Living with celiac disease; Causes struggles in daily lives


     Junior Kendall Fortune and  Jen Baran, the mother of sophomore Ace Baran, both know what it is like to live with celiac disease and how it has affected their lives personally.   

       According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, celiac disease is a chronic digestive and immune disorder that damages the small intestine. The disease is triggered by eating foods containing gluten. 

       Baran said, “celiac disease affected my daily life by me having to be conscious of literally everything I eat and drink. Now that I have been gluten free for 11 years, my body has a very strong reaction when I am “glutened” [when she eats gluten]. I get quite ill, and it takes a long time to recover.”  

     Fortune found out she had celiac disease when she was in second grade on her birthday. “When I was younger, whenever I ate gluten, I felt really sick. So, in second grade, on my birthday actually, I got a blood test, which came back positive.” 

     Fortune stated that “having celiac disease affects my everyday life, by making me always know what I’m eating and if it is safe for me to. If I were to eat gluten, my stomach would hurt extremely bad for a few days. Thankfully, my allergy is not as severe as others so I always see that as a positive.” 

     She adds “since I am so used to my diet, it is just the normal now and I pretty much know whether a certain food is gluten free or not.” 

     Both Baran and Fortune both say that the worst part about having celiac disease is not being able to enjoy the food that other people can eat. They both state that it feels lonely and awkward and that it is hard not being able to relate to enjoying the food that other people can. 

     Baran then says there are multiple things she would put back into her gluten free diet. “So many times, I think “if I could just have real pizza” or “a Chick-Fil-A sandwich” or “a real donut or bagel.” There are gluten free versions of that stuff- but it is nowhere near as good. I guess I’d put ‘gluten’ back into my diet if I could.”