Talk to first-degree relatives about testing.
Prior to my celiac diagnosis 3 years ago, the gluten-free lifestyle was already a large part of my life . My daughter Julie was diagnosed with celiac disease when she was 5 years old through a biopsy. In addition, my mother-in-law also has celiac disease. Because of the genetic connection to my wife’s side of the family, I ruled out myself as a genetic contributor. Because of this, I did not conduct the recommend 1st degree family screen for celiac disease when Julie was diagnosed. For 2 years before my diagnosis, I was battling occasional dizzy spells and brain fog, however never linked this to a possible celiac diagnosis
Despite my understanding of celiac disease and the possible neurological complications, I didn’t think this was the source of my problems. I continued with work and battled through my discomfort. My symptoms progressed to the point where I needed to see my family doctor to discuss investigations. Despite my lack of typical celiac symptoms, my wife suggested that I have a TTG screen to rule out a celiac diagnosis. To my surprise, on my birthday 3 years ago my wife looked at the blood test results. My TTG was high.
From here, we were put on a waitlist to see a gastroenterologist and received an endoscopy which resulted in a positive celiac diagnosis. My daughter gave me a great big hug and a high five when I came home and said, “welcome to the club dad”. She has been my teacher and my lead for all things gluten-free ever since. I am so lucky.
Since going gluten-free, my symptoms have improved tremendously. I no longer feel dizzy, and my brain fog has thankfully dissipated. In fact, I have experienced improvements for symptoms that I didn’t even realize were symptoms! The CCA has been such a valuable resource. I don’t know how we would have gotten through without their education and support. Thank you CCA for welcoming my family into your community. It wasn’t a ‘club’ I thought I would be a part of, but now that I’m here I couldn’t be more grateful.
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