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You were recently diagnosed with Celiac disease. You are probably feeling confused, shocked, fear, and avoiding the whole “no gluten ever” thing. Welcome, to Celiac diagnosis: Stage 1 – denial.
Dealing with a Celiac diagnosis can be difficult. Whether it is you or a loved one that was diagnosed, you will more than likely go through the five stages of grief. No, I am not trying to be overly dramatic, but when anyone is given information that impacts the rest of their life, you go through a plethora of emotions.
When my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease, I was initially elated. Not because my daughter had an Autoimmune Disorder, but because we had a name for what she had and it was treatable. She had been having gastrointestinal issues for years with no real reason that explained everything. After the elation, I went into shock. I didn’t know how we were going to deal with this. Does our whole family go gluten-free (GF)? Can we still travel? If so, how will that work? Suddenly a whole slew of questions was marching through my brain like a parade. I even felt fear. Fear that my daughter would not have a normal life. Fearful that she would be miserable. I was even afraid that she would cheat and eat gluten. Mostly, I was afraid I would not be able to help her.
My daughter was initially confused because she didn’t really understand what going GF meant, she was 11. Once she fully understood what Celiac’s disease was and what her life was going to be like, she became afraid. It was completely understandable. One day she can eat whatever she wants and the next she can’t. My daughter had to learn to read labels at an age that most kids should just be choosing their favorite candy. Eventually, she realized her whole little world was getting turned upside down. She even tried on avoidance to see how that would fit. She told me she could “cheat” from time to time and she would be OK, just some constipation for a brief period of time wouldn’t hurt her.
We eventually got through stage one – denial. We did a lot of talking, and I mean a lot!!!! I talked with my husband and other people who were diagnosed with Celiac’s disease. We all met with a nutritionist who specialized in Celiac’s disease and we gave each other grace when we didn’t know what to do.