Life recently took an interesting turn for me as I found out if I want to be healthy, I cannot consume gluten ever again. I’ve spent many years trying to figure out what was wrong with my body. I couldn’t understand why I was so exhausted, why I was constantly in and out of the bathroom, and a vast array of other symptoms that doctors seem to think was in my head. Then I received my diagnosis and it all started to make sense.
While I am still young in this journey, there are a few things I am starting to realize and want to share with others who may be having the same experiences I have.
First of all, breathe. There is a lot to consider food wise and health wise. If you take it one step at a time, I promise it’s not as overwhelming.
Own your feelings and allow yourself to process them. Denial, anger, doubt. It all has gone through my mind and it is something I am still dealing with some of that. You may be a Celiac who doesn’t really have any symptoms, but you’ve still been diagnosed. Or you could be some one like me who’s been suffering for a long time and you didn’t know what the problem was. I definitely have had a lot of, “why me?” moments and just wish to indulge in a piece of pizza.
Do your research. Find out where it’s okay for you to eat. Learn how to read food labels for things that may have gluten in it. This has been a huge challenge for me, but I’m two months into the journey and it’s getting easier. (Aldi has a huge gluten free selection, so that’s my go to place to shop!)
Find support. As much as you want them to, non-Celiacs and those who don’t have Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity don’t really understand what you are going through. I’ve also realize that there are some people out there who think all of our health issues can be turned off if we just work harder. It’s seriously not that simple and people really do need to realize that.
Keep in mind that you are doing this for your health. Whether or not you have symptoms, you need to abide by a strict gluten free lifestyle in order to maintain good health. Celiacs are especially at-risk for secondary autoimmune diseases, as well as several types of cancers.
I’m certainly not an expert at any of this yet, but this is what I have learned so far. I hope I can help some one who is going through what I am. Do you have Celiac Disease or NCGS? What have you done to make the journey easier? If you don’t have either of these, do you know anyone who does?