How Did I "Get" Celiac Disease?

Ever wondered how someone gets diagnosed with Celiac Disease after years of consuming gluten? This blog explains where Celiac Disease comes from.

For a while after my diagnosis of Celiac Disease, I wondered why I had been able to consume gluten for my whole life with no issue before now. I was confused as to how my body could have developed such an awful reaction to gluten when it was such a large part of my diet. Now, I am able to answer that question, have a better understanding of what might have changed within my body, and why it is important for me to follow a gluten-free diet from this point on.

Celiac Disease affects 1 in 100 people worldwide. It is hereditary, so if a close family member has it, there is a 1 in 10 chance of it being passed on. However, it can become apparent at any age, so even if you are born with the gene for Celiac Disease, you may not know it until you are much older (In my case I was 20 years old). The reason for this is that the gene for Celiac Disease essentially gets triggered when the body has an overreaction to gluten, which can be caused by bodily traumas such as surgery, viral illness, pregnancy, or even a great amount of stress. This begins the destruction of the intestines by gluten.

The other piece to this that’s important to know is why it’s so important now to maintain a gluten-free diet. Celiac Disease is not curable, (at least not right now). However, by staying gluten-free, you are able to allow your body to heal itself to better manage the symptoms of Celiac Disease. Things like villous atrophy, scar tissue build up, and other types of intestinal damage can be the consequences of not sticking to a gluten-free diet. This is why adapting to the gluten-free lifestyle can be very beneficial.

If you feel that you might have Celiac Disease, it is important to check with your doctor to ensure you are able to manage your symptoms in a timely manner. The other possibilities of your gluten-causing discomfort could be non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a gluten intolerance, or maybe something completely unrelated to gluten. Regardless, it is highly recommended to meet with your doctor about your concerns to ensure the best course of treatment. 

If you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease, there is no need to worry or feel upset about it, life is still easily enjoyable after your diagnosis!