Mark shares his journey to celiac disease.
I grew up in an Italian-Canadian household where food and meals were at the center of daily life. I always ate well but as a young child my parents used to joked that my swollen belly made me look malnourished and they were stumped by my random crying and mood swings. As life went on, I realized that something was amiss and over the years the situation worsened considerably. As a teenager, I was a competitive skier and I could never figure out why I would feel exhausted after carb loading before a race just like the dietitian recommended. And after the first time I tried drinking beer, I developed a horrifying boil on my face that no one could explain – imagine that as a teenager!
In my 20s and 30s I developed many other symptoms besides fatigue, from anxiety to achy joints to skin rashes and blemishes. I always looked mildly ill, was incredibly bloated, and lived with a constant malaise that my doctor was stumped by.
In my 40s I finally took my own steps, figured out that I have dietary issues, and was eventually confirmed as having celiac disease. I still remember how surprising it was to feel so good and energetic all the time. It felt like a heavy brain fog had lifted and I was reborn into a newer, healthier, faster me. I remember how shocked my friends and family were that I looked much younger than I did in the years before and today I still look young for my age.
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