HEALTHY LIVING
10/26/2012 06:00 pm ET

Jennifer Esposito: Celiac Disease Cost Me My Job On CBS' 'Blue Bloods'

Actress Jennifer Esposito, star of CBS' Blue Bloods, is claiming publicly that she has been put on leave from the show because of a misunderstanding of her limitations due to her celiac disease diagnosis. The model-turned-actress contends that the network didn't treat her condition as a legitimate medical illness and didn't accommodate a doctor-prescribed reduced schedule.

“CBS didn’t listen to my doc and I collapsed on set,” Esposito tweeted.

Celiac disease is a condition that causes an immune response to gluten in the digestive tract, which damages the small intestine and prevents the absorption of nutrients.

A CBS representative told The Hollywood Reporter that Esposito is “unable to perform the demands of her role, and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence.” As HuffPost reported, Megan Boone will replace Esposito on the show.

Esposito has come under some criticism for her outspoken defense. Even those with celiac have expressed doubt that the condition would necessitate a modified schedule.

In a response blog post praised by Esposito, a fan who also has celiac disease, "SassyCeliactivist" wrote:

My Celiac is not Your Celiac. And it definitely ranges in severity. Jennifer Esposito seems to have a severe case of Celiac. I, too, am a poster child for the crap end of the stick of Celiac Disease. People seem shocked that she collapsed. I’m not. I get tired so easily from doing the smallest things. I can’t work right now. If I did, I’m sure I would collapse, as well. I have headaches, joint pain, memory issues, concentration problems, extreme fatigue.

Signs of celiac disease can include rapid weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain and, eventually, symptoms of malnourishment. In order to be diagnosed with celiac disease, you must undergo blood tests, a small intestine biopsy or an endoscopy by a doctor.

While the condition can be quite serious, the popularity of gluten-free foods in today's culture has reached a fever pitch and, because of this, there is some skepticism among those who suffer from celiac disease. Jennifer maintains a blog and product line based around the gluten-free lifestyle, Jennifer's Way

Read on for more celebrities who eat gluten-free:

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BEFORE YOU GO
Celebs With Food Allergies And Sensitivities
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Celebs With Food Allergies And Sensitivities

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