PragyaThe Voices of Celiac Disease

“When the number came out, he was sure I had celiac disease and that was the answer to all my life’s questions.”

Describe your life prior to diagnosis:

I was 22 when I got diagnosed. So for all the years possibly after being 10, I always dealt with some kind of allergic reaction. From having rashes to numb fingertips, randomly feeling breathless and faintish and also constantly feeling anxious and stressed. I also dealt with body issues off and on. Felt super bloated all the time but because there was no awareness of celiac disease in India back then, no one around me and especially as a kid I never suspected it as an issue more than just normal kid things. I always thought that’s how it is since I am just overweight.

How did you come to suspect that you have celiac disease?

So in 2018, I had the allergies again and really bad rashes worse than they have ever been. I went to my doctor who also treats kids and he suggested me to get this TTG test done just to cross everything off as things were not getting better. When the number came out, he was sure I had celiac disease and that was the answer to all my life’s questions. I then went in to get an endoscopy done and it was confirmed. I knew gluten-free and living life as a celiac is the only way to turn my life around and all the issues I had till that point were proven to be symptoms all along.

Did you face any challenges along the way to diagnosis?

As a teenager when I possibly had symptoms but clearly did not know that they were clear signs of celiac disease. So when I had major allergies and rashes all over my body, it possibly took four months to figure out everything. I had a lot of down days, crippling anxiety, feeling that I was doing everything in my power to get better but my body was hating me and I just didn’t know what else to do. It was a bad phase in my life but definitely now it seems like l am lucky to know what I and my body need and I can treat it the best way.   

Describe your experience with living with celiac disease:

It’s soon going to be my third anniversary of living life with celiac disease and all I can say is I am absolutely grateful to have been diagnosed. To have a greater understanding of what my body needs and wants and that I can do that for it. Yes when I started this lifestyle, there were more tough days. From figuring out what to eat, where to eat and how to eat. But once you get into this lifestyle and see all the changes that happen inside and out. You just feel better. and that’s exactly how I feel. I even started a Instagram channel @theglutenfreediva to help spread awareness about living life gluten-free in India. Wherever I go and also to spread awareness about mental health and anxiety and how it all works hand in hand. I also feel very blessed to be surrounded by my friends and family to have supported my journey and accepted my new ways of living and being careful around me.