 5 days, patients will have access to their results directly on their laptop of smartphone. 

Patented imaware™ technologies create reports for patients that provide high levels of accuracy, reducing the number of unnecessary patient visits to their doctor

The imaware™ patented technology was designed to create simple and easy -to-understand online reports for patients. The goal is to reduce the number of undiagnosed celiac patients.

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