There are so many reasons people choose a gluten free lifestyle. For people with Celiac Disease, eliminating gluten from our diet is the only way currently to manage our symptoms. It is not an allergy; it is not an intolerance. Celiac Disease is a disorder where the body attacks itself in response to gluten. In this article, you will find information on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Because of the way the gastrointestinal tract responds to gluten, the body struggles to absorb nutrients and causes an immune response, where the body fights itself, so symptoms vary from person to person. Symptoms include:
- headaches, migraines
- cramping, aches, and pains
- SO MUCH MORE!
Isn’t that crazy that it can cause opposite symptoms– constipation and diarrhea! It is so hard to diagnose due to the range of symptoms and that those symptoms can relate to many other issues. It’s called “THE GREAT CHAMELEON” because it mimics so many other diseases.
Tracking Diet and Symptoms
One thing I recommend while trying to figure out your health and your symptoms is keeping a Food Journal. Writing down EVERYTHING that goes into your body and keeping track of information like pain, mood, and bathroom breaks can help you AND your doctor notice patterns. I scoured the internet trying to find a food journal that would work for me, and after not finding one that tracked everything I wanted, I created my own. I’ m so happy I can share this with you, and I hope it will give you the records and information you need to feel confident walking into your doctor’s office with concrete details. You can purchase The 10 Day Food Journal HERE.
Here’s a hard statistic- Celiac is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. And today, in the US, it takes an average of eight to 10 years of bouncing from doctor to doctor to get the final diagnosis. And that’s a tragedy because the screening process is available, simple, and highly accurate.
In my Gluten Free You & Me Podcast, I devoted an episode to How to get Tested and Diagnosed with Celiac Disease (Episode 2– Found HERE). I hope you will listen and find useful information on how to talk to your doctor and navigate advocating for your health to get the testing you need.
Beyond Celiac is a great organization for information on Celiac Disease. This article from Beyond Celiac explains the testing process. A blood test is the start to diagnosis and is highly accurate. However, you need to still have steady gluten in your diet for it to reveal the effects of gluten in your body, so if you want to get a diagnosis, don’t change your diet before testing.
Gluten wreaks havoc to the body of a person with Celiac Disease. Currently, the only “treatment” is a strict gluten free diet. Even one crumb can trigger bodily symptoms. There is currently NO CURE and NO MEDICATION to replace a gluten free diet for Celiac Disease. And in today’s world, it is very hard to eliminate 100% of gluten from our lives.But is there hope for a solution? YES!!
In my Gluten Free You & Me Podcast Episode 69: Is There A Cure? The Latest Celiac Research with Dr Leon, I had the incredible opportunity to discuss the future of Celiac Disease with immunologist Dr. Francisco Leon. He shares about current research on medication to help with the lingering side effects of gluten once we have eliminated gluten from our diet. Currently, no Celiac Disease medications are attempting to be used with a gluten diet, but once someone has eliminated as much as they can, these medications will help with the last percentage of cross contact and accidental gluten encounters. This possibility is huge! My biggest anxiety is that gluten is everywhere! The possibility of cross contact is everywhere, from manufacturing facilities, to food prep, to the plates and dishes the food is being served on. If we could have a medication to safeguard against this accidental contact, it would be incredible to use in conjunction with a strict 100% gluten free diet. I hope you will listen to the podcast episode HERE or wherever you love to listen to podcasts.
The PROACTIVE study is testing the safety and effects of the investigational medicine, PRV-015, combined with a gluten-free diet to reduce symptoms and intestinal inflammation caused by accidental gluten exposure in people with celiac disease.
To qualify for the trial, individuals must be between the ages 18-70, have a clinical diagnosis of celiac disease, maintained a gluten-free diet for at least 12 months and still experiencing celiac disease symptoms.
For more information, visit www.ProactiveCeliac.com.