I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2017. At the time I didn’t know the severity of my diagnosis, I just wanted to feel better.
It used to be easy, but as I’ve grown up and traveled more, I’ve realized that gluten free has become overly stigmatized and isn’t taken seriously.
Trust has been a struggle of mine throughout my journey. The trust in the chefs, the restaurant, and even the gluten free label has created so much unnecessary stress and anxiety in my everyday life. I learned that making sense of stress, struggle and difficulties means gaining insight, deepening awareness and growing as an individual.
I want to share as much advice to those that struggle like me and empower them to advocate for celiac disease.
Going Against The Grain is a club that was created to de-stigmatize the gluten free lifestyle, have a voice for the ones that struggle, and educate our world on celiac disease.
I was always very “small”. I was extremely skinny and could never catch up to my friends height-wise. I was always between 10th and 25th percentile on my height and weight charts, but we never thought much of it. People considered me picky, especially when then saw me picking my hamburger meat out of the gluten infested bun. No one else did that. I found myself no longer gaining weight, but again, just assumed that was the way I was built. That was until one day in the 7th grade I missed school because of an ear infection and went to my pediatrician to get some antibiotics. They took my height and weight, per usual, but this time my doctor seemed concerned. I was completely off the charts, 0 percentile. Not that I knew what that even meant. A blood test suggested celiac, an endoscopy confirmed it. I ate a donut the day after I was diagnosed. Realizing I couldn’t just eat a regular donut whenever I wanted, I was terrified. That is where part of my life ended, but where my journey began.