Since I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I read a lot. Reading is essential to heal. No doctor will tell you everything you need to know and nobody will understand all your symptoms. YOU need to take care of yourself and taking care of yourself requires more work than it ever did before.
You will find a lot of information on the internet. It is important, however, to filter it and double check everything you read. I never trust one source only. Besides, there are different types of Celiacs and they seem to write different things about this illness. I recognize two main groups:
Group 1 – is serious about their condition. They accept the fact that they are ill and they research on how to heal and live free from inflammation. They create a new reality rather than try to get ‘back to normal’. They know that conventional food is oriented on making money rather than keeping people healthy. They realize that they need to reach beyond the ‘gluten free’ sign on the package.
Group 2 – believes that replacing all conventional gluten containing food with their manufactured gluten free equivalents is the only change they have to make to feel good again.
What I have learnt so far is that there is no ‘going back to normal’ anymore. Nothing will ever be as it used to be. Cry, scream, get angry, punch something if you have to (or use it in a gym if you have energy for that) and accept it.
Every celiac patient seems to have different symptoms. There are no two identical cases. Although there are people who do have a lot of symptoms in common, there is no standard list that counts for everyone. Apparently, I would be the kind of Celiac who does not have any symptoms (apart of: migraines, occasional tummy cramps, fatigue, muscle weakness, unexplained muscle pains that immobilize me for days, nerve damage, joints infections, PMS, panic attacks, claustrophobia, bloating, rapid spikes/drops in sugar level, food digestion disorders, food allergies, depressions, skin rash, body swelling, memory problems, compromised vision, malnutrition, anemia and 100 other symptoms) and therefore it took 30 years to diagnose me. It seems that having many symptoms is called ‘no symptoms’ nowadays. Thanks docs!
I believe that depending on the amount and severity of your symptoms – you will or will not do EVERYTHING that is in your power to heal yourself and feel good again. Depending on health issues that occurred among your family members (my grandma died from cancer of the digestion track, my cousin was lucky to be diagnosed with celiac just after she was born, my mum has every possible symptom of celiac diseases but she refuses to test herself and it hurts me to watch her suffer) you will or you will not stay away from gluten, and other ingredients used by the food industry that compromise your health, even if that means being called food/diet extremist by others. Your main and utmost important motivation is to be able to have a life again, to function like everybody else does, to be able to do your work and have fun with your friends. And the truth is that as long as you will not take a good care of your health – these things will remain compromised.