No 2 Celiacs are the Same

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We have a saying in my house:

“What works well for our family, doesn’t work well for another.”

The same mentality and ideals can be applied to Celiac Disease and the people diagnosed with it. Not every one has the same symptoms and not everyone treats the disease with the same scope of reference. Some hide it, some wear it and some are all up in your face about it. The one thing that can be said for Celiac Disease and all the people affected by it is that:

No two Celiacs are alike when it comes to diagnosis, treatment and symptoms.

There is never a right or wrong way to talk about Celiac Disease, there is only an individual with it and how they talk about it. We all have varying options and opinions on how to deal and treat our gluten-free lifestyle. Though, the one common truth is that Celiac Disease is misunderstood. It’s misunderstood by the person standing opposite of you. The person who also has the disease and handles it in a differing fashion.

2 celiacs
2 celiacs

The mystery of Celiac is still out there. It’s best to ask questions and it’s best to be honest with how you answer them. Those questions don’t just have to be within the Celiac community, it can be asked by the outside world too. I get asked at least once a week about why I’m gluten-free and what Celiac is.

Somedays celiac disease sucks and somedays having Celiac is an amazing experience. Our daily thoughts are governed by the way food is presented to us and with Celiacs the only ones we can usually trust is ourselves, with our choice of food and the people who handle our food. We read food labels when we walk into a strange kitchen we hammer out questions to the chef at our friend’s house. Celiac is a special kind of beast that forces you to interact.

Maintaining a gluten-free diet and lifestyle is the key importance to a Celiac’s health and sometimes not everybody gets that. That one simple rule really gets lost in transition to those who. Just. Don’t. Get. Celiac. Disease. When presenting Celiac to an outsider, or a rookie on the matter the big picture isn’t seen and we can be labelled as ‘whiners’.

We’re not whiners. Individuals diagnosed with Celiac are just people with options on their food and how they like it and how Celiac has affected their lives. We discuss it, we don’t whine about it.

Which leads me back to how we all handle our Celiac differently and that is the culmination of how NO two diagnosed Celiacs are alike. Both in terms of how they talk about their food and how they care about their food. How the disease affects them personally and how it affects their family and friends.

Forward this article to someone who doesn’t understand that.

Gluten and all the Cross Contamination

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It’s not very often a personality or celiac/gluten-free writer like myself gets to go out into the world of culinary skills and impart some kind of wisdom. If there is something I am not, it’s a chef or baker or any kind of wizard in the kitchen. I was granted the opportunity to tell a group of individuals about the potential dangers of gluten cross contamination.

There was a time when I wrote an article for a magazine. That article was about how a kitchen was ‘dirty’ with gluten. Gluten in the form of wheat flour and how really, in the grande scheme of things gluten cross contamination was inevitable. That article never saw the light of day because it was decided that no one wanted to infer that restaurant kitchens are dirty. But if anyone was to read the article and look below the surface, the ‘dirt’ being considered was in fact gluten.

If there is ever a time to talk about gluten cross contamination, it is now (actually, its always).

At a time when the celiac and their 100% gluten-free diet can sometimes be held at the same level as someone who doesn’t need to medically be on said diet. Yes, ‘trendy’ and ‘fad’ get thrown around. It’s both a blessing and a curse. Restaurants are now seeing that there is a need to comply with customers like the medically diagnosed gluten free eaters. I have Celiac Disease and I need to eat 100% gluten-free and a crumb the size of a pencil point can harm me. It can throw my whole body out of whack. It could be days, or weeks. That’s the special prize you get with Celiac: you never know what’s going to happen to you when you ingest gluten, and you never know for how long.

I was able to take these new kitchen minds and tell them about my woes at a restaurant and the concerns that Celiacs have when they eat out. Shared food kitchens are common in the dining industry, so someone has to make it known that a gluten-free diet is as important as a person with a peanut allergy. Yes, an individual could possible die from peanuts, and the kitchen staff knows this and takes the precaution to eliminate it from the dish being served.

