Five Good Reasons To Get Tested For Celiac Disease

Five good reasons to get tested for celiac disease
Written by Janelle Holden of BodyMindLove

“So your grandmother had lupus …” my naturopath said.

“Yes,” I nodded. “She found out in her late thirties.”

“And your sensitivities to gluten were high on the food allergy panel … ” she continued.

Again, I nodded.

She closed my file and said. “I think you need to get tested for celiac disease.”

And I did. I am one of the lucky ones. I only went to one doctor and had one simple blood test to confirm the disease.

Celiac_InfographicMost people with celiac will wait an average of 7 to 10 years and go through multiple doctors to find out what is really troubling them.

They may be plagued by digestive disorders or they may have symptoms that seem entirely unrelated to the digestive system. Or, they may have no symptoms at all.

But let me back up a minute, because I’m assuming you even know what celiac disease is. It might be helpful to first explain what it is NOT.

It is not an allergy to gluten.

It is not gluten intolerance.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. And what an autoimmune disorder really means is that the body can’t tell the difference between a foreign invader (like gluten) and its own healthy tissues. And so it creates antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue.

With celiac, the healthy tissue destroyed is in the small intestine. The tiny finger-like villi in the small intestine that help absorb the nutrients in food get flattened when someone with celiac eats wheat, rye, or barley.

And when people don’t get proper nutrition for a length of time … they can develop all sorts of other chronic conditions and disease. Which is why celiac disease manifests in so man different ways. It may be the root cause of skin rashes and dermatitis. It may be the root cause of lupus and other autoimmune disorders. It may be the root cause of headaches and dental abnormalities. It may be the root cause of gas that smells so bad it will clear a room.

Ahem …

So, how do you know if you have celiac disease? You can a.) Get a genetic test to see if you carry the genes for celiac (if you don’t then you don’t have it) b.) Get your blood or stool tested for specific antibodies (have your doctor order a Transglutaminase Assay Panel) c.) Have a biopsy of your small intestine to see if there is damage consistent with celiac disease.

But, before you get tested: Do not stop eating gluten. The blood, stool, and biopsy
tests won’t be as accurate if you do.

Why should you get tested? Here are the top 5 reasons:

1. Celiac disease is much more common than you think. Recent research discovered that 1 in every 133 people has celiac disease. It’s the most common disease that remains undiagnosed in the United States. It’s not a rarity.

2. You have an autoimmune disorder or have a family member with celiac or another autoimmune disorder: Autoimmune conditions tend to run in families. One of the reasons my naturopath ordered testing for me was because my grandmother had lupus. If someone in your family has celiac disease, it’s time to get tested.

3. You are already gluten intolerant. Many people who discovered that they couldn’t handle gluten, dropped eating it before they got tested and now the tests aren’t accurate. Except … for the genetic test. You can find out. And if it’s in your genes, your family members may need to know.

4. You need a better reason to not “cheat” with gluten. I can’t tell you how many people tell me that they can just have a little bit of gluten now and then because they are just gluten-intolerant (not celiac). But how do they know that cheating won’t actually lead to the disease manifesting? It’s entirely possible that they could carry the gene for the disease and need to stop cheating in order to make sure that they keep a healthy digestive system.

5. You’re sick and you don’t know why. Nearly 350 symptoms are related to grain sensitivities. As the infographic from GlutenDude shows, many of the symptoms have nothing to do with digestive problems. It’s a simple blood test to find out. Go get it done!

Janelle Holden is president and founder of BodyMindLove coaching where she helps people with food sensitivities and celiac disease grab control of their diets and their lives. She helps people fall in love with health and wellness so that they can look and feel their best. Her weekly eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. If you are ready to take your body and your life to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at http://janelleholden.com.

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Celiac Awareness Month – May 2013

National Foundation For Celiac Awareness has a month-long campaign going in celebration of Celiac Awareness Month 2013.

Please check out their website for valuable information regarding Celiac Disease and how you can help yourself and your family from the effects of Celiac Disease.

Here’s an overview of some of the great things you will find on the Celiac Awareness month’s page:

  • 2013 Celiac Awareness Month Toolkit (free download!)
  • Fuel the Family: Blogger Campaign
  • Gluten-Free Product of the Day
  • Celiac Awareness Month Events (including the upcoming free webinar, “Gluten-Free Menu Planning: Budget-Friendly Tips”)

I hope you all will go and check out this page as it has tons of useful information on it all the time not just during the month of May.

