Start of a Journey: Discussions on Celiac Disease

If there is one thing I have learned over the last several years after my diagnosis with celiac disease, it is that this disorder is so complex and causes so many different challenges to the body that even those who have been diagnosed and struggled with the disorder for years still find that their knowledge may not explain all the questions and concerns that they uncover going forward in their lives. I still have so many questions that my physician cannot easily answer or that science hasn't discovered an answer for yet that I find trying to explain the condition to some one who has never had it and make sure they truly understand feels near impossible for a few reasons. One reason is that every person with celiac sprue is different and exposure, heredity, years before diagnosis, and past eating habits can make a really big difference in how the disease is perceived and managed. The confusion that some people feel from knowing both individuals with celiac disease and also from knowing individuals with gluten sensitivity and not knowing the differences between the two disorders as well as the other differences mentioned above is truly understandable. After some recent conversations with a few friends and a wonderful Relief Society President, I have decided to try and take the opportunity to explain the basics about the disorder but also to explain how it affects me... understanding that my experience is not nor can it be the same as anyone elses. My symptoms, my challenges all may be different from the majority of other patients. What I can do is try my best to explain what I do know to the best of my ability- allowing people to correct me in the comments or mention their own experiences and try to start a conversation that will bring more understanding and acceptance for those of us who struggle with it, but also to those around us... who want to help and are not sure how and don't really understand what all the fuss is about anyway. :)

So I am going to break down the information into different posts based on topic and space as its actually a lot of a convoluted information. I will try and cover the most common symptoms as well as sister disorders. I think it's also worthwhile covering long term problems, foods both allowed and unacceptable, and other topics that may become a part of the life of someone with celiac disease. If anyone reading this has questions, wants to add things, etc... please do not hesitate to comment. Let's start a conversation and help and educate each other! That will make the effort that I am putting forth now worthwhile and a joy indeed.

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