What I Want You To Know About My Disease

I know I promised an update on the tattoo as my next post but I’m waiting for it to heal and for the color to come out before posting a picture. That’s right! I did get a tattoo and you’ll have to check back to find out the details in my next blog post 🙂

The word disease sounds scary, right? Maybe a little too alarming for the kind of disease I have, or maybe not.

About a month ago I was diagnosed (by myself, but then confirmed by the doctor when I asked for the blood test) with Celiac Disease. Most people have not heard of this disease because it is more common to hear about the cause of this disease rather than the disease itself.

GLUTEN.

What you may not know about gluten is it is in just about every kind of processed food. While the point of this post is not to educate on the specifics of the disease that you can research online yourself, I do want to debunk some myths and ask for your understanding on behalf of all of those affected by this disease, so I’ve created a little list below.

  1. It is not “unhealthy” to eat gluten if you don’t have the disease or do not suffer from an intolerance or allergy to gluten. Gluten is just a protein found in any wheat, rye, or barley products. If you eliminate gluten from your diet and feel better, then perhaps you have an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten, but I’ve heard way too many people claim to eliminate gluten from their diets because it is “healthier.”
  2. Just because I don’t look like I have a disease, doesn’t mean I don’t. The damage done by eating gluten is done inside your body on the lining of your stomach, so even if there is no damage to my insides already (which I don’t know for sure because I have not had the procedure to look at the lining of the stomach) why would I want to chance damaging my stomach by eating even the smallest traces of gluten? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather err on the side of caution, so yes I will be hyper inquisitive about what goes into my body even if it is just a small communion wafer. Please be patient with us as we know this is sometimes inconvenient for those who do not have to avoid gluten.
  3. I want you to know it is hard to ask people to make accommodations for you so you can eat a meal with those who do not have the disease or an intolerance. I already don’t like being the center of attention and this disease forces you to be that sometimes because people have an innate need to know why you are making certain choices or requesting what is on the menu for dinner at a friends house. I will gladly make concessions around what you and the majority of guests are eating by bringing something I can eat so please understand why I may ask lots of questions about what’s for dinner.
  4. And finally, this disease effects only 1 % of the population. Due to the hype of this sometimes referred to “fad diet” that number is shockingly small. And this number is probably underestimated as many people have not had a confirmed diagnosis who may in fact have the disease.

So I guess my point is to ask for your understanding in this new lifestyle change and to inform about a few misnomers in society about gluten free and what it means. And, if you have any questions, have this diagnosis, or want to use me and my network of gluten free friends, I’d be glad to help and want to hear from you! Thanks for listening.

Au revoir,

Amberly

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