What is Celiac Disease?

For the past four years, I have suffered from an auto immune disorder called Celiac Disease. What is Celiac Disease, you ask?

Imagine the worst stomachache you have ever had. Ladies- imagine the worst cramps you have ever felt during “that” time of the month. Have the feeling in your head? Now, take that pain and triple it. No, you aren’t in labor.  You aren’t getting stabbed in the gut by a lightsaber, either: It’s merely just your body clawing at your small intestine in the hopes that you will never eat anything good in your life again.

Basically, your gut hates you. Eating a crumb of anything that has wheat, barley or rye will send you to your bed, curled in a ball from extraordinary pain in the stomach.

Celiac Disease is a condition that is triggered when gluten-containing foods (bread, beer, pizza, pasta, etc.) is consumed, inflaming the small intestine and making it nearly impossible to absorb the nutrients your body needs to function every day. Symptoms include stomach pains, anemia, bowel problems, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and many more health-related issues that can cause permanent damage and hinder your daily routine.

As an on-the-go college sophomore, it is hard to maintain a gluten-free diet while still enjoying social gatherings and actually eating good food. But, good(?) news: I still gained my freshman 15 last year (with a sophomore 20 on the way!) by exploring the gluten-free food options in and around campus. This year, I plan on continuing my search for delicious gluten-free foods and sharing my wealth of knowledge with the world.

Today is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. If you think you or a friend may be suffering from Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance, check out some of the articles listed below and go talk to your doctor. You’ll be glad you did!


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