A diagnosis of celiac disease can seem overwhelming, it’s perfectly okay to feel upset. Celiac disease is serious, and it needs to be handled. You will undoubtedly feel shocked at the diagnosis. Your first reaction may be denial, this can’t be happening to you! All you can feel is a crushing frustration and anger at the unfairness of it all, these are perfectly normal reactions, there is no reason for you to deny your emotions.
This diagnosis will change a large part of your life, at some point, you need to reach acceptance, you’ve been feeling sick and miserable for so long, you want to feel better, this is your chance, so, it up to you to become determined and deal with the situation, make no mistake, this may not be easy, especially if the decision to go gluten-free isn’t your own.
Here is why celiac disease can be such a difficult diagnosis to accept:
Everyone around you is munching on Oreo cookies and devouring hamburger buns, you feel alone and isolated, so many of our social interactions revolve around food, you have every right to wonder how this will change once you go gluten-free, family and friends may not understand your situation, perhaps some of them tell you to just get over yourself, you may be accused of having an eating disorder, this lack of support just makes a difficult situation harder.
Knowing you’ll need to give up some of your favorite foods can produce understandable anxiety, there is truth in the term “comfort food” Certain foods do comfort us, after your diagnosis, you realize your options will be limited, you have certain favorite dishes that you may not be able to enjoy anymore, it feels like losing a friend.
You will need to make some changes in your life, depending on how well you react to change, that too can bring on anxiety, you will have to follow new rules, and that isn’t always easy, you used to be in control of your eating habits, now you have to follow someone’s rules!
There is no known cure for celiac disease, all you can do is alleviate the symptoms by changing your eating habits, yes, celiac is something you’ll have to live with forever.
A major problem for celiac sufferers is that they develop a gluten-free lifestyle, stick to it, and feel so much better after a while, that’s when the rumbling in the brain can start: “I’m fine now, I can have that slice of pizza or cookie.” “Grandma prepared this especially for me, I have to eat it.” This can be one of the most difficult periods you’ll have to with. You’re so tempted … just one slice, it’s crucial to resist temptation, you’re feeling better because you’ve eliminated gluten from your diet, remember how miserable you felt before your new diet, don’t reverse the course that will force you to start over, you’re exactly where you want to be, so keep going.