Since my Celiac Disease isn’t written across my face when I eat gluten, should that make it any less severe than a peanut allergy?

I don’t require medical attention and I don’t go into anaphylaxis when I ingest gluten. The damage done to me on my insides is invisible. It could disrupt my whole digestive system and agitate my stomach. I could be in the bathroom fart, pooping or throwing up and then not spending anytime with my wife an daughter. Because I was given gluten the size of a pen tip, all my plans to spend time with my family has been shot down.

What about work? How do I go to my job when my stomach has been bloated out due to gas build-up? Now I miss time off work.

That ONE LITTLE CRUMB does more than damage my villi, it affects every person down the line. Anyone who might be connected to rely on me.

Celiac Disease isn’t pretty (especially when I talk about farting and pooping), but thats the way it goes. If no one takes the time to tell a rookie chef the potential dangers of disregarding gluten, then, where does it end? If the proper protection and care of a gluten-free meal is given to that one meal, imagine the look on that customer’s face. Imagine how they feel when they can safely eat a meal at a restaurant?

As a father who makes gluten-free pancakes every Sunday, I thrive on having those eating them being satisfied. I have to assume a person, a chef making my meal, my safe gluten-free meal at a restaurant must feel the same when they create, plate and serve.

To the people, students, professionals and chefs that listens to me for an hour. Waxing on about gluten and gluten cross contamination. They are now the people at the fore-front who will take what i told them and pass it on as they continue on their career paths in the kitchen: at home or at work. As long as they got something from me and passed along an iota of the information abut gluten and the potential dangers of cross contamination for Celiacs and the medical diagnosed gluten-free eaters, then, awesome.

Family vs. Celiac Disease

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You’d like to think that everyone in your family is understanding when it comes to you as an individual. A lot of the time, that isn’t the case. Your Aunt might not always seem to get why you like gore-filled horror movies or your father-in-law can’t get past the fact or understand that you enjoy playing video games until all hours of the night. These are the same facts that make us all different, and everyone IS different and everyone is entitled to do what they like, but the support of a family is sometimes lost when you come at them with your celiac disease and your need to be gluten-free.

Is a question of misunderstanding or do they even care?

Younger family members are influenced by those around them and when the adults put down or discourage gluten-free food, it shows. Teenaged cousins turning their nose up at the gluten-free alternative to turkey stuffing when they haven’t even tried it. Just the idea of gluten-free is enough to turn the stomach… this is all when the diagnosed celiac is sitting across the table. The tried and true method of picking out someone who is uneducated is the family member who sneers and the milk because another person said it was gluten-free. Let me tell you why you look like an idiot:

  1. Milk is naturally gluten-free. You’ve been drinking it all your life.
  2. You’re an idiot.

Having a supportive family member outside your immediate family that understands the severity  of celiac disease and gluten cross contamination is important. It could mean a matter of sickness and health at family barbecues. Because the extended family can sometimes be your worst enemy when it comes to promoting a positive experience with ANY kind of gluten-free food. It’s not bad enough that you have defend celiac disease to others not related, so why does it have to be with blood relatives?

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Holidays should be about joy, but sometimes because of celiac and they way others might perceive it, they’re not.

Families not caring about wether the same flipper for the hamburgers was used for the regular buns should at least be a concern as opposed to a passing thought when a diagnosed celiac is at the party. This isn’t a dinner party with unknown people, it’s family. It’s blood. It’s people who have loved and cared for each other for years, decades even. It’s just too bad there might be those few people in the family that ruin holidays for celiacs.

There are incidents when you’ll here people showing their true colours. Having to serve gluten-free food to people who just aren’t willing to accept change is a great indicator of that. Even my daughter is willing to try the potato soup after saying she didn’t like it. If they’re not eating the corn because it’s gluten-free and that’s only because they’ve heard that gluten-free food tastes like cardboard… there is something terribly wrong with the relationship and somewhere down the line they have been grossly misinformed.

