This is a guest post by Lisa.
My name is Lisa DeZolt and nine years ago, at the age of 47, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. When I was a child, I would constantly complain of bad stomach aches, especially after eating. It actually became a joke in the family; they would say it was because I didn’t want to eat.
As I got older into my teenage years, I continued with terrible stomach issues, but doctors could never figure out what was wrong with me. As the years went by, I settled into the fact that I had a “nervous stomach”. In my 30’s after many attempts to become pregnant, my doctor told me I could not have children although all the infertility tests I had showed no real problems. My husband and I adopted an adorable 20 month old boy from Hong Kong, our son Kit, in 1991. During these years of raising our son, I started to feel fatigue like I never experienced before along with migraines, muscle and joint pain, constant hunger pains, and nightmares with trouble sleeping. I also started losing weight no matter how much I ate. In ‘2000’, I underwent a surgery that took months to recoup from and that is when my health spun out of control. I would swing from diarrhea to constipation and back again to diarrhea. I went doctor to doctor trying to get answers to my medical problems. I even had one doctor ask me if I was Anorexic. At this point, I constantly had a swollen abdomen and felt bloated all the time and weighed just 89lbs.
On Christmas Eve of ‘2003’, I was admitted into the hospital because I had lost so much weight and literally felt like I was dying. I spent a week in the hospital on a feeding tube and actually gained some weight, so I was sent home still with no real answers. A couple of weeks after that, back to feeling worse than ever, is when I read an article in ‘Women’s Day’ magazine about a woman who had Celiac Disease; her symptoms almost mirrored mine. I immediately made an appointment with my Gastroenterologist and showed him the article. I had a blood test done and it was determined that I did suffer from Celiac Disease. All the pieces to the puzzle finally came together. The years of stomach pain, bloating, migraines, sleepless nights, nightmares, and even my infertility problems were explained. I am happy to say, I’m feeling much better these days now that I eat strictly gluten free, and I actually weigh over 100lbs now which is an accomplishment for me. Since my diagnosis, my dad, three of my sisters, and several of my nieces and nephews have also been diagnosed with Celiac Disease; so it truly is a gluten-free family affair.
I strongly urge anyone with similar symptoms to mine, get tested for Celiac Disease. It is a simple blood test although sometimes a scope procedure is needed for a true diagnosis. It is my hope by telling my story, that other people will not have to endure years of pain and discomfort like I did before coming gluten free. In closing, I would like to thank my husband for all the years of support, especially in the years leading up to my diagnosis when I was at my worst.
Gluten free for life, Lisa DeZolt
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