Yes I Am
For me, there is no choice. Gluten is poison. It tried to kill me in the most painful way imaginable. I was ill for 11 years before I was diagnosed properly, and I had to request the blood test myself. The nurse had no idea what I was talking about. My Gastroenterologist wasn't even the one who had that pleasure (he was later found guilty of Medicare fraud and I'm not surprised. I don't believe in most medical litigation, but in this case I'm pretty sure he kept me ill; a colleague of his looked at my file and said "You don't have Irritable Bowel. You don't belong here." And that was that. I had spent a tremendous amount of money on medications with no real names, and time under anesthesia. I'd sue if it wasn't so long ago). So. When I sound passionate about it, it's because the medical profession not only failed me, but almost killed me. I was 107lbs, and I would black out from the pain about once a day.
No, You Don't Have to Suffer Like I Did
Celiac is one of many different disorders caused by wheat--celiac is specific to gluten which is also in rye, spelt, triticale, and barley. There are several ongoing double blind, peer reviered studies on the effects of gluten on the body. For some it manifests as sub-clinical generalized inflammatory issues; achy joints. Others it can cause diabetes, migraines, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, white matter lesions, thyroid disorders, lupus...I'm not getting in to the list because it's not really my point (but I will tell you the studies are conducted in places like Johns Hopkins< Mayo Clinic, and Oxford). If you give the diet change a try and you feel better, run with it! But be careful in talking about it. You feel great, and you want to share this feeling. Some people will defend their jelly roll to the point of the absurd, and here's where I'm approaching my point.
No, this isn't about "you, you, or you", so stand down. If you're upset by what I'm about to say, then maybe you need to take that into consideration.
It's something I've been coming across more and more as people have started to go gluten free, or even gluten less. Others get downright mean. "Not you, Kendra, I don't mean you because, like, you'd die...but those other people," as though the severity of my reaction grants me some kind of immunity (it doesn't. I still get attacked). But I've witnessed it happening to others.
"You don't -really- need to be gluten free, it's not like you get sick." Maybe they don't get your personal, unprofessional qualification of "sick" but for them, the consequences are just not worth it. And guess what? I didn't start with sudden violent illness. It was a frog in a pot. If I could go back to that one day in college when I realized something wasn't quite right, I'd have had a FAR better quality of life and would have saved tens of thousands of dollars on medical bills.
"You went to all that trouble to get a gluten free plate of food and now you're having a brownie?!" Guess what? There's a pill. Guess what else? Some people have limited tolerance for gluten, so they are gluten free all day, and save it for that one brownie (that they may still pay for later, but damn). Personally I explain myself about the pill, but that's me.
"You didn't get diagnosed by a doctor so you don't have it. Self-diagnosis doesn't count." That one baffles me. Just shut up.
"What is it with this fad? It's just the newest thing." Ok, then let it go. In the meantime, some of the 97% currently undiagnosed cases are getting diagnosed properly, rather than having a fist full of highly expensive secondary illnesses put on their already strained budgets.
And some people go back and forth on and off the diet. Why? I don't know. It's none of my damn business. Does that annoy me? Yes. But only because the litany of complains about feeling sick, crampy, achy, rheumy, lethargic ensues and I lack the patience for that. It also encourages the bullies.
Show some respect. If someone wants to go gluten free, it has NOTHING to do with you. It has EVERYTHING to do with feeling better. One of the side effects I did not expect after being gluten free was, for the first time in years, feeling happy. At peace. I had a sense of well-being, I had energy, and my depression was gone. I remember telling my mom that I wondered if it was that elation that people felt when they "found God". I had no idea my ring size would drop from a 7 to a 6 because my knuckles aren't slightly swollen any more.
I stopped posting on Facebook about most of this. It became such a hot button for some people, that the comments being made and the aggression shown was scaring people away from the topic completely. Those who wished to continue to talk and learn would contact me privately, and that was enough. I'm sad about this, because there are people who are interested, but I don't want people to feel like they will be treated like a lemming for doing what is right for themselves.
If you don't like to listen to someone garble on about how much better they feel when they don't eat gluten WHILE eating a plate of pancakes, well, welcome to my world. You can learn to ignore them just like I do.
For the love of all that is holy STOP picking fights. It's not helping anyone, and it's only scaring people away from something that might actually be beneficial to them.
I don't hate anyone who is gluten free for whatever reasons they choose to be. It's your body. You choose. I will gladly shepherd you along your journey if you wish. I will, however, kindly usher you out of my life if you choose to make it an issue. I've done my reading. I know what I'm talking about.