Your family knows you have celiac, so why do they have to be so critical?

You want to maintain a healthy relationship, but at every holiday or get together it always seems to be: FAMILY vs. CELIAC. Sometimes you have to just cut the cord and let them know your disease is important and they should at least acknowledge it with a smile, not a sneer. When family members get to the point of just. Not. Caring. it’s time that your diagnosed celiac disease wins the battle.

I Love my Gluten-Free Breakfasts

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I’m just a gluten-free man, and there is nothing wrong with any of that. Especially when it comes to the best time of the day: morning. I am a straight up morning guy (I was never like that in my early teens. Now as a 35 year old man I can barely make it to 10pm) and what happens in the morning? BREAKFAST. YAH!

Being gluten-free doesn’t mean ALL of the food in the world is off limits to me. Sure, I can’t eat just any old cereal you pull out of the pantry. It’s gotta say gluten-free on the box and it’s got to taste good. Having to eat gluten-free cereal doesn’t mean that I have to eat the terrible cardboard flavoured gluten-free cereal. Breakfast is the best meal of the day so the food has to taste the exact same way (gluten-free or not).

Milk and eggs are gluten-free, so stop asking me if I can still have them. It really is crazy how much that question gets asked of me. Even people I’ve been telling the same story to since my celiac diagnosis in 2009, “Yes I can have mushrooms” “Yes, I can have chocolate milk”. Those are the joys of having celiac disease: constant repetition.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it gets your body going after a long night of sleeping and resting and growing and revitalizing. That nourishment you pile into your face at 7am is important for the rest of the day, so treat it with the best gluten-free food you can find: bacon. Bacon is so versatile. You can add the magical tastes to all kinds of foods: cupcakes and cookies. You see that chefs wrap steak with it and even alcoholic drinks have the taste of bacon. Infusing anything with bacon is the best choice for any meal. You just have to remember that breakfast is important for anyone on the planet. No matter if the food is gluten-free or not.

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I love gluten-free pancakes and Mickey Mouse

 

You could search a thousand years and never find the perfect gluten-free pancake mix. If you’re that homeless looking, long bearded sage-type man who has travelled the world seeking a perfect pancake, look no further than any of the gluten-free variety. My house has gluten-free pancakes every Sunday and even the folks in my home who don’t need to be GF eat these pancakes and have NEVER found a better wheat flour version. I just saved that time traveller years of toiling and trolling through the aisles of every grocery store to find the perfect pancake.

The perfect pancake is a gluten-free one.

If bacon gives you life; pancakes are love.

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LOVE these pancakes (click the image to find out what brand I use)

 

Having celiac doesn’t mean that I turn my nose up at any breakfast food that comes my way. I’m just a regular due who is telling you that the BEST gluten-free foods are the ones that come in those early morning hours. True, you can have bacon and pancakes for any meal; if you cook them in the morning, make a terrible mess in the kitchen, the whole house will smell of breakfast-y goodness for the rest of the day. Thats a King Gluten Free guarantee.

Not everyone eats cereal in the morning, or has an omelette. Some people opt for a protein shake or kale smoothie or oatmeal. And that’s cool with me. You eat whatever you want to eat. For me, I’ll eat whatever I want to eat in the morning, as long as it’s gluten-free, it’s fine by me.

Hell, just the other day I made a hamburger for breakfast. Gluten-free bun. Ketchup, mustard and a dill pickle. It’s my morning and my diet, I’ll do what I want.

Just check out my instagram.

Gluten-Free? Nah. Eat What You Want.

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Hey! Eat what you want. I won’t judge you.

Here’s a tip: If you have celiac disease, the only way to treat it is with a 100% gluten-free diet.

If you have celiac disease then you already know that tip and you know the repercussions to your body when you ingest gluten. Some celiacs ignore this simple fact/rule and eat gluten-filled food. And some celiacs take this rule very seriously.

