I am frequently asked whether I am diagnosed with Celiac Disease and I used to get sweaty when answering this question. People tend to listen when a doctor is backing you. They think it’s in your head if a doctor – any doctor – hasn’t given you a label. Many people have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, but I decided when I first started that I would not hop from doctor to doctor to doctor. That route is expensive and often leads to a trail of medications.
It’s a route that many people have found effective, but so many people have ended up frustrated. I believe in trying natural approaches first before running to the doctor. I believe my body has an incredible way of healing when given the right fuel. I had already started taking Shaklee vitamins in 2012 and had experienced a reverse in how my body was processing food. I had literally gone from getting sick from eating anything (think lettuce, veggies, fruit, ice cream, meat – anything) to finally being able to enjoy food again. I simply added in a good probiotic and started building up my vitamin and mineral levels. I knew my body was deficient in many things, but I didn’t understand why.
If you have read my account of going gluten free, then you know there were a few random (but not random) events that lead me to research Celiac Disease. I put the pieces together and cut gluten out of my diet. I had the worst migraine I had ever experienced five days after going gluten free, but I knew this was coming as it was my body’s first step in detoxing. My body had not been able to naturally detox while gluten was present.
The Challenge of Testing to Get Diagnosed with Celiac Disease
So, if I had finally figured out that gluten was causing so much havoc, then why would I not seek a diagnosis from a doctor? Currently, the only way to get a true diagnosis is to have gluten in your body. A doctor will either take one of four blood tests to determine if you have a higher level of certain antibodies (here are full details of the blood screening tests from Celiac.org) or a biopsy of the small intestine. Your body starts healing as soon as you remove gluten from your diet. It continues healing the longer you stay gluten free and correct any deficiencies you have from your digestive system not breaking down your food. It’s common to have vitamin deficiencies when you have Celiac Disease. Unfortunately, a blood test and biopsy often come back with a negative diagnosis for gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease if you do not have gluten in your body. Most doctors require you to eat loads of gluten for two weeks before they will run a test. Why on earth would I say yes to eating something that my body out right refuses that causes me pain? Why would I want to experience migraines, irritability, joint pain, weakness, a low immune system and a host of other awful symptoms?
Unfortunately, a blood test and biopsy often come back with a negative diagnosis for gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease if you do not have gluten in your body. Most doctors require you to eat loads of gluten for two weeks before they will run a test. Why on earth would I say yes to eating something that my body out right refuses that causes me pain? Why would I want to experience migraines, irritability, joint pain, weakness, a low immune system and a host of other awful symptoms?
My Body is Healing from Celiac Disease
I had already cut out gluten and was feeling so much better – my husband even noticed fewer mood swings – and refused to add gluten back in my diet. I stick by my decision to not seek a diagnosis until there is a better and more full proof method. The “cure” for Celiac Disease is to remove gluten from your diet, so I don’t need a diagnosis for special medications. Gluten free bread and other foods I eat are available at my grocery store. My body is proof that what I am doing is working.
- We did not know if I would be able to have another healthy pregnancy because of all the health issues I was having. God blessed us with our second beautiful daughter (who decided to go 15 days over her due date) in June 2016.
- I am building my body back up into the shape I was in before my last pregnancy, but I was in the best shape of my life last summer.
- My days include fewer migraines and they are directly related to a lack of sleep and holding onto stress.
- I remember things way better now than I did before having our first daughter and life, in general, is not as exhausting.
I have experienced many more blessings by going gluten free that I don’t need a diagnosis to confirm what I already know. I did talk to my general doctor about whether or not testing was beneficial and she said if what I’m doing is working, then don’t stop doing it! That was enough of an affirmation for me!
Do you have Celiac Disease? If so, did you get testing or a diagnosed? I’d love to hear your story and how your journey is going!