Many people think of Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance as an intestinal problem. Â I’m sure many of you have heard, like I have many times, “I can’t possibly be gluten intolerant; I don’t have diarrhea.”
Of course, there are the “typical” Celiacs, those who have diarrhea and bloating, but look like they are anorexic because their body just doesn’t absorb many nutrients. Â In reality, that is only a very small percentage of the Celiac or Gluten Intolerant population. Â There are fat Celiacs and skinny Celiacs, white to black and every shade in between, tall or short…
Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance can manifest in ANY body system.
When I was young, I had many problems with my joints, and spent a lot of time on crutches. Â “Growing pains” was the constant diagnosis from doctors. Â I had a doctor tell me I had Fibromyalgia when I was 10, but since it was an “old white women’s disease” at the time, I didn’t get a diagnosis. Â All through high school, I saw doctor after doctor after doctor. Â I had such severe abdominal pains, with no apparent cause. Â My mom was told by one doctor “there is no way that a girl her age could be experiencing the type of pain she is describing. Â Just make her eat more whole wheat bread; she just needs more fiber.” Â Oh, right, because I’m lying, and I just like to pretend I feel like I’m dying. Â A neurologist eventually diagnosed me with “abdominal migraines”, and put me on a 10% dosage of antidepressants.
After I graduated from college, things greatly intensified. Â My fibromyalgia-like symptoms became so great that I could not get up in the morning until 10:00 or 11:00, even though I awoke at 5:00. Â The pain was too great and I just couldn’t get them to move. Â I started having diarrhea 4 or 5 times a week, nearly every night, to accompany the severe abdominal pains.
After I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and went gluten-free, within a month I had no more joint and muscle problems and almost never had diarrhea. Â Gone were the pains that had haunted me for years.
Since being gluten-free, I realize that when I am glutened, I do not think as clearly for the next couple of weeks. Â “Brain fog” is what we commonly call it.
Meeting others with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance, I definitely know someone who has just about any imaginable symptom related to gluten in their body. Â A good friend of mine suffers from severe depression if she eats gluten. Â Unfortunately, when she gets glutened and depressed, she eats more gluten because the depression makes her feel bad about the intolerance and it’s a nasty cycle. Â Another friend, who very strictly avoids gluten, whenever he is accidentally glutened, he hallucinates. Â Yes, he sees and hear things that do not exist, just because of something he ate.
Coincidence? Â Definitely not.
In 1988, F. Curtis Dohan published a scientific paper on the Genetic
The University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research website has a good partial listing of symptoms. Â Dental enamel defects, unexplained short stature (why did I quit growing when I was 10, even though I was the tallest kid in the 4th grade?), mouth ulcers, and hair loss are just a few.
An article posted today in the Anchorage Press, has an interesting story about a little girl who went from happy to super hysterical in a few months. Â I encourage you all to read it. Â Perhaps you know a child like this, and a mom as desperate as this one.