New Year, New You - Or Is It?
Comments (0)Posted by Erica Dermer
Every year we talk about "New Year, New You."
But does it have to be? I personally think you're great the way you are!
But can we improve upon what we've got? Sure! Is the New Year a good time to work on yourself? Yes! So forget "New Year, New You." How about "What are some things I can do today to do better?"
The Gluten-Free Diet
So you're gluten-free, but how gluten free? I know personally that many of you would never ever think about cheating - ever. But in the gluten-free community, online, at gluten-free shows across the country - we hear differently. We hear stories of those that cheat because they just couldn't resist that gluten-filled cake. We hear from those that feel pressure from friends and family to have just a little. Or they'll eat out and they are too nervous to tell the server that they have an allergy or celiac disease, and they'll just try to find something that looks gluten free. We have to do better than that. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, you should never purposefully cheat by eating gluten. And you should always try to mitigate getting glutened when you dine out, or eat a friend's house. I'm sure some of you are shaking you head and asking "how do people cheat, I feel so awful immediately after eating gluten!" However, we as a gluten-free community need to realize that we all have different symptoms. Some are even asymptomatic - they have no symptoms when eating gluten, but they do damage the intestines. Always put your health first!
Educating Others About Gluten
We all hear the jokes about the gluten-free diet. We all see people who roll their eyes when we talk about being gluten-free. Next time you see this, speak up! You might be surprised that people don't know that the gluten-free diet is a medically necessary diet. They might not know about celiac disease. This year, speak up and spread science-based education about celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and gluten!
If you have friends and family that are considering giving up gluten, help them! Tell them not to go gluten-free until they are properly tested for celiac disease. A blood test will screen them to move forward towards the gold standard - an upper endoscopy with a biopsy. It's important to know if you have celiac disease for proper testing of family members, and checking on nutritional deficiences and other autoimmune diseases that people with celiac are more apt to also have.
Proper Follow-Up Care
If you have celiac disease, chances are you were low on critical nutrients at the time of diagnosis. Celiac robs your body of important nutrients because the disease flattens the villi in your small intestine made to absorb key nutrients from food. If you are new to gluten-free, or still experiencing symptoms, make a commitment to see a nutritionist to evaluate your diet and test for nutritional deficiciencies. Also, consider a bone density scan too! Make sure you're getting proper follow-up care from your gastroenterologist! Again, it's time to put your health first!