The majority of you reading this are following a grain-free diet to some degree. Some as a diet and others for health reasons. I personally switched to a primarily grain-free diet, being gluten-free for many years following a celiac diagnosis yet still having some health problems. For those of you who follow a grain-free diet the majority of the time but not strictly, you probably fall into the category of those who allow themselves cheat meals filled with all those yummy things like pizza, pasta, etc. I am all about balance so I say, go for it. That being said, what if those “cheat meals” are actually doing more than just giving you a big full belly and that food coma feeling? What if they are damaging your body because you have celiac disease? Ignorance is not always bliss. Especially if you have celiac or another autoimmune disease.
Yes, you can just not do great with gluten or be allergic to it as many people have had gluten sources come back as an allergy for them. But could you be the 1% of the population who actually have celiac disease? The problem with having celiac and not being diagnosed is that you may not be as careful with minor gluten consumption or those cheat meals. If you continue to eat gluten with having celiac disease, it can lead to infertility and miscarriage, GI cancers, migraines, neuropathy, seizures, dementia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, etc. As you can see, this can become quite serious. However, there is a solution to celiac disease. A completely strict gluten-free diet. To help out with any additional remaining inflammation you may still have after that, try eliminating any sources of inflammation like grains, sugar and dairy. Possibly follow the paleo diet or something similar.
There are some ways to go about this. The first is you can just decide to live as if you have celiac disease and read your food labels, be careful when eating out and be strictly gluten-free. Another thing to do is to see if you have a celiac gene. If you have a family member with celiac disease you have a higher chance of having the gene. That gene can be triggered very young or later in life to then “bless” you with celiac disease. If you don’t even have the gene, it is highly unlikely you have celiac disease. If you do have the gene and have regularly been eating gluten, you can do an at home finger prick test for celiac disease. You do need to be regularly consuming gluten for this test to be accurate, which can be difficult for many.
When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, 1 in 131 people in the world had celiac disease. Now, with more people being tested, the number is 1 in 100. This is a huge jump, but is wonderful news for the celiac community as it means more understanding about the disease and a lot more testing for it. I have a mother with celiac, had terrible stomach problems as a kid, bad skin rashes, low immune system, etc. and still wasn’t even diagnosed celiac until 17. Now, children are being diagnosed very early on and are able to live healthy lives.
So which route will you take?