Not all celiacs are built the same, we can all have different symptoms, but some of us think that gluten doesn’t affect us in as many or deadly or even painful ways as we might think. Cheating isn’t acceptable when on a gluten-free diet for medical reasons. You have to maintain a proper GF diet in order to maintain a healthy body (and celiac disease isn’t without is health issues when you have to stop eating gluten) and cutting gluten from your menu.

If you have celiac disease guess what? You CAN eat whatever the hell you want.

Sure you have to avoid gluten, but there are no celiac police.

You have to know though; eating gluten when you have to avoid it causes all kinds of problems inside your body. even when you can’t see it. I’ll even quote my own blog post:

200 symptoms ranging from bloating, nausea and diarrhea to stiff joints, migraines and skin ailments. A whole smorgasbord of complications to the body. Prolonged internal exposer can lead to cancer, malformed cells, chronic pain and even fatal more complicated illnesses.

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You have celiac disease and need to eat gluten-free but you don’t care about being sick: eat a Big Mac. FYI, It’s NOT gluten-free.

You’re the one who is fully capable of deciding what is safe to eat. Today’s technology makes it able to talk to anyone in the world and find out if our food is actually safe for consumption. Almost every food product on the market has a customer help line labeled right there on the package. So there is no real excuse for you to know what is safe and what isn’t.

The only ones who need help in this respect are children with celiac disease, in the infancy of their diagnosis, foods are confusing. Imagine a five year old who has celiac disease and can’t read a ‘gluten-free’ label? A three year old who has to have all of their food handled by a capable person. I feel for children with celiac disease because I know what it’s like to handle my own celiac diagnosis and gluten-free food.

But…

Just because you have to be gluten-free to be healthy doesn’t mean you have to eat gluten-free food. Just eat whatever you want, make yourself sick. Go nuts. The only person you’re hurting is yourself. Don’t worry, celiac disease isn’t that serious anyway you’ll probably outgrow it… said no smart person ever.

It all boils down to that fact that you do whatever you want to your body: tattoos, piercing, spiked hair, cosmetic surgery, eat glass. Who cares really? You know what you’re doing. In the case of a gluten-free diet and this whole “celiac disease” thing, you know whats up.

Celiac disease is a life long disease and the only prescription is a gluten-free diet.


I have always wanted to write a book about celiac awareness. Sometimes I talk about it finally and eventually making one, and sometimes I keep my mouth shut about it. I did write one. It was a way to get my thoughts out there and to see what my idea of celiac awareness was about. This article is actually a longer version of a page in my book that I did in fact write. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it. -Jordan

Deep Fried Gluten-Free Maple Cookies

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You might know by now that I am a co-host of a local television show, along with the incredibly professional and lovely Jennifer Anderson, in my home town called Georgina Life that airs on Rogers TV. You might also know that I am not a chef of any kind, but like to just make up food as I go along. You can see a lot of that terrible food magic in my Instagram pictures and now, see me work my gluten-free kitchen magic via this great YouTube video provided by Rogers TV.

I used 2 eggs for the wash, XO Baking gluten-free Pancake mix for the coating and Walmart brand maple cookies for the, well, cookies.

-Jordan

 

I am a Man Who Has Celiac Disease

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Take a look at me and see that I am bearded, six feet tall and look the part of a manly dude who chops wood, drinks beer and builds backyard decks. If you took some time, searched the internet and payed attention to the whole ‘plot’ of this website, looked beneath the surface and you’d also see that I have celiac disease and I need to eat 100% gluten-free.

