This is what a being a celiac looks like. This is what I look like days after I consumed an inch size piece of wheat bread. Bloated and in pain for days. It feels like my stomach is getting larger by the minute, it’s painful to touch, and I feel sluggish and in a daze. Other symptoms that can arise include and are not limited to; constipation, joint pain, body numbness or tingling, anxiety, diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, vomiting and extreme fatigue. For me, this can last anywhere from 1-2 weeks after being “glutened”.
Not that long ago all of the symptoms above were what I knew as normal life. This was the stomach I carried around thinking this was just how my body was. When I was a little girl in grade school, I would cry and complain about how much pain my stomach was in. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on. They even went as far as doing a procedure where I was sedated and a camera was stuck down my throat to look in my stomach. They didn’t find anything. I went on for years with bloating and stomach pain without ever looking into the issue because it was “normal” to me.
I am writing this to tell you if you can relate to these photos or feelings, it is likely that you have some kind of food intolerance, allergy, or GI issue like celiac. Yes, we all bloat after we overindulge, but it shouldn’t stick around for days and days and be tender to the touch. If this is happening to you, go see your local Gastroenterologist. Get tests done. Find out what is going on. You are not alone! There is a big community of amazing people online who are there to talk about our experiences and help each other through the rough days.
The life of a celiac.
When I was finally given confirmation that my body had a very negative relationship with gluten, everything in my world changed. A couple of months after I kicked gluten I began to feel happier, my energy level was rising, I felt lighter, and my digestive system was in actual working order. I no longer feared bikini season and my confidence was on the rise too! I stopped fearing that someone was going to ask me if I was pregnant (it’s happened before)! Yes, eating out got harder. All of my eating habits had to change dramatically and it wasn’t easy. I have now mastered finding satisfaction just from smelling baskets of bread at restaurants.
I am not perfect.
I remember a few times after a few cocktails I thought I could have a little bite of pizza and it would “be okay” … let me tell you, I quickly learned that one bite wasn’t worth over a week of being sick. I still get major FOMO every time a box of donuts shows up at the office, though! I love donuts just as much as the next person and don’t get me wrong, there are some really great gluten free cake donuts out there. Nothing beats an old fashioned in my book though, but for me, the pain is just not worth it!
You are not alone on this journey and gluten-free options are on the rise everywhere! It gets easier, and you will feel better! It’s worth it every step of the way. You got this!
….and if you don’t think you do, shoot me an email. I would love to talk to you! I would love to refer you to some amazing groups online that have helped me tremendously.
For more on celiac disease visit http://www.beyondceliac.org/