Wait…So What is Celiac Disease?

I’ve had this blog for a couple of weeks now and a thought just came to me.  What if people reading this don’t even know what Celiac is?  Maybe some of you reading are just starting your diet or are thinking you may have Celiac.  Well, it would probably make sense to explain what it is!

To start off, Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease.  An autoimmune disorder is when your body “attacks” itself. It can’t tell the difference between something good (which gluten is supposed to be) and pathogens (invaders).  The way Celiac Disease works is after you eat anything containing gluten, your body reacts thinking it is an invader and damages your small intestines.  The little villi in your small intestines are what absorb nutrients, but when they are damaged, they can’t do their job properly.  This is why weight loss is a symptom of Celiac Disease.

You are automatically put at risk if you already have another autoimmune disorder or if you have relatives with any autoimmune disorders.  For example, my mom has Thyroid Disease, which is an AI disorder.  In the summer of 2007, my older brother and my younger brother were each diagnosed with an AI disorder.  They have Type 1 Diabetes and Crohn’s Disease respectively.  I got tested for Thyroid, Diabetes and Crohn’s and I was in the clear….so I thought.  1 year later, in the summer or 2008 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder of my own!  Strangely enough, my gastroenterologist at the time said I probably had Celiac for a year by the time I was diagnosed.  So, if I were to have been diagnosed right away, all 3 of us got our autoimmune disorders in the same year.  Bizarre, right?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Celiac Disease yet, but there is treatment.  The lovely gluten-free diet. 🙂 This means no barley, rye, malt, or wheat!

If you are having any symptoms like abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, or diarrhea, ask your doctor to get tested.  It’s a simple blood test to do.  It took me a few blood tests to figure it out.  I had symptoms like hair loss, fatigue, and abdominal pain.  My mom’s first thought was Thyroid Disease, but it turns out I had extreme anemia (which gave me hair loss and made me tired)  because of Celiac Disease!  There are so many people who go years without finding out the solution to their problems so please, please get tested!  Your poor intestines can only handle so much. 😦

But, on a lighter note, my parents went to my favorite pizza place tonight, Transfer Pizzeria, and they brought me back a pizza!!  Transfer has the absolute best pizza (gluten-free or not) and I highly recommend it to anyone in the Milwaukee area.  This is what they brought back for me!

 This beauty is the only kind of pizza I have had at Transfer and I haven’t had the guts (no pun intended) to try anything else because I love this one so much!  It’s a gluten-free crust with a white garlic (my favorite ingredient on anything) sauce instead of a red sauce, topped with roasted potatoes, chicken, and cheese.  I’m dying inside just remembering it’s in my fridge for tomorrow!  This comes in a non-gluten-free variety as well, so everyone go and try it!  It is the best pizza place that I have been to in my entire life.  Even before I ate gluten-free.  Try it.  You will thank me later.

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4 thoughts on “Wait…So What is Celiac Disease?

  1. Hi Kelsey — so glad you stopped by my site to say hello! Great blog you have going here… and you’re right, Transfer is the best pizza! Their sister restaurant, VIA on Downer, is right by my place, so we go there often. (same pizzas technically, but Transfer puts a little more love in it!) You should join us for a GF Get Together!

  2. I was wondering about this myself. Thanks for the great explanation. My sister has a thyroid disorder. My doctor thought I had it too, but it turned out to be something metabolic/hormonal. I didn’t know that you’re more likely to have an AI disorder if someone in your family does. That’s good to keep in mind for the future. Thanks!

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