Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Health Wise

I ran into a neighbor on my morning walk recently and she said- "I hear you are a celiac, I was just diagnosed 6 months ago."

I hadn't thought about my disease in several years. I was diagnosed about 8-9 years ago and have simply learned to live with it. It is an allergy to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats. The reaction to eating gluten can vary in intensity from person to person. Mostly (for me) it involves gastro-intestinal distress in all of its lovely forms. Some people lose tremendous amounts of weight as their small intestines are decimated. Some have all sorts of symptoms from rashes to migraines. The scariest part is the long term consequences. Because the villi in the small intestine are being destroyed, the uptake of nutrition is impeded so that you are open to other problems like osteoporosis, anemia, dramatic weight loss, etc. (I could go into this but it is medical and boring.)

So I started researching again as I haven't looked in years. I am finding more information on the disease and how people are living with it. Certainly the shopping choices have expanded. Almost every grocery store has a gluten free section. For the most part I have made do with rice, but some of the gluten free breads are almost like the real thing. What I am waiting for is a good gluten free pizza dough. I do have a recipe for the best wheat free cookies you have EVER tasted in your life- peanut butter and chocolate chip!

My friend Michelle and fellow blogger Cookie Sunshine have decided to devote more energy to their health and losing weight. I think that isn't such a bad thing. As a matter of fact it is a good thing. I think I should join them in their quest for health and start being extra careful about what I ingest. I have always described myself as intolerant as opposed to a true celiac because my symptoms are not as severe as some. But I am afraid the lack of symptoms is masking what I am doing to myself. It is those long term consequences that will really get you.

I didn't have a photo of myself in poor health, so this is Henry wearing the dreaded Elizabethan Collar.


Michelle said...

Did you nibble on a wedge of pita again?
Did you get that last website I sent you? The bakery?
I feel very inadequate if you think you are not doing enouugh for your health.

SMC said...

For a couple of weeks I have been having an issue. (I'll skip the gory details) I don't know what I ate but I have been doing bad things- unnamed substances at the Chinese restaurant, going out to eat in PEI where I mistakenly bit into a toast, eating those nummy breads at breakfast with you. Who knows what has caused this, or if they didn't all gang up to remind me that I can't handle gluten. Yes, I did see that bakery. Thanks for the tip. Usually going local is cheaper though so I don't have to pay postage.

Tammie Lee said...

It is my sense that many folks have intolerance to wheat and sugar, dairy and more. For some the intolerance is more obvious. The best is when we eat in a way that makes us feel good!
Wishing you the best!