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Wheat-Free This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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We didn’t expect it. My mom didn’t expect me to get the disease too. My sister has had it all her life, my aunt was recently diagnosed, and now I have it too.

We all have celiac disease, which is an allergy to wheat, gluten, barley, rye, and oats. It occurs because of a mutation in genes commonly found in people of Irish descent.

Reactions vary; my sister is one of the worst cases. If she eats food that contains gluten, she has flu-like symptoms: aching bones, vomiting, and diarrhea. In less severe cases, like mine, the symptom is upset stomach. In order to officially diagnose a person with celiac disease, doctors either do blood tests or biopsy your small intestine.

It all started when I began to get sick all the time. I never had an appetite, always complained of an upset stomach, and was rapidly losing weight. My mother took me to the doctor and, after some blood tests, they decided I was lactose intolerant. So, I began to avoid dairy products, which is not easy considering how many foods contain dairy. Then, I began to get sick again, this time right after I ate. My mom decided to put me on a gluten-free diet. After starting this diet, I never felt so healthy in my life. Now I have an appetite, have gained some weight, and am not sick as often.

Hopefully, I will outgrow my lactose intolerance, as my sister did. It’s not easy trying to avoid dairy, wheat, and gluten every day, but this diet isn’t as bad as it sounds. Since I’ve been diagnosed, I can’t enjoy my favorite foods anymore, but I can eat gluten-free breads, cookies, pretzels, crackers, and other foods. Hopefully, someday there will be gluten-free versions of every food on earth.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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PrettyReckless said...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm:
I've been going to the doctor's for months now and was tested for Diabetes, a thyroid condition, and Lyme's Diesease.  I had allergic reactions to all three prescription medications they gave me, and now, after making the suggestion to my doctor, I'm currently on a gluten-free diet. I seem to have more energy but I still feel sick most of the time. I read somewhere that its common to still feel bad for a while after starting the diet due to the damage done to the small intestines. But we st... (more »)
 
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sunnyhunny This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm:
I've had a lot of GI issues lately and the doctors doen't knkow whats wrong with me.  I was tested for celiac and lactose intolerance but don't have them.  However, gluten products are among a long list of foods that seem to make it all worse, so I've been avoiding them.  I know that it's no fun to have to eat that way.  Especially when you're with friends and you need to be on your own special diet.  But you're right that some GF food is really good!  I love the pr... (more »)
 
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starliterra said...
Apr. 4, 2009 at 4:44 am:
Hey,
My mom is gluten-intolerant, and it's very hard. :( Did you know that Sammy's pizza has gluten free crusts? Also, look up some gluten free recipes for cake, because there are some good ones.
 
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