Many people get so frustrated with themselves they just give up. Human nature though is a born and bred personality trait inherent in every living breathing being whether they are human or animal. Beating yourself up therefore, whether mentally or even physically, is not going to change that fact. All it does accomplish, it just makes you feel miserable.
Day Of Diagnosis
For many people, the day of diagnosis means a reprieve. They have been sick for so long and every doctor has always said the same thing. “All the tests are negative”. There’s just nothing wrong with you.”
A few of those practitioners even had the nerve to suggest it’s probably just an age-related thing, you’re thinking yourself sick or the best one of all-time is “we need to start you on anti-depressants.”
And then on the other side of the spectrum, some patients feel like they’ve just been handed a death sentence. When it is mentioned they need to avoid wheat/gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts or any combination of allergens which they commonly use every day, their initial impression is always “what am I going to eat?”
Finding Your Way Through The Transition
At first it can be overwhelming trying to learn all the new rules and regulations. What items you have to avoid, what other names can mean your allergen(s) was used, cross-contamination issues and why this is so important. But after a few months of strictly adhering to your diet, you begin to notice how much better you feel. Slowly the day comes when you don’t really remember any more just how miserable you actually always did feel before.
You have now just entered the danger zone.
Most people can remember the endless aches and pains, indigestion, diarrhea and/or constipation, the vomiting plus the collection of approximately 200 other possible symptoms common to celiac disease. They also can re-count their endless frustration, anger and grief from the countless doctor visits all which yielded no definitive results.
But the passage of time is a great healer. The flashbacks become fewer, farther in-between. The healing process, from strict adherence to their diet, has worked wonders for their health and vitality. Now is the time when the rationale sneaks in that one little bite of a former favorite isn’t going to create any major obstacles.
But we all know, one bite leads to more. Soon it becomes one serving. And then in a few weeks, after minimal reaction the last time, another occasion presents itself and the “cheat” is once again on the mind. Eventually the servings become larger and closer together.
The problem here which has arose though is celiac disease is potentially an invisible disease. Few and scattered symptoms may only be felt during the “cheat” but your internal organs are suffering tremendously. But out of sight is also out of mind.
Enter A New Form Of Education
Your doctor and dietitian both explained the term celiac disease to you and what was happening inside your digestive system. But that was a long time ago. All of the signs and symptoms of those days are gone. You’ve even convinced yourself you have mastered the art of the “cheat”. You can now do it and have almost no outward signs of any adverse reactions.
Education though should not just be about the current signs and symptoms at diagnosis. It should be mandatory that it is explained non-compliance can also mean an entire host of possible future difficulties. But we all want a pill to pop, a vial of liquid to swallow. But as soon as those complications go away, life is supposed to go back to normal.
But if it was explained, you would have been informed how dangerous those occasional little “cheats” are to your future health. Common complications may include:
- infertility (or the inability of ever being able to bring a child into this world)
- aggressive osteoporosis
- increased risk of cancer as you age
- blood poisoning (from the slow leakage of toxins through your intestinal walls because of punctures in the lining from gluten poisoning)
But if every celiac was warned that an occasional “cheat” could build up to any of the above future complications, maybe many of these same people would realize that one moment of pleasure may not be worth the possibility of greater complications down the road in their future.
Currently, education centers around the elimination of the cause in the present day. But no time is given to be sure that individual who was diagnosed a celiac, they must realize that a lifetime of abstinence is for their own safety and protection.