IE Grapevine Updates

Celiactive: Coming to a diagnosis

I have been living with a life threatening disease my entire life but I only found out a few years ago.

Isabela Moreno

Isabela Moreno

Now how could I have not known about this? Well, first things first, I have celiac disease which is an autoimmune disorder caused by gluten. Second, it’s food based and I never suffered symptoms nearly close to anaphyalctic shock. Instead I suffered symptoms like ADD, anxiety attacks, insomnia, indigestion, and narcissistic pessimism.

Third, no one told me that these were or could be symptoms of something larger. I was always told that I had separate ailments instead of one disease causing many. I didn’t know any better until my doctor said something.

I was 17 years old in my last year of high school. I was ready to graduate with no intentions of letting anything hold me back. That included the many symptoms I felt I was battling. I begged my mom to take me to see a doctor and after many agonizing “talks” we finally went. It didn’t turn out like I thought it would.

My desired outcome was a quick diagnosis. I wanted to be healthy as quickly as possible so I could conquer my senior year. That didn’t happen. After telling the doctor my maladies she quickly brought up food allergies and decided to order a few blood tests.

I didn’t understand why at the time. I exhibited what I thought were no symptoms of allergic reactions. How did she jump to this preposterous conclusion? Unfortunately, I’m a know-it-all who’s smug about it. I needed to prove her wrong for some egotistical reason, so I took those tests knowing I would be right.

The results came back after two weeks and I wasn’t right. It came back positive for allergic reactions to 30 foods in all food groups not including meat.

Only a handful were characterized as “highly allergic”. This included green beans, broccoli, lemons, gluten, and all dairy products excluding goat products. My physician prescribed me probiotics twice daily and a unique diet for three months to heal my intestines. Apparently I had Leaky Gut Syndrome which causes holes in the intestinal lining that causes an autoimmune reaction.

I cried after hearing the news. This meant no nachos, no pancakes, no broccoli. I loved all these foods but for my health, I gave them up. Plus it was only three months. I could do this.

Within a week, my friends and family saw an immediate change. I was no longer as pessimistic nor was my colon. The diet was difficult but I knew feeling better was more important than eating taquitos at 1 a.m.

Two weeks before the three month cutoff, my doctor tested me for celiac disease. The test came back positive. I was officially diagnosed with celiac disease and was sent to a gastroenterologist.

I haven’t eaten a bite of gluten since. Except for that time when I thought that the Annie’s Bunny Crackers were gluten-free… That was a doozy but it’s a story for another time.

1 Comment on Celiactive: Coming to a diagnosis

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