Gluten-free is all the rage these days. Most of us have friends who are trying their hand at not eating gluten. Processed food companies and toiletry producers cater to this trend with the simple but glorified GF label on their products. Products like coffee and shampoo. (I wasn’t aware that should be a concern.) Gluten-free may be the new trend, but it is a real threat for people suffering from Celiac Disease.
OMG! Is there gluten in that?
People may roll their eyes at the “gluten-free” patron of a restaurant or friend at the community potluck. And those eye rolls may be justified for a large number of trend-jumpers and health-obsessed IG influencers. But for people with celiac disease, avoiding gluten is critical for managing this health-damaging disease.
Celiac disease, a genetic autoimmune disease, affects the small intestines. The ingestion of gluten causes damage to the small intestines through inflammation. If left unmanaged, this can cause severe and long-term health concerns.
Pizza or Bust
How do you know if you have Celiac Disease? Well, there are a few tell-tale signs. Chronic diarrhea is one of them. Of course, that could also be the pound of cheese and pepperoni from last night’s drunken pizza-eating frenzy.
Almost too many to name
Other symptoms include bloating, gas, fatigue, anaemia, constipation (hmmm, chronic diarrhea or constipation?), itchy rash, malnutrition, depression (the whole gut-brain connection), and more, depending on factors like age and severity. Thankfully, there are at-home celiac test kits to help you get to the bottom of what’s happening with your bottom.
Most of these tests determine the presence of the biomarkers of Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) and Endomysial Antibodies (EMA). Say that 10 times fast. Some results may be read at home, while others must be read by a lab technician. Any positive results will certainly need to be discussed with a doctor.
Adulting means calling the doctor when in need
Even if you get a negative result, a call to your doctor may be necessary. If your stomach pain is chronic and debilitating, or if you can’t stay out of the bathroom after having a scone or drinking gluten-infused coffee (is there such a thing?), it’s time to pick up the phone.
Whew, that’s good news.
Since celiac attacks the small intestines, one may fear the testing sample call for the awkward task of fecal collecting. Have no fear; these tests only require a simple finger prick, mouth swab, hair sample, or urine.
Can I get extra gluten with my bagel?
Some tests require you consume gluten for 6–8 weeks before testing. This could either be a blessing or a curse. A vacation from a rigid, self-imposed diet, or endless bathroom visits requiring a year’s supply of baby wipes or forced isolation including hours in the fetal position and pants with a stretchy waist band.
Lord, I apologize…
Before you reach for that slice of grease-soaked pizza, already saying your prayers for what may happen in the morning, do yourself (and your roommates) a favor and order an at-home celiac test. Your gut will thank you.
Keep reading, it’s not over yet
Read this article to learn more about the why’s, what’s, and how’s of at-home celiac test kits. Best at home celiac test kits.