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.