Greetings, wonderful readers. It is my pleasure to share with you Rave Reviews Book Club’s April Spotlight Author Sherilyn Powers. Support this talented author where you can.
Sure I Have Celiac Disease, But A Small Bit Of Gluten Doesn’t Hurt…
By Sherilyn Powers
Oh the times I’ve heard that. And the times I have even thought it, thought myself paranoid because I was so diligent. And the times others have thought me overly cautious, including my own family.
I was lucky when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I had a doctor who really understood the disease and helped me to understand how serious it actually was.
Because of his advice, I carefully checked out labels, learned about the dangers of maltodextrin and MSG being from sources containing gluten, checked for BHT in everything I went to put in my mouth, and learned that caramel could and usually did contain malt, and was almost relieved when something contained only chemicals! At least I could eat chemicals.
As my doctor was far away, I didn’t get to see him after my diagnosis, but I thought I knew what I was doing. I did the best I could to avoid eating gluten and even cross-contamination but after a while, if a bit happened I wasn’t too concerned. I didn’t feel sick, so it was probably ok.
I did find out that many types of prescriptions and supplements contained gluten. Medicines I took daily were contributing to my malaise instead of helping me to get better. Then there were things like toothpaste and mouthwash, cough syrup and cold medication, and even going to the dentist could be a problem. Anything and everything I put in my mouth purposefully or accidentally could, and in most cases would, harm me.
One day someone asked me if I had Celiac disease, why I was still using a certain shampoo. It has wheat germ in it, I was told. But I don’t drink shampoo, I countered. You never get any in your mouth huh, came the response.
Okay, enough is enough. Seriously, should I really pay that strict attention to every single item, even if I don’t feel sick? What if it only says “may contain” or “processed in a facility with wheat products”?
Well, after years of being what I thought was diligent, the doctors found my body was still being exposed to gluten somehow and my anti-bodies were always elevated. Then I realized maybe it was because I was too lax. But if I wasn’t feeling stomach pain and the other symptoms then should I really worry about it?
As more and more people are being diagnosed with Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, studies are being done to find out exactly how seriously gluten affects people. And the findings aren’t good.
Having Celiac disease isn’t like having a food sensitivity or even mild allergy. With a mild allergy, you might feel gross for a day or break out in a rash or sneeze uncontrollably for a bit. But once that substance is out of your system, you are back to normal again. (I personally believe there are some other long-term effects that people aren’t necessarily attributing to allergies but that’s for another day)
With Celiac disease, those effects are long term and can be life threatening – even if you don’t feel any symptoms from having a small bit of gluten. Eating gluten when you have this disease damages your intestines. Not eating lots of gluten… ingesting any at all. Even if it is the last item on the ingredients list.
As identified by the Mayo Clinic, that intestinal damage can cause “malnutrition… loss of calcium and bone density… infertility and miscarriage … lactose intolerance… cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and small bowel cancer.”
So maybe my being overly cautious isn’t such a bad idea after all. A bit of gluten may not hurt in the short-term, but long-term it could be disastrous.
Sherilyn Powers is the author of, I’m Not Crazy… I’m Allergic! You can purchase it at any of the links below:
Amazon: (in most Amazon locations): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011WGZT10/?tag=friesenpressc-20
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/basics/complications/con-20030410 Diseases and Conditions, Celiac disease, Complications by Mayo Clinic Staff
Sherilyn Powers’ contact information: