01.24.2015

A month ago I found out I have Celiac Disease.

A little over month ago I woke up with acne, which continued to get worse and worse. I panicked, I didn’t know what to do. I’m a grown up, and even as a teenager, I never had acne like this. Like any 21 year old would, I went to the drug store, expressed my emergency to the lady at the cosmetics desk (Who obviously has her personal sales tracked) and let her sell me $150.00 worth of junk with the promise that it would make everything better. After about 3 days of using all these products, including some “fancy purified water” that cost me $35.00 on it’s own it occurred to me that this was not acne, this was a rash of sorts.

I googled my face rash incessantly. I learned I probably had skin cancer, TB, Flesh Eating Disease, you name it. So I went to the doctor, because obviously I was dying. After blood tests, and a skin biopsy we learned that I, in fact, did not have any of those. The rash was Dermatitis Herpetiformis (or something like that). A symptom of Celiac Disease.

So it seemed simple, stop eating gluten, face rash goes away. Nope. Not that simple. Turns out, gluten really is in everything. I not only had to change my diet, I had to change my entire routine. There’s gluten in lotion, make up, facial cleansers, soap… You name it, it’s probably bad for me.

Over the past month, I’ve stopped eating glutlen, which means I’ve stopped going out for dinner for the most part. (I’m tonnes of fun to go out with for dinner anyways, Celiac Vegetarians = Optimal date) and I’ve changed my rituals for taking care of myself. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on high end skin care products, I’ve gone back to basics. Gluten free oatmeal soap bar, coconut oil and natural, handmade face lotion. My skin looks almost as good as it used to before it turned on me.

This is going to be an ongoing journey, and it’s not going to be easy. But I’m more energized than I’ve been in years, my body feels better, my mood in better and I can focus on things easier. Maybe I’ve been having symptoms for years, but all it really took was a disgusting rash on my face to make me realize something was wrong.

This is just my experience, I’m sure everyone has a different story, and I’d be happy to hear what it was like for other people.

7 Replies to “01.24.2015”

  1. I know I’m not typical, but the gluten free experience has been wonderful for me. I was very sick before and now I’m not. That’s enough to keep me gluten free with no complaining. 🙂

  2. I’m so glad you were diagnosed pretty quickly, and of course before going gluten free. And, hopefully the DH rash is clearing up. I know that can be a very painful experience. I laughed a little bit hearing your story and how you tried the “fancy purified water.” Before my diagnosis, bread was one of the few foods I could get down because of my acid reflux (one of my celiac symptoms in my case). I love hearing the lighthearted side of everyone’s diagnosis stories.

    I’ve found the blogging community to be one of my biggest support systems because none of my friends have celiac disease currently. Good luck on your journey and I look forward to following along.

    1. Thanks so much. I was super lucky to find out so quickly, one of the perks to googling everything incessantly. I made a list of everything it could possibly be and read them to my doctor. Luckily for me, he didn’t shrug me off and a hypochondriac and tested me for the things that were actual possibilities. (Flesh Eating Disease did not make that list)

      But it’s been so much easier than I anticipated after jumping over the first hurdle. I wasn’t raised with a lot of gluten in my diet, so it’s not something I crave often. That being said, since I’ve been diagnosed I’ve had a strange craving for croissants, bagels and grilled cheese. Three things I never would have reached for in the past.

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