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Now that I can call myself a celiac, without reservation, I've been thinking about it more. Of course I still have an unpleasant reminder of the rye down in my belly, so that makes me think about it all the more. I'm trying to trace it back, and I think I remember being about 6 years old with that feeling in my stomach. I thought everyone got stomach aches as often as I did, it was probably at least twice a month. It's a heavy discomfort that combines both feeling too empty and feeling too full at once. Of course there are other symptoms, but I won't go into that, and I've blocked out those details from my memory. Suffice it to say, I wasn't "normal", although I wasn't severe enough to suspect anything.
I was never the typical undernourished celiac, though I do remember once losing 14 lbs, in two weeks for no good reason. I was a teenager then, so I didn't complain.
It is sad that it is so underdiagnosed in America. I've heard that they screen for it in other countries. While the blood test isn't totally conclusive, from what I understand, it would still be helpful for me to have gotten as a routine test. Then, there are those who won't change their diets even if their doctor tells them to. I think that's as much rooted in not wanting to give up something that tastes good as it is rooted in not wanting to be "different" socially. I can certainly understand both reasons, and it is a pain to be 'nutritionally challenged' especially in social situations or at restaurants, but everyone on the blood type diet understands that frustration! Sometimes I wish I could just cut loose and eat whatever I want for once, yet for a celiac especially, it's really not worth it. Living Without magazine sometimes has some good articles about how to deal with it, and points out that having special dietary needs gives other people a chance to help you that they wouldn't otherwise have. For somebody who is self-sufficient, or proud, like me, that's hard to accept, but when I think about it, it is kind especially nice when friends, family, or waiters and chefs, go to lengths to accomodate me. I only wish Campbells Condensed Soups weren't so prevalent in every casserole around these parts. I wish casseroles weren't so prevalent, in general. The low carb craze has helped with that though. More people are on restricted diets, and more food is served as a square meal with the meat the carb and the vegetable all separate...that is such an improvement!