I am a Registered Nurse Practioner who has been in practise for 40 years. Last year I experienced an episode of severe diarrhea , abdominal crampls, bloating and pain.
It lasted approx 3 months and then there was a short period of reprieve. November of 2005 the symptoms began again. Nothing seemed to help although I underwent numerous blood tests, stool tests, M.R.I. CAT Scan, Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Biopsies and on and on.
I was living on Anti diarrhea drugs and dreaded eating or drinking as the liquid, explosive stools would hit without any warning. Nights were one endless trip to the bathroom and days were spent at home where a bathroom was immediately available.
By March of 2006 I was becoming very discouraged. I was feeling very weak and in constant pain which began to show in my physical appearance.
I had been placed on Pancreatic enzymes but the symptoms were not relieved. One more blood test and eureka – a positive test for Celiac disease.!!!
Success and relief for the constant worry of “what do I have?
I immediately researched the disease and made an appointment with the hospital dietician for a consult on dietary needs for Celiac disease patients. At first, the diet sounded difficult but the more I studied, experimented, substituted etc the easier it became.
Within days I began to notice a decrease in the bloat, cramping and diarrhea. I was thrilled with the results of observing a gluten free diet. Today, a month later, I feel like a new person.
My strength has returned, there is color in my cheeks, no more abdominal distress and I feel good enough for another 20 years. I am presently 73 years old with 8 children, 28 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. I have a lot to look forward to and my joy of living has returned. I have left behind those aching, miserable depressing days of doubt and worry and feel extremely fortunate to have discovered the benefits of a gluten free diet.
Its a little bit of a challenge at first but it is easy to adhere to once you learn the basics and the benefits are miraculous. My best to all my fellow Celiac disease sufferers. There really is hope!!! Persevere and be diligent. You will be happy you did.