Looking forward to sharing the great information with all of you this month.

Michelle

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April Blog Hop at BloggyMoms!

Come and join the fun!  Connect with other moms out there and get noticed.  Join the April Blog Hop.

a mom blog community!

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3-month Conscious Box Giveaway!

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Conscious Box approached me with a very special offer just for YOU! They are sponsoring a giveaway for a 3-month subscription to Conscious Box for one lucky reader! That’s a $59 value! But don’t worry if you don’t win the raffle, you can still be a winner as they are offering a 25% discount on a Conscious Box subscription.  Just use code – LOVELIFE when checking out. Win! Win!

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How does Conscious Box work??

Conscious Box is the best way to discover the most ethical and sustainable products on the planet! Focusing on strict tenets of organic, fair trade, and pure and natural products, each month Conscious Box will introduce you to healthy and honest alternatives for every aspect of your life and for every member of your family. Discover the best natural products, earn points for leaving feedback and reviews, and buy your favorites at incredible discounts!

  • Get a variety of unique pure & natural products every month!
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  • Get content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative ways to use your box!
  • Easily earn points you can apply to full size products for unbeatable discounts!

Next month, Conscious Box is presenting its very special Earth Day box! Inside, you’ll find incredible products that help you lighten your footprint and better show love to Mother Earth. From scrumptious snack alternatives to ultra-conscious home products, the April Earth Box will introduce you exciting new things in the world of green!

They also have vegan and gluten-free options, not to mention they are 100% recycled, they’re ink’s are made with veggies and they say “NO to GMO’s”. Totally great!

I have not actually tried Conscious Box yet but I have heard some really great things about their products.  I have not been monetarily compensated for writing this post, but will be receiving a free 1-month subscription box for my time.

Sorry to all you international readers, but Conscious Box currently does not ship to Canada or Europe, but be on the look out for that to happen soon.

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Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any product defects or shipping problems that may arise from your order.  I do not work for Conscious Box.

And the WINNER is………. KAY LYNN AKERS!!!  Congratulations, you are the winner of a 3-month subscription to Conscious Box.  I will be in touch shortly with details about your prize.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this raffle.

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Sex and the Celiac: Dating Tips for the Gluten-Free

Sex and the Celiac: Dating Tips for the Gluten-Free

When you have celiac disease or another gluten-related disorder, dating can be fairly tricky. With so much focus on restaurant outings, movie theater snacks and the post-date kiss, people with a gluten- related disorder have a lot more to think about than just finding the perfect outfit.

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) shares these 5 tips for navigating the dating scene while staying gluten-free.

Pick the restaurant yourself. Suggest a few restaurants that you trust will serve safe gluten-free food. Do some research to find a few different options so your date can have a choice, too. If you’re not comfortable picking the place or bringing up your gluten-free diet on the first date, why not cook at home? You can always pack a picnic basket for lunch or dinner at a local park so you don’t have to bring up your diet right off the bat.

Be prepared to quickly and simply explain your gluten-free diet. You shouldn’t be embarrassed by your gluten-free diet (yes, this even applies to the men out there). If your date involves food, you can quickly explain that you can’t eat gluten for medical reasons and if you do, you’ll become very sick. Don’t feel pressured to give all the details on the first date, and focus on what you can eat. For example: “I can’t split the cake with you, but this place makes fantastic homemade ice cream. How about we each order a scoop?”

Skip the food. Who says a first date has to be all about food? You can go on a hike, head to a museum or show off your ice skating skills at the nearest rink. This way, you don’t have to worry about finding safe options on the first date and can just have fun and enjoy the company.

Be mindful of that kiss. Use your discretion when it comes time to lean in. Did your date just finish a bowl of pasta? It’s a good idea to hold off, at least until your date can find his or her way to a toothbrush. If you both shared a day of gluten-free meals, then you should be all clear for that smooch.

Relax! Your mind can do incredible things – including make yourself sick from worry. So relax, have a good time and plan ahead so you can enjoy the moment!

For more Dating Dos and Don’ts, see NFCA’s article in GREAT U.

Want more information about Sex and the Celiac? Register for the upcoming free webinar “Sex and the Celiac: A Focus on Reproductive Health” on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PST.

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