No one has told me to my face that I am less manly because I have to eat gluten-free, but sometimes you get the distinct impression that people look at me and think it is less than manly to avoid gluten. Let me tell you; it’s not. If you think that men don’t get celiac disease; you’d be wrong. Women just happen to be diagnosed with celiac 3 to 4 more times then men because women go to the doctor more. Men tend to avoid the doctor for simple ailments and let the problem get out of hand. Maybe even get to the point where the small ‘thing’ can develop into something deadly. Women see their doctors yearly for check-ups, men just tend to not do any of that. I am a man I can vouch for that fact. The only reason I ended up going to the doctors and eventually getting diagnosed with celiac is because my wife pressed me multiple times to go see someone for my symptoms.

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This is me. I have Celiac Disease.

 

If I eat gluten I get sick and it affects my whole body from the top of my head to tip of my toes. It’s possible that prolonged exposure to gluten on my insides can cause grey hair or even sore feet (the symptoms of celiac disease are 200+, so you could see why it’s important to get checked and attempt to get diagnosed).  Its’a a terrible cycle that I don’t really want to go through. Sometimes I can feel the looks from the guys behind me in line at the liquor store when I plop my 6 pack of gluten-free beer on the counter. I don’t let it bother me.

Media has really put a spin on what a man should be. Ron Swanson with his canoe making and scotch drinking. The trend of beards and hairy chests. Look around and see that a man is supposed to be a lumberjack and drive a truck. Yes, I drive a truck, yes I have a beard, yes, I cut down trees and I have celiac disease. Does the celiac drop me down a notch? No.

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This is actor Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson

I’m a man, through and through and have never let celiac disease hold me back from tossing back a cold one or using a chainsaw to fell a tree. In fact, I have my chainsaw safety certificate, I was a licensed pesticide sprayer for 5 years… lets just say “I work outside”. Its something I like to do. Cut grass, drink beer, eat pizza. As long as it’s all gluten-free. I eat the same stereotypical food as a manly-man might; mine just happens to be gluten-free.

Having celiac disease has no effect on how much of a man I am and how I perform my duties as a man. When a person reads my t-shirt that says ‘gluten-free like a boss’ all the while I am covered in sweat, wood chips and holding a chainsaw, I still see the look in their eyes as they try to connect my appearance and job and how it might connect to gluten. There is usually the association of a gluten-free man to a thin, pale and nerdy looking individual.

Pigeonholing is never good.

Stereotyping is never good.

Look at me, I think I break the stereotype of what a man who avoids gluten could look like.

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I have always wanted to write a book about celiac awareness, and sometimes I talk about it, and sometimes I keep my mouth shut about it. As a way to get my thoughts out there and to see what my book was about. This article is actually a longer version of a page in my book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating and writing it. -Jordan

This Celiac Movie Idea

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Disabilities and diseases are things that can play a major player in a movie or a television show. Someone like the main character or secondary character can have something going on too (there really can be no end to it). Having someone important in the story, someone who is integral to the plot, have a disability of some kind is always a good way to pull on the heart strings and make the fight, the third act, a little bit more relatable and really lets the audience feel for the character. Just look at Life As a House, Rain Man and Glee for some great examples of this. It works for the story and it works for the audience. There is no denying this.

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If I ever had to make a movie with a main character with celiac disease, I could always write, direct and make my own.

 

I’d like to see celiac disease come out, have it’s day in the sun and be a part of the mainstream. Get the word out to a bigger crowd about this whole ‘celiac disease buzz and gluten-free diet’. Lets give celiac disease to a main character and see where they take it.

Here’s how I’d like to do it (or click HERE to see the time I came up with a cool zombie/celiac story idea):

The hero of the story has been glutened during some kind of family dinner and needs to go lie down in their room for a bit. While laying there, the hero hears commotion outside the window and and at that very same time witnesses a crime. In a panic, the hero calls the police and this whole crime case goes to trial.

While the courtroom drama plays out, the antagonist; the guy who was committing the crime, is harassing and eventually holds the celiac hero’s live-in partner (wife or husband, the gender of the hero isn’t really important) and daughter hostage. Defending lawyers claim that the glutening and the possibility of celiac brain fog played a part in the crime actually being witnessed. The movie is also a great courtroom drama about the legitimacy of celiac disease and it’s place in the medical community and it’s place within the populace. Is it real, is it not? Is celiac really a disease coupled with the gluten-free fad?

