What people with celiac disease truly need is a better way to manage this chronic illness with the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable doctors. We need to be taken seriously and we need research to make a gluten-filled world safer for people with celiac disease.
Use your imagination just one more time: Think about the impact that our collective input can have on research. Those of us with celiac disease are in the fight together. We can unify our voices to amplify celiac disease, be heard, and help build the pathway to a cure.
This is what is so difficult about being gluten-free, the lack of industry knowledge about celiac disease and what it means for a product to really be gluten-free. In my coffee example, it is not the product that is the problem; instead, it was the means of preparation.
When I was prescribed a round of antibiotics to treat my seasonal allergy-induced sinus infection last week, my doctors and pharmacists hadn't the slightest clue which medications were gluten-free or not. Not only did they have no clue, but there was no guidance or support offered.
When you have a gluten sensitivity, sometimes dining out feels like no fun. Even less fun? Accidentally eating gluten and feeling like garbage later because of it. When in doubt, ask your server about how your food is prepared.
In my mind, the "perfect" gluten-free girl is unattainable. Now that she's gluten-free, her life is wonderful. She's always cheerful, is in excellent health, and for some reason is always wearing a sports bra and tight workout shorts.
I'm not talking about the meat you put in a sandwich. I'm talking about celiac disease -- a serious genetic condition that television personality Joy Behar dubbed as "baloney" on the Jan. 20, 2015 episode of MSNBC's Morning Joe show. Let me say that again: a serious condition.
It seemed like a tall order to be gluten-free and eat convenient, inexpensive, healthy meals at the same time. But it had to be done. If I wanted to spend no more energy thinking about what I'd eat the next day than I spent on thinking about it when I wasn't gluten-free, I'd have to have a plan.
Whether they be made by family or friends, there is always a risk for cross-contamination of food that makes it nearly impossible to relax when you are invited into someone else's home, or sometimes even in your own, for holiday feasts.
I often wonder, if we started referring to our treatment as a "gluten-free prescription" or "gluten-free regimen," would people stop equating our medicine with weight loss? While I obviously can't say for sure, my gut tells me that could be the case.
Compelled by my compounding fatigue and stomachaches, I waved the white (and red and green) flag, and embarked on my gluten-free adventure. I didn't realize that the benefits of a gluten-free diet would contribute to the improvement of other aspects of my life.