Living With Celiac Sprue

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     I was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue eight years ago and it is hard to live with.  When I was told what the treatment was, I wondered how I would cope with that.  The treatment is to be on a gluten free diet.  And for those of you who aren’t familiar with what gluten is, it is in wheat, barley, rye, MSG, and flour.  Now, I know what you are thinking.  Everything has those ingerdients in it, you can’t eat anything.  That isn’t true.  I thought the same thing when I heard that.

     I’m not saying that living gluten free is easy, believe me, its not.  One thing I have learned is that you need a strong support system.  I had a very hard time staying on this diet.  I was lucky, mine isn’t too severe so I didn’t get the symptoms that others would get. 

     When I met my boyfriend, things changed.  He supported me and helped me.  I have fallen off the wagon a few times, but I have gotten right back on.  That is something that is important, if you do cheat, don’t feel bad about it, just get back on the diet and try again.  It is almost like when you quit anything, you have to live one day at a time and work towards it.  At first it will be hard, but you get use to it.

     Eating out at restaurants isn’t impossible, but you have to tell the waiter or waitress that you do have the allergy.  I know it isn’t an allergy, but it is easier for them to understand if you say that.  They will be sure to keep the gluten out of your food.  Also, if you go online to some restaurant’s websites, you can get the information ahead of time so you don’t have to keep asking if it has gluten in it.  So don’t stop eating out just because you can’t eat gluten.

     When you go shopping I know it’s a pain to look at those ingredient labels, but you can save money by doing that.  There are websites and health food stores that you can go to and get gluten free food, but you will get charged a lot for it.  There are things that just don’t have gluten in them and they still sell the gluten free version of it for more money, so it can help to take the time to read the labels.  When it comes to the taste, all you can do is taste it.  The food is getting better so if you don’t like it, try it again later.  When I first started the diet and had pasta, it was bad.  It was made of rice and you could tell.  When I tried it again a few years later, I couldn’t tell the difference between that and the regular pasta.  Just make sure you keep an open mind when it comes to the food.  There are more companies that are doing gluten free foods.  Betty Crocker now has cookie, cake, and brownie mixes and I have had the brownie and cake mixes and they are good.

     Living gluten free isn’t a death sentence, it’s just a new way of living.  It’s possible to do it and live a normal life.  Since I started my gluten free diet again, I have felt much better.  I know you will too, just work at it one day at a time.

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