Autoimmune Journey - Emma's Celiac Story

Today sharing her autoimmune journey is Emma! She has quite the story. After finding her amazing blog I asked her to share her celiac story. You can visit her blog here! She has so many delicious gluten free, allergy free and AIP recipes.  I just made her Raspberry and blueberry streusel shortcake and it was one of the best desserts i've ever had! 

Tell us about your self! Who are you?

My name is Emma and I am from Southampton, England. I am  in training to become an applied kinesiologist and have recently started blogging about my life as a coeliac at www.thenourishedcoeliac.com. I felt compelled to share my story knowing that there are many people going through the same experience as me, with little support or guidance. I hope to offer encouragement and positivity to all suffering with an autoimmune disease.

When were you diagnosed with celiac disease? What was life like before?

After being repeatedly mis-diagnosed for 13 years, I finally demanded a coeliac test from my GP in 2013. In the years leading up to my diagnosis I was anxious, depressed and isolated. I constantly suffered from severe bloating and never felt quite right. After going through a stressful life event in 2012, my symptoms increased dramatically. I suffered rashes, severe constipation, drastic weight loss, hair loss, hormonal imbalances and extreme fatigue, amongst others.

After diagnosis?

Since my diagnosis my life has changed in every possible way. As soon as I eliminated gluten I began to see drastic improvements. After adapting my diet even further to the autoimmune protocol and the elimination of fodmaps, I felt better still. The final

step for me has been working on stress management, emotional support and supplementation to heal my digestion. I now feel like an entirely different person to three years ago. I feel like the person I always wanted to be!

What's helped you the most after your diagnosis?

The autoimmune protocol has been a phenomenal healing tool. It's taken me from being underweight and malnourished to thriving and healthy. I really can't praise those who created the diet enough - I just wish everybody suffering with an autoimmune condition was aware of it. In addition to this, stress management and working with an applied kinesiologist has been fundamental in filling in all the gaps that diet alone can't do. 

What has been the silver lining or something positive that has come from your life with celiac disease?

Everything! My diagnosis is one of the best things to ever happen to me. It was a real lightbulb moment and put an end to years of physical and emotional problems. It has transformed me into the happiest, healthiest person I have ever been. I have fully embraced my new lifestyle and have learnt to understand how to look after my body and give it what it needs to function healthily and I can't ask for more than that.

What's you favourite recipe or product?

Tiger nuts all the way! I cannot tolerate any other AIP/low FODMAP milk or flours so tiger nuts are an absolute god send for me. I use them for snacks, to make milk and for baking. I'd be lost without them. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting out on a gluten free diet?

Be patient and listen to your body. Healing takes time and it won't happen overnight. I'm three years in to my journey and still healing and still learning all the time. If you have flares, learn from them and know that you'll come out the other side healthier and stronger. And finally, I wouldn't be at the stage I am now without my kinesiologist. I think it's really important to find a professional to support you and guide you to ensure your body is getting exactly what it needs.

Thanks again for sharing your story Emma!