Ella LieblichThe Voices of Celiac Disease

“I started having to miss more and more school. I couldn’t sit, lie down, or stand.”

A photo of Ella on the beach, smiling.

Journey to Diagnosis

Hi, my name is Ella Lieblich and I am 16 years old, living in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and it has not been an easy journey. I started getting very sick every couple of months and would have to miss 1-3 days of school at a time; I was extremely confused and hated missing school. The pain and sickness I felt was unbearable. As I continued to get sicker and sicker, I started having to miss more and more school. I couldn’t sit, lie down, or stand. Feelings of extreme nausea and lightheadedness became normal to me. Getting a diagnosis was my first step to feeling better.

But while it was great to have a diagnosis, I was beginning to realize this would be my life. I became awkward around food and eating out with friends was difficult. I was mourning the freedom I had before and had to accept that I would not be able to go back.

Making a Difference with Beyond Celiac

To me, being a Reach Beyond Celiac Ambassador means that I can use my resources to share information about celiac disease: it is more than “just a gluten intolerance,” and no you can not just “suck it up.” It means sharing my story and how it can be a very positive thing. With tons of alternatives it’s worth changing your diet to feel better later on.

The little knowledge people have on celiac disease can be damaging and possibly harmful to those of us with the disease. I am grateful to have Beyond Celiac for myself and for others throughout this lifestyle change.