Sunday, September 18, 2011

Welcome to Gluten Free Explorer!

Hi there,
My name is Angee and I have started this blog to reach out to all of those in their various stages of gluten free exploration. In this blog I will share with you: relevant news, tips as well as experiences on gluten free travel and dining, recipes, product info, and personal insights. 
Maybe you are curious about all of the fuss surrounding gluten and being gluten free. Perhaps you have an interest in a healthier gluten free life style. Maybe you have a sensitivity or you are a member of the celiac/sprue community. All are welcome to explore here!

For this first post I would like to share some information about what celiac disease is, the symptoms, the treatment, and my personal story.
I have celiac disease and have been gluten free for about 3 years now.  Great news, there is life after gluten! Many find that it is a much happier and healthier life style. I know I sure do.
Celiac Disease or Sprue is a genetic autoimmune disorder in which the body incorrectly reacts to gluten ( a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye)  as if it were a toxin. On average celiac disease or gluten sensitivity effects about 1:130 people, many still undiagnosed. Those that go undiagnosed maybe high risk for an array of maladies and disorders.
Some symptoms of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity are: gas, diarrhea, bloating, weight loss or gain, rash, fatigue, weakness, headaches, infertility, abnormal uterine bleeding, gall bladder troubles, kidney issues, liver problems, depression, anxiety, abdominal cramping, bone pain, anemia, muscle spasms, and nerve pain. This disease effects people of all ages, genders, and nationalities.
To receive a diagnosis you must, while still eating gluten, have blood tests followed by a biopsy of the small bowel to see if the intestinal lining has sustained damage. Once diagnosed the only recourse is to follow a gluten free diet. There is no quick fix pill to take.
This is a drastic life style change and it is normal to experience a certain amount of grief. It helps to take a step back an appreciate the trade off...for me, though I will tell you sometimes I am heartsick for yummy foods I used to adore, it is worth it!

 At the height of my celiac distress I believed with all my being I was going to die. I was having  constant muscle pain and spasms, nerve pain, intestinal distress of all sorts, rashes, debilitating weakness and fatigue, headaches, uncontrollable uterine bleeding, fertility problems, IgA Nephropathy, and yes depression and anxiety. 

Doctors couldn't figure out my problem and so many times I was told I was simply depressed, I had fibromyalgia, I needed to lose weight. None of the physicians wanted to hear " I am depressed because not a one of you can tell me what is wrong. No I don't believe it is just something to be written off as fibromyalgia, and I bet my diet is better than yours." Many docs thought I was just looking for pain pills. I couldn't get them to hear me. 
My husband had to do research from the home-front. After many long hours he discovered celiac disease and we became armed with info that I believe saved my life. Being informed forces busy doctors to hear what you have to say! 

For those of you still struggling for answers as to why you feel so poorly, you are paying for these Doc's services. Make sure they are willing to work for you or shop around and find one that is willing to put in the work towards getting your needs met.  If you think this might be the root of your aliments tell them you want to be tested and start on your path to wellness!
I look forward to exploring this lifestyle with you!
*This information is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek medical advice from a physician.


  1. Welcome to the GF Blogging World! You'll find a huge support system out here. Great to meet you!

  2. Thanks so much! Glad to be a part of the community! :)

  3. Angie,glad you pursued a diagnosis! How similar your story sounds ... been there! I'm sure your blog will be a help to many.