Letting go of the gluten-free guilt
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Letting go of the gluten-free guilt

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Wife. Mom. Entrepreneur. Celiac. 

For those of you who don't know me or don't know my story, here is a brief background. I was diagnosed with celiac disease my junior year of college. I always had stomach problems as a child and into adulthood. I was diagnosed with my first stomach ulcer at 8 years old. It took 22 years to finally be diagnosed with celiac disease. I was studying Human Nutrition and Exercise and Wellness, so the general transition to gluten-free was a lot easier for me than it is for many. I still had a HUGE learning curve, and still get "glutened" a few times a year. 

Although I do become frustrated with how strict my diet has to be, and occasionally embarrassed when I can't eat food my family or friends have specially prepared for me due to cross-contamination. I never feel bad for myself, and have stopped apologizing for this health condition that I have no control over. It's taken a few years, but I've come to terms with the fact that I'm going to be on a gluten-free diet forever. 

Enter motherhood: Did you know that celiac disease is VERY hereditary? I didn't fully understand what that means until I had my daughter a short 10 months ago. When I say I didn't fully understand, I did fully understand that my child would most likely have celiac, but I didn't plan on the guilt associated with this. Although I cannot change my genetics, it is very hard not to feel guilty for most likely "giving" my daughter celiac disease. She won't be able to eat cake at birthday parties, she won't be able to go for pizza after her games, and sleep overs are going to require special instructions. I don't feel guilt over her not being able to eat gluten, but I do feel guilty about the experiences she won't feel fully a part of. 

There are far worse things than celiac disease, and keeping things in perspective, we are very fortunate. It doesn't make me blame myself any less though. Celiac disease is 100% out of my control, and that is not a good feeling when you are dealing with your children. I can control her diet though. I can greatly influence her future outlook, and teach her she is lucky to have something that is easily managed by avoiding gluten. I don't feel like a victim to this disease, and my daughter won't either. It will take me a while to come to terms with the guilt though. 

I'm curious as to all of your experiences with this. Please leave a comment or e-mail me at [email protected] Have a great day, and in this month of Thanksgiving, I have to say that I am grateful for such a wonderful daughter and the experiences motherhood as already brought to my life.