Omigosh where do I begin? I am 42 years old and have lived with Celiac's since childhood. I was diagnosed in 2009 after living many, many years very sick. The symptoms were very overwhelming.
I struggled as a child with stomach issues, behavioral issues, fatigue, and several hours in the bathroom.
I would say I grew up in the bathroom, not a fun place but the truth, after every meal my next step was the bathroom with excruciating cramps. I would have periods of normalcy and periods of extreme sickness. I was very tiny and was a very late developer. My mom took me to several doctors at the time, but no one knew what was wrong with me. I was in trouble often with my bad behavior and yet no one could have suspected a food issue. I struggled all through high school into my adult life with still no answers, as I got older I struggled with extreme brain fog, I couldn't even remember what I had done the day prior, I figured this is just who I was and had just learned to live with it. I know my parents were very frustrated with me and I know they struggled with what to do with me as I was very hard to handle, very angry most of the time, confused, couldn't think properly, the fatigue was horrible.
Life was very difficult for me through these years and I prayed that one day I would get some answers.
I LOVE to cook and bake, it is my hobby and my one true love, I would cook or bake for stress relief, but most important I LOVED cooking and baking for others, when people would taste my food and give these amazing compliments I felt so validated that I finally had come to some place in life that could keep my attention as at this time everyone thought that I had ADHD, and my attention span was extremely short, when cooking and baking I had found my niche in life, at this time I was a "wheat baker" yes I said it, a wheat baker, not realizing at this time it was a severe issue.
By 2009 I was so sick and becoming sicker by the day, I was malnourished, my bones ached, losing my hair, teeth were getting bad, rashes, so tired I couldn't get off the couch, depressed, angry, horrible acne, and skin issues, pale and withdrawn. I finally went to the dr and pleaded with them to help me, I wasn't seeking drugs, but a diagnosis. PLEASE HELP ME! I was finally tested with the diagnosis of
CELIAC disease, what on earth is that?? Wheat gluten problem, you need to change your diet. What give up cooking and baking to get healthier. I did change my diet 100% and was very diligent about reading every label before I ate something. Slowly I started to notice a change, the brain fog was slowly dissipating for once in my whole entire existence I could think clearly, WOW!!! I was feeling great, better than I have ever felt. I have evolved into a a person these days, who is calm, not agitated, can think clearly and still cannot believe that our food was doing this to my body. Remember when I said that I had to give up cooking and baking for my health? I did this for about a year really feeling over whelmed by this new diet I had to follow and my love for baking was no more because I had no idea how to bake "gluten free."
I have read many books, researched online, talked with many people, but still never quite understood how to bring my hobby back to life, also NO ONE I knew had this type of issue. I had to learn on my own how to do it. I finally became so determined that I needed to get back into my love of baking I decided to go for it! Here I am after years of educating myself of being Celiac, and now it's time for me to educate other people how to bake, it's definitely not as challenging as I once thought, just different, we can still enjoy every bit of goodies we used to, but in a different way that is ever bit as delicious as we once knew.
I am a mom with four wonderful children, two of which have Celiac and the other two with intolerances. I have an amazing husband who is the light of my life, he also with an intolerance, please visit the "My Family" tab to get acquainted with all of us! Much love to all, Rachelle~