Then earlier this year I was diagnosed with celiac disease. For those of you not familiar with celiac disease, it is an autoimmune disorder triggered by eating gluten. According to celiac.org eating gluten causes my body to mount an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage to the villi, the small finger-like projections that line the small intestine and absorb nutrients. When the villi are damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly.
People can have severe symptoms or appear to be symptom free. I thought I was symptom free and had just an inkling that wheat might be an issue. After doing a Whole 30, I noticed I felt a little better not eating bread and pasta or drinking beer, but I didn’t think I felt “bad” after consuming any of those items. In fact, the way food affected me, I thought I had an ulcer.
When testing showed no ulcer, but I had celiac disease, I was surprised! And apparently I have had the condition for a long time. I love pasta and bread. I make fantastic lasagna. I enjoy beer — especially German wheat beer. And I didn’t think I had symptoms. I’ll be able to just do the big stuff, I thought. A little gluten here and there wouldn’t hurt me. (FYI At the same time I was diagnosed with GERD, which did explain the ulcer-like symptoms.)