Tag Archives: screening

A hit list and a wish list: who deserves celiac disease?

People I wish had celiac disease:

  • Hitler: Obviously.
  • Stalin: Also obvious.
  • Saddam Hussein: You get the point.
  • J.K. Rowling*: Because she’d write an instantly best-selling inspirational children’s book series about overcoming celiac disease through the magic of love and friendship. And she’d totally want me for a coauthor.
  • Ancient Buddhist monks*: Because then they would not have invented seitan, and I would not have to feel sad I can’t eat it.
  • Cookie monster with fruitUS Farm Bill writers*: Because they would stop subsidizing wheat. (And produce more…corn? Hang on a second.)
  • The Cookie Monster: Because it’d be great for awareness.
  • Lady Gaga*: Because she flirts with G-free already, and any way I can be more like Lady Gaga sounds good to me.

People I’m glad don’t have celiac disease:

  • My mom: Because recipe reformulation or not, I’d hate to see her lose her Twizzlers.
  • My brother: Because I’m not sure what he’d do without pizzapastasandwiches.
  • The rest of my family: Well, assuming it’s true, that is. GET TESTED.
  • Most children: Everyone should have at least 20 years of animal-cracker-gumming, Triscuit-crunching, beer-chugging bliss (sorry, I meant 21 years). If they get it later…well…we all have our cross to bear.*
  • BooksBooks_How_To_Cook_Everything-S&SMark Bittman: Because socca seems even cooler when its chief proponent isn’t forced to eat chickpea flour. And because there’s just not as much of a ring to How to Cook Everything Except Wheat, Rye, Barley, and Anything That Might Have Ever Touched One of Those Things.
  • 132 out of 133 people: Good for them.

People I wish did not have celiac disease:

  • Me: Because it sucks.
  • My sister: Because she misses beer, and I feel responsible.
  • You: Because you’re awesome, and it’s not. I hope you would still read my blog, though.

People I’m glad have celiac disease:

  • No one.

*I don’t really wish celiac disease on anyone besides the evil dudes. And the Cookie Monster, because he’s fictional and it would be hilarious.

Who’s on your lists? I know you’ve got ’em.

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SISTER (CELI)ACT: two sisters, one diagnosis, zero gluten

This is the first of three guest posts by my sister Althea. (At least, she thinks it will only be three posts…) Enjoy!

Faithful followers of Based on a Sprue Story may remember me as the benevolent sister who agreed to forgo all glutenous foodstuffs (as well as anything that may have ever come into contact with a glutenous foodstuff) in her own home, out of respect for Molly’s dietary needs (and neuroses). What a thoughtful, altruistic sister, you likely thought. That’s what I thought, too, when we first made plans to get an apartment together.

There must be an Udi’s version of this by now, right?
Photo © Tamara Evans | Flickr

Just days before boarding the trusty old Lucky Star (may she rest in peace), however, I learned that I also have celiac. But there’s a twist. (No, not one of those donut twists, or the twist in your stomach, dear reader, at the mere thought of one of those donut twists—just a twist in the story.)

The twist is, I did not suffer for years from mysterious symptoms before getting this diagnosis. Sure, I had had some mild GI trouble from time to time over the past year or so, but everyone gets constipated once in a while, right? I was probably just eating too fast. Or drinking too much coffee. Not enough coffee? (Do yourself a favor and click on that last link—but only after you’ve finished reading this post.)

Me chopping parsley (a naturally gluten-free food) in preparation for our housewarming party (details to come).

In fact, I bet I would have ignored the issue entirely if I didn’t have such a good little awareness-raiser for a sister. Said sister urged me to get tested for the sprue (which, as my case illustrates, all  immediate relatives of a celiac should do, regardless of symptoms). I asked my school’s health center to do it, but the nurse practitioner there said it wasn’t worth it; “It’s not like you’re running to the bathroom every time you eat a sandwich,” she said. (Well, no, but that’s not really how it works, so… but, okay.)

In the end, I got the blood test when I was home briefly after graduation, and my antibody levels were off the charts. I haven’t had a biopsy yet, but a recent paper concluded that blood test results are strong enough evidence of celiac that a biopsy isn’t necessary.

So, apparently, I have celiac disease just as much as Molly does, which means I need to eliminate gluten from my diet just as completely as she does. Or do I?

In my next post, I’ll delve into the questions that get asked of someone who only sort of has a disease that confounds people enough as it is. Stay tuned!

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