If you have been reading my blog for long, then you are aware that I recently flew my family to California to see Dr. Vikki Petersen and the amazing team at HealthNOW Medical Center.
I gave Dr. Vikki permission to share our story in one of her wonderful educational videos because I think our story is just one example of the many different ways that gluten can cause so many different serious health issues, some obvious and some not.
In just our little family of four, I have biopsy-proven celiac disease, my oldest son has latent celiac disease (positive blood test, negative biopsy) and two of us have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The interesting thing is that my oldest son and I had much more “subtle” symptoms than did my husband and youngest son (who have non-celiac gluten sensitivity), each who had the more “classical” gastrointestinal symptoms. If you are interested, you can read more of my oldest son’s story about conflicting test results here. I wrote about my youngest son’s non-celiac gluten sensitivity diagnosis here.
This is a very important point that I want to get across because when my own parents requested the celiac panel from their doctors (after my diagnosis), each were met with this question from their respective physicians: “Do you have diarrhea?”
When their replies were no, each of the two separate doctors said, “Then you cannot have celiac disease.”
I am here to tell you that that could not be further from the truth. Due to my lack of gastrointestinal issues, I lived nearly 30 years with undiagnosed celiac disease, everyday ingesting a poison that was ravaging me both internally and externally.
As my mom often says, “I was born with eczema.” I began suffering from severe environmental allergies and chronic sinusitis at the age of 6 (I finally had sinus surgery this past February).
I have had ADD since I was a young child and I also suffered from many behavioral issues and bouts of depression from an early age.
I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease, psoriasis, at the age of 16. After spending a year in light therapy, I went into spontaneous remission and have not had a recurrence in the past 21 years.
My second autoimmune disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, began to surface when I was 14 but I would not be officially diagnosed (via a skin biopsy) until I was 34.
My third and fourth autoimmune diseases, Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, appeared after giving birth to my oldest son at the age of 30.
My fifth autoimmune disease, celiac, was diagnosed after I spent the 10 months following my radioactive iodine treatment (for Graves’ disease) not absorbing my thyroid medication. I will be sharing more of my celiac diagnosis story later this month for National Celiac Disease Awareness Month.
I often wonder how different things would be, had my childhood dermatologist only tested me for DH instead of dismissing the rash on my knees as a reaction to my grass allergy!!
#8, Kate Guidish!
Congratulations Kate, I will email you for your shipping information!
If you didn’t win this giveaway, don’t worry because Dr. Vikki has given me FOUR more copies of her book and DVD to giveaway later this month!
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