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Another merely inconvenient flesh wound

July 7, 2010

The litany is a bore. Addison’s disease: check. Osteoporosis: check. Sjogren’s syndrome: check. Joint pain: check. And now, it seems that I have celiac disease as well.

Well, I have other things, too, but these that I have listed are all known to co-occur with celiac disease. I have virtually every symptom of celiac disease propounded on this NIH site.

Let’s just say that the hours between 2 AM last night and 2 PM this afternoon were very rough as I dealt with the unequivocal signs that this particular hammer has fallen. Or, let’s just say that I would probably be a shoo-in for celiac charter club membership based on my symptoms and congruity with associated conditions.

When I had the strength to speak this morning, I called a friend who has a daughter with celiac, and she very kindly brought me some teff and some coconut flour, both celiac-friendly. We compared a few notes, and my experience with symptoms over a long period of time suddenly becoming terribly acute matched her daughter’s experience of sudden sensitization. And her daughter’s celiac condition has improved so much with diet, that her lactose intolerance has resolved. I am lactose intolerant also, but I’m content to use lactase.

I am not up for a biopsy. Just there is no sin without the law, there is no illness without a diagnosis. Everyone manages celiac with diet, and I have case-hardened discipline from years of practice thanks to glucose intolerance and malabsorption issues with Addison’s. Few endocrinologists in my experience are even aware that cortisol, the virtuoso multi-tasking hormone that Addisonians lack, is the stage manager of metabolism. I don’t know why I would see someone who would biopsy my small intestine to come up with the obvious amazing revelation that I should not eat grains; $2000, please.

I have been vigilant for some time, wondering whether I had or was developing gluten intolerance; but now it seems that the point of sensitization has arrived to where I can no longer avoid confronting the problem. What problem? Try to find something to eat that doesn’t offend either gluten intolerance or glucose intolerance. My glucose intolerance diet has reduced my weight to the point where it would be cheaper to ship me UPS than to drive me across town.

So far, I might be on to coconut flour, but I have to test it tomorrow, after I recover from testing teff, the celiac-friendly but high carbohydrate grain that jacked my blood sugar up to 221 in one hour. See how simple life can be.

If you have any palatable ideas at all of how to eat for these seemingly opposing conditions, feel full, and maintain at least my old college weight, the reward will be your choice of an autographed photo of my diabetic cat, or, three new loaves, currently in my freezer, of low-carbohydrate, high-gluten bread.

  1. July 8, 2010 5:16 am

    Lauren, have you tried amaranth? It’s high in protein and low in carbs, and has no gluten . . . I don’t know if that fits or not. I’m so sorry about the weight loss. I pray and hope that figuring out about the celiac will make a huge difference (it did for my little sis, who was on the point of utter desperation when she changed her diet looking at the symptoms of celiac — no biopsy for her either).

  2. July 8, 2010 7:08 am

    Heidi, Vic brought some amaranth home yesterday, and I’m going to try it tonight. I thought I would make some amaranth grill cakes.

    The coconut flour was a success: my glucose didn’t spike a bit. I have to get some guar gum or something to hold it together, but even crumbly it tastes pretty good. I just baked a simple dough l made with the flour and water and an egg.

  3. July 8, 2010 7:35 am

    How wonderful about the coconut flour (I know what a relief finding even *one thing* you can tolerate in such a basic category of foodstuffs can be). I’ve also heard wondrous things of the health benefits of coconut milk and esp. coconut oil. I pray you will find a nice variety of such tolerable foods.

  4. July 8, 2010 9:47 am

    Coconut used to get very bad press for aggravating high cholesterol, but I see that it has been vindicated by lots of sources. It’s the original, “I can’t eat for everything.” I don’t metabolize fat from beef, for instance, but I’m sure I would from coconut oil. And very happily, I love coconut.

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