Life with a Gluten Sensitivity

Our co-founder, Austin, had the pleasure of chatting with Liz Tuggle from Sierra Vista, AZ who struggles with gluten sensitivity.

Austin: How long have you been diagnosed with Celiac Disease(CD) or a gluten sensitivity(GS)?
Liz: I first found out about my gluten sensitivity in August 2013, but I believe I have always been gluten sensitive.  There was always the signs but had been overlooked for decades.

Austin: How has having CD or a GS affected your life?
Liz: Changing what I eat has been difficult to say the least.  There was lots of slip ups in the beginning but I managed to get through it.  Since going gluten free my health has gotten much better.

Austin: When was the last time you were “glutened” and how did that make you feel?
Liz: I was ‘glutened’ was about a month ago.  I found a local pizza place that had “gluten free” pizza.  I decided to try it.  Well something about it wasn’t gluten free…..it must’ve been cross contaminated or something.  I felt bloated, gassy, constipated, and my face broke out in a rash.  It took 2 weeks to get passed it.

Austin:  How often do you dine out versus eat at home? For example, how many meals per week/month do you eat out?
Liz: I eat out approximately 2-3 times per week.  I’m not much of a cook.  😦

Austin: Do you feel nervous when you do eat out? What are your ‘go to’ dishes when you do dine out?
Liz: Yes, I feel nervous every time I go out to eat….especially if it’s someplace new.  I like to eat out at Mexican restaurants as long as I stay away from anything that has flour tortillas or red chili.  I’ll eat a hamburger on a lettuce wrap or just a salad if I’m nervous about a new place.

Austin: What is something that would make living with CD easier that does not currently exist?
Liz:  When going out to eat it would make it easier if ALL restaurants had a gluten free menu.  Some do but most don’t.  More readily available gluten free products would also be great.  I have to drive one hour just to get to a health store that sells the gluten free bread that I like.

Austin: Do you have any advice for family members of those newly diagnosed with CD?
Liz: I would tell anyone new to this life change to not feel overwhelmed.  Going gluten free is not the end of the world…..it’s hard and it may take a while but you’ll get there…..there will be slip ups…..there will be accidents….but you will learn from them.  Join a group where you can talk about your issues, share stories and even share recipes.

Austin: Anything else you’d like to share about living with celiac?
Liz: Research, research, research.  Read, read, read.  That’s the only way to learn.  It’s a long road but there is light at the end.

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