Sometimes I feel poorly. Monday was the perfect example. Nausea, fatigue, some gastrointestinal distress (but not major), and just an in general not feeling well. But the issue is, I didn’t eat out nor did I eat any heavily processed gluten free foods for the four days prior.

Celiac Flare

Some people would call this episode a flare. A flare indicates that my already overactive immune systems was going haywire because of who knows what. This is often the case in autoimmune diseases with no known trigger – like Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

Some people say celiac disease flares. I disagree. Celiac disease has a known trigger – gluten. There is no reason for me to have symptoms if I don’t ingest the offending protein. So, what is going on?

Searching for answers

So, if there is no chance of gluten ingestion, why would I have these symptoms?

Is there another autoimmune disease at play? Not for me. I literally just had my physical three weeks ago. There is nothing going haywire in my body that we are aware of right now.

Could I have caught a bug and it resolved that quickly? Maybe, but unlikely.

Not enough sleep, not eating right, not enough exercise, and too much stress can all wreak havoc on the body. And those of us with celiac disease are more sensitive not taking care of our bodies.

I had a stressful weekend with the kids – too many activities and not enough rest. I had a 5 week stretch of additional stress in my life that was finally resolved. I had a long day at work.

I went to be early and woke up the next day without any complaints. Was gluten the culprit in me not feeling well? Very, very unlikely.

Celiac and gluten sensitivity is tricky. Because we often times have no idea whether what we ingested is safe or not, it is often impossible to know what might have made us sick. We cannot tell if our symptoms are related to what we ingested or if it is just a higher stress time.

Mystery solved

At the time I was feeling poorly, I was confident in my gluten free diet. So, I started thinking about my life in general, and found the probable cause – a previous stressful period catching up to me.

Gluten is not always the cause of what ails us. We are human and before this diagnosis there were days you didn’t feel well. Just like days where you need to eat more, sleep more, exercise more, or whatever more. There are ups and downs but celiac is not always the cause of feeling bad.

Please be vigilant in your gluten free diet, but remember that gluten is not the cause of all illness! Be confident in your gluten free diet because days like this will come. You need to be able to decide is it truly a gluten ingestion issue or is it life in general.

2 thoughts on “Feeling poorly

  1. Thank you for addressing this issue. The last few weeks I pushed myself too far. I came home from work on Monday feeling very tired. I laid down and slept for two hours. The next morning I felt completely exhausted. I called in sick, which I rarely do, and went back to bed. I didn’t get up until 12 o’clock. I felt better the next day but not great. All the while my stomach felt very sore and I just assumed it was a side affect of just being Celiac. I have my annual checkup with my Gastro doc and I will bring it up. Sometimes being a type A person comes back to bite us. I am 70 years old and still working 60 hours a week. Retiring next year via my wife’s demands! Wishing everyone health and happiness!
    Greg

Leave a Reply