The bad guy doesn’t show up to the trial and the celiac hero comes home after the whole thing has been put on hold, due to the antagonist not showing up or making any sort of effort to confront it’s accuser. The hero arrives home to save the family it an epic third act ending combining elements of Cape Fear, Die Hard, Matrix and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The aim of the movie is to show everyone that, YES celiac disease is a real thing and YES people diagnosed with celiac can do ordinary and extra-ordinary things. They just happen to have celiac. And even though they are put on trial for it, celiac doesn’t change who they are.

Of course, in my head, the hero is six feet tall with a beard, handsome, Canadian, looks like me, it’s me. I came up with a movie about me and my celiac disease.

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I could act.

 

King Gluten Free: The Movie.


 I have always wanted to write a book about celiac awareness, and sometimes I talk about it, and sometimes I keep my mouth shut about it. As a way to get my thoughts out there and to see what my book was about. This article is actually a longer version of a page in my book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating and writing it. -Jordan

 

Celiac Symptoms: Did I Suffer from Brain Fog?

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I am unsure if in all my years of being undiagnosed with celiac disease I ever suffered from the dreaded brain fog I hear so much about. I have heard that it exists and that when a diagnosed celiac ingests gluten they can suffer from this crazy symptom.

But what is ‘celiac brain fog’?

Well, in classic and true celiac fashion, the symptoms of gluten induced brain fog can range on so many levels and affect celiacs in different ways, or not at all. I had to dig a bit to find out some details and came across an article from Allergic Living (which you can find by clicking HERE). Articles and papers that touch on celiac symptoms always centre on a specific ‘few’. Remembering that all diagnosed celiacs suffer differently.

Question: what triggers brain fog? eating gluten. If you have celiac disease and need to be 100% gluten-free and you accidentally or purposely eat gluten, you trigger a mess of symptoms in your body, and brain fog is one of them, or CAN be one of them.

Thinking about how others have been affected by brain fog and how I don’t think I have ever been in that situation… I looked back; pre-diagnosis, to see if maybe I did suffer from brain fog at some point. I can’t actively think about a time when this might have happened to me. Then I looked further and further back to the days I was in school.

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Here is me, way way way pre-diagnosis in elementary school (and a classic attempt to embarrass my sister). Look at those folded hands.

 

There is no denying any fact that i was never an ‘A’ student in both high school and elementary school. There was also never really a time when teachers and I got along.  I was never a bad kid, just a kid that had ‘room for improvement’. At best I was maybe a ‘C’. I never paid attention in class and maybe that was a part of the fact that I was undiagnosed with celiac disease until I was 27 years old. Well out of any school or educational system. That could or could not be attributed to undiagnosed celiac disease, or maybe I was just that kind of kid (we’d have to find a few of my old teachers to figure that out).

Pin pointing events in my childhood that could be attributed to undiagnosed celiac disease and brain fog is real tough. Over the course of my school days, there were never any real stories where I was ever confused or felt like I was lost in my own thoughts, or as brain fog suggests; just fogged. I guess I never just applied myself to my full potential. I was just a regular kid.

While brain fog is a symptom of celiac disease, I can almost say with the utmost positivity I have never experienced it. Celiacs that have suffered from it, recant stories of things that I can’t relate to. Terrible pooping and airship=like gas buildup yer, but brain fog seems to have been a sidestep for me.

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Me. High school. Probably 1998. Pre-beard. Pre celiac diagnosis. Photographed by the wonderful Jen Squires all the way back then (check out her website HERE).

 

That’s a plus for me, because I had a whole host of other issues.

With the 200+ symptoms of celiac disease, not everyone gets the same set. Every individual diagnosed with celiac disease usually presents differently and it affects them differently. That’s why it’s always important to get any symptom you suspect to get checked.

