- As a child, I never suffered from stomach issues. Apart from some mild bloating, I experienced 2 to 3 stomach aches per year (at most). Nothing about my physical condition screamed Celiac Disease (Celiac Disease). I did suffer from migraines. I was, also, diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in 2003. Nothing, still, pointed to a gluten intolerance.
In 2005, I married. Shortly thereafter, my husband and I set out to start a family. Unfortunately, this wasn’t going as planned. After 2 miscarriages, I was completely devastated and confused.
To find refuge from my stress, I turned to gardening. It was during this time that I experienced a chance encounter with a woman named Linda. In this random meeting (or not-so-random?), Linda shared some life-changing information.
Linda, too, had multiple miscarriages. In her medical work-ups nothing suggested the root cause for her inability to hold a child. In her 40s, Linda decided to go on a strict gluten free diet. After 6 months of gluten free living, Linda conceived her only child. She urged me to immediately get tested for Celiac Disease. She warned me not to put it off. Was this a sign from the universe?
After a second miscarriage it is standard for fertility doctors to conduct a series of tests (genetic and chromosomal) to assess cause. When I probed my fertility doctor to test me for Celiac Disease, she assured me that she had never heard of a correlation between gluten sensitivity and infertility. After learning this, I was hesitant to insist that she tack on the test for Celiac Disease anyways. My husband, however, was adamant about adding it to the blood work. So, it was added. The results came back. All blood work was fine, except for one result. I was positive for Celiac Disease.
I was in shock. I didn’t really know what the results meant. I immediately went to an Endocrinologist for more details. After a stomach biopsy, it was confirmed that I definitely had Celiac Disease. The doctor said that I must go on a gluten free diet the next day. Knowing that my future was now sans gluten, I decided to have a gluten going away party. That night, I pigged out on raw chocolate chip cookie dough (my favorite cookies to make) and a pizza pie.
The morning after, I woke up with a pretty bad stomach ache (no surprise). I, also, arose with a fresh perspective and a healthier outlook on life. Since my gluten going away party, I haven’t intentionally consumed anything glutenous. I have been all the better for it.
I am so grateful for the series of random events that initiated that one extra test and led to my diagnosis. Though my diet and life changed drastically, knowing my diagnosis was power. Awareness of my disease empowered me to create a healthier, happier life. After I stopped eating gluten, I learned to find foods that would support my body and my health. Admittedly, a journey without gluten has presented many challenges. Yet, the journey has also been one of positive transformation, enormous healing, and many blessings.
I’m happy to share with you that after assuming a gluten free diet my husband and I have been able to have three beautiful children in total. In 2010, we welcomed twin girls and, in 2012, a boy. Though my husband does not have Celiac Disease, he often goes on a gluten free diet because of its many health benefits. A gluten free diet has enabled him to lose weight and, in turn, lower his blood pressure.
I share my story with the hopes of helping others who may have stories and struggles similar to my own. My hope is to reveal the possibility of a healthier, happier you. You do have the power to manage your health and create the life you want.
If you are struggling to keep your gluten free kitchen and foods protected, I hope you benefit from the creation of glutenfreelabels.com. I wish I would have had access to something like glutenfreelabels.com when I first started my gluten free journey! Lastly, if you, too, have experienced multiple miscarriages, I strongly advocate you get tested for Celiac Disease. As Linda cautioned: Don’t put it off. Consider this your sign from the universe.
P.S. Should you wish to share with me your gluten free story, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org