Well with some extra time on my hands this Labor Day weekend I was able to put my thoughts together and get some blogging done. I will probably be able to blog every day for a week or so and then it will drop down to once or twice a week.
Did I mention that I was forty-years-old when I was first diagnosed with celiac disease? At the time I was under the impression that it basically just affected my digestive track. That’s where all of MY OBVIOUS SYMPTOMS were. Gluten ingestion can cause diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain just to name a few. I had no idea how it could influence the rest of my body if it went untreated. Although my doctor didn’t focus on anything but my digestive track so maybe she didn’t realize it either?
I did pretty well in school up until the fifth grade. Then I just wasn’t able to retain information. My parents blamed my failing grades on my teacher. They said she was too easy on me. Now let me just say that I went to Catholic elementary school. My teacher was a nun. To those of you who also went to Catholic school, NEED I SAY MORE? The nuns didn’t let any kid get away with anything. In fact, this is the same nun who while walking around the classroom one day, grabbed hold of the hem of my skirt and pulled it to cover my knees as I sat at my desk.
IT WAS REALLY HARD FOR ME TO CONCENTRATE IN CLASS. MY MIND WANDERED.
My parents constantly told me that I had the ability but just wasn’t applying myself. Many nights they helped me with my homework but I had a difficult time memorizing. As hard as I studied, I just couldn’t remember history facts from one day to the next. When it came time to take a test I desperately tried to pull the information from my brain and write it on the paper but I couldn’t. My mind was a blur. Now the professionals have termed it BRAIN FOG.
According to an article written by Patrick Bennett at Allergicliving.com, it’s a symptom of celiac disease for some people. This fuzzy-headedness may also be related to the fatigue that occurs in those living with undiagnosed celiac disease.
As I write this blog I will repeat over and over how important it is to STAY ON A GLUTEN-FREE DIET IF YOU’VE BEEN DIAGNOSED AS HAVING CELIAC DISEASE. Don’t think of it as a diet but rather a life change. I’m not trying to make it sound easy to do. IT’S NOT! That’s why I cheated by eating gluten. There were certain foods I really missed and I didn’t want to give them up.
Don’t just start a gluten-free diet on your own if you do suffer with any of the symptoms I have described so far. It’s preferable to seek out the help of a gastroenterologist who is familiar with celiac disease and get tested. Visit www.celiac.org where you will find a Celiac Disease Symptoms and Conditions Checklist. You can also search for a gastroenterologist who is knowledgeable in the celiac disease arena in your area on this website. Fill out your checklist, print it out and visit the doctor of your choice. Of course, it’s always in your best interest to find a doctor who is in your insurance network.
Brain fog was the least of my worries. Little did I know that as I got older I’d be dealing with some really horrible stuff. Celiac disease affects everyone differently. The longer you ingest it, the more damage it can do. What I share with you will be MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES ONLY.