Living with Celiac Disease

An interview with a Celiac patient.


Justice Mudd

Justice Mudd (10th) posing with some gluten free foods.

In the 1940s, Physician Willem Dicke discovered an auto-immune disease that was affecting many people–Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease where ingesting gluten results in damage to the small intestine and eventually many other organs. It is estimated that this disease affects 3 million people in the United States and about 97% of those cases are undiagnosed. 

In June of 2019, my mother was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Although the diagnosis answered many of our questions regarding her health, there was still a lot more that needed to be answered and to call it life-changing would be an understatement. In the months that followed, she would have to have many procedures done and the whole house would have to go gluten-free. 

In February of 2020, during a routine check-up, my mother told the doctor that she wanted both me and my brother to get tested for Celiac Disease through a blood test. His came up with a solid negative, however, my results were off-the-charts, positive. 

Knowing that more and more people are becoming diagnosed and others have yet to be, I interviewed my mom regarding her experience and have included some information below. 

Some of the most common symptoms of Celiac Disease are: 

  • Stomach pain
  • Headaches
  • Random muscle aches
  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhea
  • Malnutrition
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Etc.

If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms you should talk to your doctor about the possibility you have it. Due to it being hereditary, you should also talk to your family about anyone who has been diagnosed or has the same symptoms as you. 

You have to be diagnosed through a blood test. Due to some health regulations, to be “officially diagnosed” you then have to have an EGD done. An Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a quick procedure that takes about 30-60 minutes. The doctor examines and takes samples from your small intestine through a thin tube that goes through your mouth. Due to my numbers being “off the charts”, I do not have to have an EGD done. 

For support groups and more information about Celiac Disease, you can go here.