Why I'm Not Mad About Having Celiac Disease

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Here's why I'm not mad about it.

Initially, a diagnosis of any kind can come as a shock and get your mind racing about what is about to come for this new way of life that you did not choose. While some people do choose to be gluten-free, it was not something I had ever really thought about wanting to do for myself. My decision to go gluten-free was certainly more of a “have-to” than a “want-to,” but it has become one of the best decisions I have made to date!

Being able to have free reign at eating all the bread, pasta, and cake without second thought was all I had ever known, and of course, who would want that to change? That was until I started to notice how often I was complaining of nausea, bloating, stomach cramping, and severe stomach pain. I eventually made my way to a doctor, only to be told it was very unlikely that I had a gluten intolerance but they would check me anyway. Of course, when the results were in, it was certain to be a gluten intolerance. At that point, I went on just avoiding gluten the best I could, not thinking much of the possibility of Celiac Disease and thinking, “What’s the point of knowing anyway?” Months down the road, I figured it was at least worth finding out, this was done via endoscopy so that they could see if any damage had been done from consuming gluten. It was then confirmed that I had Celiac Disease

Although I had already been pretty careful about not eating gluten, I now had to change that to even being aware of minor cases of cross contamination. Restaurants became a horror story altogether as I knew the chance of being accidentally “glutened” was very high. That was until I learned a few different tips and tricks to navigate eating out on a gluten-free diet. These included learning about new apps, reading menus ahead of time, and simply good communication with the waiters. These things really helped to remove a lot of the scary aspect of restaurants and fear of getting sick after visiting one. 

The next thing I had to worry about was eating at home and how I would avoid cross contaminating myself in my own kitchen. I checked all of my spices, snacks, cereals, and more, in hopes that I would not find yet another thing I had to throw out. To my surprise, there were only a couple things that had to go and they were things I didn’t really use anyway. That is when I started to realize that maybe this gluten-free lifestyle won’t be so bad after all. 

Since then, I have extended my knowledge on how to properly work through my new menu and find the best ways to make it all significantly easier. Day by day I find new things; new gluten-free breads and pastas, new gluten-free sauces and spices, new gluten-free substitutes in recipes, and each time, I become more excited about getting to eat gluten-free. Going gluten-free has, pretty literally, taken a great amount of pain out of my life. Sure, there will always be inconveniences here and there, but the effort put into navigating those inconveniences bears a great reward.