Are you a baby boomer who has recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease? While this is a disease that has become more widely known and understood in the past decade or so, it doesn’t make the diagnosis any easier or more comforting. Getting a diagnosis such as this means it’s time to make big changes to your life, and that’s intimidating, to say the least. To help you navigate the waters of living with Celiac disease, here’s a look at some useful tips.
The first step to living with Celiac disease is to learn what it is. It is an autoimmune disease that is quite serious and is often underdiagnosed. What happens is that the person with Celiac disease suffers damage to their small intestine when they eat gluten. The body has an immune response to gluten, and if it isn't treated, it can be very serious.
As for who is at risk of getting Celiac disease, it is hereditary, and it can happen at any age.
After receiving your diagnosis, the first line of action is diet changes. It will be necessary to consume a gluten-free diet as even small amounts of gluten can be damaging. Your healthcare provider can go over what a gluten-free diet consists of, and they may also suggest you take supplements to fill in the gaps.
The good news is that because this disease is more commonly discussed now, grocery stores often feature a gluten-free section. You’ll also be able to shop online for gluten-free options that taste just as good as their glutinous counterparts. Dining out can still be possible too—just call ahead or check the restaurant’s website to see if they offer gluten-free options.
Some of the foods you can still eat while adhering to a gluten-free diet include:
There's no need to eliminate all grains from your diet, you just need to pick the gluten-free ones.
It's quite common for people with Celiac disease to also deal with a variety of emotions such as sadness and anger surrounding their diagnosis. There can be a sense of loss, as all those foods you used to enjoy are now off-limits. One of the best ways to combat these emotions is with exercise.
Exercise releases the feel-good hormones in your body and the endorphins, and provides you with a burst of energy. It’s an incredibly powerful stress buster, not to mention it offers physical benefits. Even if you’re not the type that likes the gym or high-energy workouts, simply going for a brisk walk or a bike ride can make all the difference.
It can be very difficult to get such an impactful diagnosis in your senior years, as things you have grown to love and get used to now have to be given up. Using these tips will help you to cope and better navigate the diagnosis.