Lori is an educational and wellness consultant in Illinois. Her journey to a celiac diagnosis began after her pregnancy in 2002.
During both pregnancy and delivery, Lori experienced serious complications, some of which were related to her then-undiagnosed celiac disease. After giving birth to a healthy baby boy, Lori did not feel “one-hundred percent,” leading her to see at least three doctors in three years. She was told she was depressed and, at one point, ended up in the emergency room with excruciating abdominal pain. By January 2006, she found a doctor who tested her for celiac disease and confirmed the diagnosis.
The Internet and local support groups provided the information Lori needed to learn how to go on a gluten-free diet. After going gluten-free, she has felt completely healthy – no more enlarged abdomen, low energy, or abdominal pain. Most of Lori’s family and friends have been supportive of her gluten-free needs, but sometimes it’s a struggle, “especially in social situations that involve food and family members who . . . don’t understand the diet,” she says.
Lori is exploring the potential effect of celiac disease on her son. At twenty months of age, he began therapies for developmental and speech delays; by the age of six, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. She is having him tested for the celiac disease genes, and believes he would benefit from a gluten-free diet. Lori wonders if gluten may be a trigger for children on the autistic spectrum.
She hopes that women who experience infertility, miscarriage and pregnancy-related complications can have testing which includes celiac disease, as proper diagnosis and diet may help them become pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Personal experience turned into a passion to help others learn to live with celiac disease. This passion inspired Lori to create www.celiacchicago.com
. She advises those living with celiac to “Join a gluten-free support group that meets monthly.”
Does this story sound similar to your or a family members? You might have celiac disease, find out now, take our celiac disease symptoms checklist.