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Living with Celiac

February 28, 2012
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By Sophie F. & Elizabeth G.

Sophie’s side:
I have a condition called celiac.  Celiac is when you can’t digest gluten, which is found in rye, malt, wheat, and lots more grains.

I was born with celiac, but I didn’t realize it for a while.  Each night at dinner, when I ate something my stomach would hurt, so my parents took me to the doctor, and I found out I have celiac!

When something says “gluten-free” I know it’s okay to eat, but some things are unpredictable.  Corn tortilla chips are a choice for gluten-free people, but some, if you read the label, have wheat in them (they are processed with the grain).

Having celiac is really tough; I’m lucky to have a family that cares so much!  My mom buys apps for her phone about celiac, and she makes all her meals and treats gluten-free.  When my uncle heard I was gluten-free, he went gluten-free, too.  Going gluten-free can make you feel a whole lot better; it can help you lose weight, too.

Some of my friends also have celiac.  It’s hard for us, but everyone supports us.

Elizabeth’s side:
I also have the condition celiac.  I got horrible headaches and stomachaches, and for a while I didn’t realize I was reacting to gluten.  I ended up seeing five different kinds of doctors: A pediatrician, some kind of crazy energy lady, a chiropractor, my regular doctor, and finally a gastrointestinologist (G.I.), who discovered through an endoscopy that I had celiac disease.

I started to feel better about a month after I went off gluten.  In a couple months I felt way better!  I also started to absorb nutrients better.

I was lucky; I already knew some people who couldn’t eat wheat, and they gave me all sorts of tips.  For the most part, my family went gluten-free.  I started discovering lots of restaurants that had options for me.
For example, at Pizza Antica in Lafayette, the cook went to Los Angeles to find out more about gluten-free cooking.  He went to a specialized kitchen and worked very hard to come up with a delicious flat-bread gluten-free crust.

My family re-made our recipes using gluten-free flours.  My mom even discovered a sleep-away camp just for kids with celiac disease.

I know that I will probably  never eat wheat again (unless they find a cure), but honestly, I have substitutes for everything I could ever desire.

More information

San Francisco Magazine just published a list of Five Places to Eat Gluten-Free in the Bay Area.

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