I have never suffered from brain fog and I empathize with celiacs that do and have. But that does’t mean I haven’t suffered due to undiagnosed celiac disease.

My symptoms were the exact opposite of my Mother who was diagnosed with celiac when she was 50 years old. Proof not every celiac suffers the same.

This is a part series (see a part HERE and HERE) where I will recant some classic stories from my past and you can see for yourself, that every celiac symptom might be different. And that there is no set symptom to be diagnosed. But maybe we share stories. If you have celiac disease, you’re not alone. There are a lot of us out there supporting you. We’re all in this together.

Celiac Symptoms: Every Headache I Ever Had

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Since I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008 and I was 27 years old, I often look back on my life at specific moments or events in my life and wonder about how bad I might have been glutened. I relate those times with my undiagnosed celiac and as I have grown to understand what my symptoms were and how I am now, I see now that I was just a walking-talking-ticking time bomb of a gluten ingested mess.

In the early 2000’s I was suffering from terrible headaches.

Sometimes they would be horrendous. Sometimes they would be light pains in the back of my skull. But at no time did I not have a headache. Some days it was just a way of life. Something I just put up with. What I do know, was that, all of it was annoying. I hated it.

Since it was close to a good half dozen years before my celiac diagnosis, doctors were still hesitant on what was causing all of this discomfort in the back of my head. I had blood tests. If I remember correctly, I had an MRI (or some scan like that. It was so many years ago) and I ended up on medication. This seemed to be the answer to all my problems.

If I knew then what I know now, I totally would have mentioned a food elimination diet. In those early years of 2000, I drank beer and ate pizza. I had sandwiches and ate Twix candy bars by the case. It’s not a reflection of how poor I ate but a reflection of all the food I was eating that contained gluten. Since I am now diagnosed with celiac disease and need to be 100% gluten-free, I kinda get the impression where my headache problems were coming from.

While I was taking medication for my headaches I was still eating gluten. The idea of celiac never entered into anyone’s mind at this point. So why would I care about gluten? I was around 22 years old, I had never even heard the word gluten.

Did the medicine help? Yes.

The one big issue with the medicine was that it was an anti-depressant.

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This is not a picture of me from the early 2000’s when I had all the headaches I’m talking about in the blog. It’s from the other day. Just a simulation. 🙂

I was never diagnosed with depression, but the doctor seemed to think that it would help with these unexplained headaches and pains. And, yes, as I stated; it did help with the headaches, and my wife said that the whole time I was on the drug I was a zombie. I just walked around like nothing really mattered and I was just living day to day. The headaches disappeared but this new kind of Jordan emerged.

I stopped taking the medication. And as far as I can remember, the headaches came and went. Sometimes stopping, sometimes staying. Always just kind of there.

Memories are funny. That was a time in my life where nothing out of the ordinary was happening and the pressure from work and life wasn’t any different from any other day. So why did I have headaches? There can be all kinds of answers, what it seems like is that the most common answer is that I was still a young man undiagnosed with celiac disease.

As an adult, I see that my headaches might not have been caused by undiagnosed celiac disease, but remember, headaches CAN be a symptom. Now-a-days I get headaches from stress or weather change or hangovers or dehydration or stress and I am 100% gluten-free due to my celiac disease and I still get headaches. Maybe more than a few of my headaches were caused by undiagnosed celiac disease. At the time my doctor didn’t connect the two, but knowing what I know now; there is a strong possibility some of my headaches were the result of me eating gluten when I should have been gluten-free because I hadn’t been diagnosed with celiac disease.

Now it’s just stress that causes me headaches.

And beer.

And stress.

This is the first a series (see part one HERE) over the next little while, where I will recant some classic stories from my past and you can see for yourself, that every celiac symptom might be different. And that there is no set symptom to be diagnosed. But maybe we share stories. If you have celiac disease, you’re not alone. There are a lot of us out there supporting you. We’re all in this together.

 

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