Friday Finds: Celiac Awareness Month

by Maggie on May 14, 2010

May is Celiac Awareness Month and I’ve been thinking about what this means to me.

Pete was diagnosed with celiac disease 6 years ago.

I remember feeling a little bummed out and completely overwhelmed.  I loved to bake and was really getting my groove on with homemade bread.  Who would I bake for now?

Pete’s sister, who was diagnosed with celiac disease over 25 years ago, was my go-to girl for everything gluten-free.  Naturally she pointed me in the direction of Bette Hagman.

Once Pete and I got over the shock, it got easier.  I figured out how to convert a recipe to gluten-free and 6 years later, here I am living happily in She Let Them Eat Cake land.

Only now it’s not just about Pete and I.

Our three-year old son was diagnosed with a wheat-gluten intolerance in December of 2009.  We decided to go gluten-free as a family to avoid the risk of cross-contamination and sibling “why can she eat that but I can’t” moments.

Since Callum’s diagnosis, and since I’ve been blogging, I have learned so much about the dangers of contamination and the other auto-immune diseases that exist.  I’ve also learned that celiac disease clearly runs in the family.

Callum’s intolerance could’ve easily developed into celiac disease had he continued to eat gluten.  And I’ve seen some not-so-nice long-term effects of celiac disease.  I want to make sure my family’s digestive systems are super healthy.  Food is our fuel.

Raising awareness about celiac disease and gluten intolerance is really important to me.  It’s not something I take lightly.

A gluten-free diet meant no more daily heartburn for Pete.  It also meant a 15 pound weight gain.

A gluten-free diet for Callum meant no more inhalers.  It also meant better sleeps and less tummy aches.

Imagine!

I am so thankful for Pete and Callum’s diagnoses.

I am also thankful for my blog readers.  You’re helping me spread awareness.

What does Celiac Awareness Month mean to you?

Be sure to check out Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom’s post about what Celiac Awareness means to her.

You can also check out Gluten-Free Easily. Shirley’s guest blogger is Diane from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang. She writes about her experiences and what Celiac Awareness means to her.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina May 14, 2010 at 10:11 am

Mags, good on you for doing all this. As you know I am passionate as well about food allergies/intolerances. The issue of cross-contamination is so large, most people really don’t understand. The gluten-free world is stronger for having you involved!

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Maggie May 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

Christina – Thank you so much! It’s definitely not easy and I wish more people would care instead of judge! I am sure you know what I mean. Our kids mean the world to us. Isn’t it funny, they’ve taken us on quite the journey!

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Shirley @ gfe May 14, 2010 at 10:27 am

Maggie, I tihnk it’s posts like yours, Heidi’s, Alta’s, and Diane’s (on my blog today) that will do more for celiac/gluten intolerance awareness than any standard listings of symptoms, etc. We can all relate to personal stories and when you see that people are not only surviving, but THRIVING gluten free, it just says so much. I truly believe there’s not a single person who would not benefit from being gluten free. The negative impacts of gluten are huge, and we still have so far to go with accurate testing and a proper definition of the scope of gluten issues that require a gluten-free diet. The fact that your whole family went gluten free and have seen such positive results speaks volumes. And, thanks for sharing how you’ve adapted and moved on with your baking. I went through the same thing. I think everyone who loves to bake and then goes gluten free does go through that shocked, “who am I going to bake for now?” phase. But, thankfully, we figure it on and life just gets better and better, with baked goods and our health. :-) Thanks for this great awareness post, Maggie!

Shirley

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Maggie May 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Shirley – Thank you so much. I always appreciate your comments and support. I totally agree with you – life does get better and we get healthier. So much healthier. And it feels so good to be healthy!

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Stephanie Sullivan May 14, 2010 at 11:23 am

You are such a good mommy and wife.

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Maggie May 14, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Steph – Thank you! That means a lot coming from a fellow mommy with high standards! xx

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Dia May 14, 2010 at 10:51 pm

You ARE a good mommy!!
I went GF last summer with my daughter, her hubby & their 2 daughters after she had the genetic testing done, at a friend’s prompting. I figured if she got one of the genes from me, & they were going GF with the girls (now 5 & 10) i might as well do it, too. As you said, it seemed daunting at first, & it’s still challanging to eat out – but the benefits!
I LOST 15 # – that ‘post menopausal’ weight I thought I was stuck with, my daughter’s anxiety disappeared, everyone’s tummys feel better – the few ‘bits of gluten’ we’ve gotten occ are NOT welcome reminders of how life *could be.* One friend (Diabetic, weight issues & Asthma) will say ‘that’s right, you Can’t have . . . ‘ & I remind her ‘I don’t WANT to have . . . .’ (& try NOT to say ‘you really shouldn’t be, either!’)
Our office manager went GF a few weeks ago as a trial, & has been amazed at some of the ways she feels better already; less tired after lunch, fewer headaches, loosing extra weight. I’m a massage therapist, & have to work at NOT telling everyone who comes in I think they’d feel better off Gluten, lol.
This week a gal with Fibro commented her son *suggested* Gluten might be a culprit for her, ‘do you think it could be?’ . . . Oh, yes! I gave her some info, & suggestions of sites for more info . . .

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Maggie May 16, 2010 at 4:52 am

Hi Dia – Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am so glad to hear that you went GF too. So proactive and supportive of you. Doesn’t it feel great to be able to help other people too? Thanks for stopping by!

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Heidi Kelly May 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I’m soooo behind! Thanks for sharing your story Maggie, it really means a lot to me. You are such an amazing wife and mother, to just hand it over and embrace this new scary/uncertain life for the health of your family. Mama Bear, I like that. :-)

I am so happy to call you my friend. Cheers darlin’! :o)

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