Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fuggetaboutit!!

Good morning! While my memory is fresh I wanted to talk about something very important - before I forget!

Celiac Disease is one of the autoimmune diseases that has many negative effects. The symptoms vary from person to person. There are lots ways we are affected by Celiac Disease but the result is the same for everyone. Poor health! We all know about the gastrointestinal efffects: the diarrhea, loose stools, glossy, shiny bowel movements, and last but not least, the stomach pain. When I was unintentionally "glutened" last week the pains were horrible. Not lower (below the navel) but upper stomach pain that made me bend over in pain. Have you ever had those pains that make you bend over and hold your breath? Yep, that kind of pain.

The anemia that plagued me for 20 years is the main reason my diagnosis came about. The hematologist couldn't understand why my hematacrit levels never moved in an upward direction. After 9-12 mos. of iron consumption but not absorption, he referred me to a gastroenterologist. A colonoscopy and endoscopy resulted in my eventual diagnosis.

So, we have gastrointestinal symptoms and anemia. Next on the list is osteopenia, the step just before osteoporosis. I had eaten and loved cottage cheese for 20 years. Can you imagine eating all of that calcium and not absorbing any of it? Two bone density scans have revealed the sad news that if my hips should weaken and I fall, it won't be a pretty site! Hip replacement at my early age - enough to keep me compliant!

The next effect and possibly the one I notice the most is neurological side effects. Fuggetaboutit? No, don't forget about it. Forgetfulness has haunted me for years. I thought it was pre-menopausal, then menopausal, and now post-menopausal. Nope! Well, maybe a little. But honestly, celiac disease zapped my memory. UNTIL NOW!

After approx. 8 weeks of being totally compliant, (two exceptions when I was unintentionally "glutened") I have noticed an improvement in my memory. I am remembering things better and more clearly than I have in ages. Isn't that terrific? We can count on the gastrointestinal effects improving but improving my memory is a gift. That's it! It's a gift.

Every day has to be a gift! To be healthy with a good memory (even after menopause) can make every day better. Don't you agree? Now, when I write notes to myself and hide them I remember where I hid them! Ya know, you've all done that! Write things down or put things in a safe place and "HUH?" You think, "Where did I put that piece of paper or that bill that has to be paid?" Been there done that, don't wanna go back!

So, if you can remember, please let me know about how you have been affected by Celiac, before and after diagnosis. Sharing with those who experience the same things is therapeutic. Now, don't forget!!

5 comments:

Lynn Barry said...

Some serious talk and some serious improvements. GOOD FOR YOU, FAYE! Keep it up, girl! IT's all working and I am so happy for you. HUGS
I don't have celiacs but I love looking in the mirror now and noticing I have no headaches and so many others positives that were negatives before my drastic lifestyle changes. HUGS

Sheri said...

I haven't been diagnosed with Celiac (did the stool test through Enterolab last year and came back gluten intolerant), but at 35, I have advanced osteoporosis, my teeth are falling out of my head, stomach problems aglore, I used to get "goofy" as The Man called it...and I don't miss a second of eating gluten now!

Ellen said...

The best part is that you have seen the light - you are now doing everything you can to help yourself heal and stay healed. Amen to you sister!

Natalie said...

Glad to hear of the improvements. It will get easier! I don't even care when people eat dessert in front of me anymore. My brain has eliminated wheat from the food category or something.

Faye said...

Thanks to all of you for commenting! The best part is that I can go anywhere, and not be fazed by people eating gluten filled food. I went to an Italian restaurant with my daughter and husband on Saturday nite....They gorged themselves on garlic rolls and pasta. For me, I ordered a salad, made my own dressing at the table and ordered chicken, grill scraped, served with onions, spinach and tomatoes. No stomach aches, no bathroom visits...it's alllll good!