The Diagnosis

I was diagnosed with Celiac disease December 2009 at 33 years old in Jacksonville, FL. I am pretty sure my symptoms began 2 years prior. As a frequent runner and triathlete and athlete in general, I noticed my energy levels dropping after exercise whereas before my energy levels were usually sky high after a work out. I thought I just wasn’t training properly, but the more I trained the weaker I felt. I went to the doctor to explain my fatigue and she sent me to get a blood test. The blood test showed I had low B12 and Iron. I accepted my vitamins and loved the instant energy from the B12 shot each week, however I just didn’t understand why my my vitamin levels were so low. Pretty soon intestinal problems set in and the researcher and health consumer I am decided to do some research on my symptoms. Everything pointed to Celiac Disease. I was not in pain I just knew what was going on with my body was not right. I went to my doctor and told her my thoughts and she had me tested for the indicator for Celiac Disease. Long story short, blood work looked like Celiac disease so I was referred to a GI Doc, had 3 separate confirmatory tests- a special celiac blood test, an endoscopy and colonoscopy. Not something a usual 33 year old would have done.

This was very hard for me to take. I have been a fairly healthy eater all my life, I love all foods and have never been picky- EVER (well, maybe when my dad made me try liver as a kid). My favorite thing in the world is a 2 hour meal filled with conversation, wine and DESSERT. I knew things were about to change. I knew I was going to have to prepare foods at home all of the time, I knew it was going to be hard to find the time and I knew finding restaurants that would meet my needs would be difficult. Well it has been about 3 months now and I think it is time for me to share what I am learning and testing with the Jacksonville Celiac/Gluten Free Community.

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7 Comments

Filed under Diagnosis

7 responses to “The Diagnosis

  1. Heather

    Hi-

    Thank you for your blog. I really enjoy reading how to live gluten free in jacksonville. In my early 20s I was diagnosed with a whole slew of food allergies and IBS but I didn’t think much of it since I’ve had a bad stomach since I was very little. At the end of January I became very sick and after seeing my regular doctor and getting no relife, he referred me to the Borland Grover clinic. I just had an endoscopy done and asked my doctor to check me for celiac’s. I haven’t heard a confirmation and I’m hoping it isn’t celiac’s but I can tell you if it is, it will explain a lot about my life and now that I am 35, I’d love to start living it stomach issue free 🙂 I would love to know who your GI doctor is, I don’t feel that mine is taking the right steps to find out why I have been so sick.

    • Heather, Good luck with the results from your endoscopy! My GI doctor is Dr. Hamid, his office is near Memorial Hospital and his number is 904-858-9700. One of the things with Celiac’s disease is you don’t really feel any pain. I think that is why it goes undiagnosed so much. People think that fatigue, mild depression, moodiness and the stomach issues are just a part of the aging process. I hope things work out for you!

  2. Pingback: “Gluten-Free” The New “All-Natural” « Gluten Free Jacksonville

  3. Jessica

    I just found your blog today. I’m 23 years old & was diagnosed with Celiac disease a couple of weeks ago. I became VERY sick in October, felt a ton of pain out of nowhere. I had xrays, CT scans, upper GI series & an endoscopy done. I was also diagnosed with duodenitis, gastritis, & have a benign tumor in my duodenum. I’ve been anemic since I was 18, now I realize that it’s caused by celiac disease. I have 2 small children, am a full time RN student & work part time at Brooks Rehab Hospital (I saw that you work for Brooks too!). It has been very chaotic & saddening for me to accept & learn about what I can and cannot eat now. I feel very lost & don’t want to deprive my children of some of their favorite foods containing gluten. I’m also a very picky eater & have relied heavily on salads, smoothies & meat. I’ve lost 12 lbs in 2 weeks. It’s been amazing to pour over your blog today, I had no idea about different GF brands & GF friendly restaurants, or even thought about cross contamination in my own kitchen! I will definitely be a devout follower of your blog & liked you on FB already 🙂 Thank you for your dedication in educating & sharing your story with others who share this disease. I look forward to all of your posts!

    • Hi Jessica-

      Wow, you have been through a lot. I started this blog because I too felt a lot of what you are going through. I can tell you 3 years later I am still learning. I am still failing. But there has been a lot of progress made with gluten-free nutrition and I feel like it is only going to get better for us. I am happy to talk to you at any time- perhaps we can meet at the salad bar at the Sand Piper (Brooks’ Cafeteria) one day and we can chat.

      Jennifer

  4. M. Jane Larson

    Hi!
    I am so happy that my co-worker Kelly told me about your Blog. I am 58 years old and was diagnosed with Celiacs 2 years ago.I had
    been sick so many times and was always told that it was allergies and IBS. I contracted a very rare parasite and was referred to a
    Infectious Disease Specialist. Dr. Ramon Dizon. He asked me if I had ever been tested for Celiacs. I had never heard of Celiacs Disease. The gluten-free diet has changed my life. I did not know that you were suppose to feel this way. My 30 year old son Eric has
    Juvenile Diabetes and Celiacs as well. We share information, and
    support each other. Your Blog is so helpful! Thanks!

    Jane

    • So glad you found us! Please find us on Facebook where we have some great conversations. I really appreciate you sharing your story and the story of your son. There are so many struggles with this disease but luckily things are changing for the better!!!

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