Armed and Dangerous

In very plain words, my body is trying to kill itself.

Scientists have known for a while that the human body is not meant to digest grains. They’ve also known that in order to prevent being eaten, most grains produce toxins that harm our bodies. Now, for the majority of people, this means very little to them – they go on their way eating whatever they want and never have any repercussions. But in 1% of the population, their body begins to wage a war against these toxins.

Like I said before, these grains produce a toxin commonly known as Gliadin, and this toxin is one tricky bastard. It binds with different chemicals in our body to allow itself to slip into the bloodstream when normally it would be rejected, and once it’s behind enemy lines it builds up. For one of the 1%, antibodies sense the Gliadin both in their digestive tract and behind the intestinal wall and begin to attack both sources. Unfortunately for this person, the antibodies don’t stop to think about the tissue in between them and the toxin. So the body tears itself apart to try and get rid of this invader, effectively destroying the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients.

What I’ve just described is an auto-immune disease commonly referred to as Celiac. I was diagnosed with Celiac on August 2, 2016.

While all medical professionals agree that the best way to treat Celiac is by eliminating all gluten out of your diet, that may only be because they don’t know much as much about this disease as they let on. There are no known medications for Celiac, no cures, no permanent fixes. Eliminate gluten, and you will see results. But when?

Some people go years before getting any relief from their pain, and let me assure you there is pain. Celiac has over 300 known symptoms ranging from simple upset stomach and skin rashes to vomiting and even nerve damage. In some cases, the intestinal wall heals itself relatively well within the span of a few months, but in other cases the intestinal lining is too damaged to continue absorbing nutrients.

What’s even scarier is that 83% of people who have Celiac are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Repeated exposure to gluten will continue to hurt their bodies even though they don’t know it and can leave permanent damage. In fact, the average time it takes for someone to be diagnosed with Celiac is 6-10 years.

I was incredibly lucky that the doctors were looking for something else and stumbled across my true problem. I was only seriously hurting for a few months and possibly contracted this at most 1.5 years ago. Because my condition as caught so early, I should be feeling better within a few months. That doesn’t mean that every day isn’t a struggle. This recovery os going to take a while. I hope you stick around with me as I continue to write out my thoughts about this disease and my healing process.

Seems like I can’t catch a break.

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