Auto-Immune Attacks

The main difference in a gluten sensitivity, and celiac disease – is the fact that celiac disease is an auto-immune disease.

Meaning – your body attacks itself.

When it’s celiac, your body is attacking the gluten as if it’s a virus, and attacking your body in the small intestine… but because auto immune disease is systemic… it can affect other parts of your body as well with inflammation issues.  Hence, the 350 symptoms that can be tied to celiac disease specifically.

It’s one of the reasons why some doctors who understand auto immune disease recommend that you cut out gluten.  Period.

Gluten is an inflammatory … and if you ingest it, and have the genes for auto immune disease… it WILL increase inflammation in some part of your body.  

This constant stress on your body, when you have gluten issues, bogs down your immune system in other ways…

Which then, makes you prone to infection, viruses AND other auto immune diseases.

See how this works?

So the reaction from ingesting gluten, isn’t one that always causes an immediate reaction, like an allergy would – it’s more of one that pops up… or slowly builds up and destroys, it waxes and wanes… and it can take a while to improve also.

Those of you who have had babies, you know your hair thickens when you’re pregnant… and it also thins out when begin ovulating again, after giving birth.  My baby is now 2 years 10 months.  I stopped nursing her 10 months ago… and my hair, is still. falling. out.

This is a normal handful when I’m running my hand through my hair while styling – hair is just falling to the ground in droves during this.

At first, I thought it was the stress of celiac getting ramped up at the beginning of the year – but it continued thinning.  My feather that I usually wear in my hair has come out every month without fail, which never happened before this…

When I finish – I empty out my brush – and I have a small hairball animal. Neat huh?

And then there are my eyes…

I always have light sensitivity in bright sun light (like, “hurt your head it’s painful to be outside” – sensitivity), but this weekend – something more hit me.  I felt like my eye was going to explode when any sunlight hit it.  I kept my eye closed, and tried to stay calm.  I could literally feel my pupil expand and contract.

I kept sunglasses on, and it helped with keeping my eye close.  Once the sun went down – it wasn’t nearly as bad…  but it throbbed inside my lid.  It didn’t appear super red.  But the veins did follow the pain.  It felt like I was punch in the eyeball with no bruising or pain on my eyelid.

You can see some redness from the veins to my retina area.

Fast forward to Wednesday night… the pain was back again – the pain was worsening – the pressure was intense.  No itching, no drainage… just terrific pain and now redness.  When I woke up Thursday unable to really open my eye without feeling like someone was digging an ice-pick into my pupil – I decided I needed to see the Dr.

By God’s grace, I got right in – and the Dr. went down the list of possibilities… possible conjunctivitis, sty?  Nope….  NO fever, no other illness.  Hmmm…

He numbed my eye – which hurt, but mostly was stinging.  {don’t worry it sounds much worse than it is – it’s done by EYE DROPS not a needle!}  He then dyed my eyeball yellow to look at it under a special light…he couldn’t see anything significant… but suspected something more.

After having me read a chart to determine I could see ok…  He sent me across town to my eye Dr. who had a special machine to take a deeper look at my eye.

The Dr. there looked and looked… he listened to me talk about celiac disease, the coffee I had a week prior… he looked some more.  I held my breath and lots of reporter’s headlines popped into my head… regarding the possibility of what he saw.  The seriousness of his tone showed me it wasn’t good news.

“What you have is called Uveitis (said as it looks: U-V- itis).  We can treat the symptoms, but the cause of this is often auto-immune related when you have no other infection, it’s inflammation in your retina,” he said.  “You need to be patient with this clearing up so you don’t have a relapse, and you need to take it easy.”

Um.  Take it easy?

Yes.  That’s what he said.

So I got drops to keep my eye dilated (which should help with the pain of the eye trying to dilate, because your eyes work together.  When the good eye is dilating, even the closed eye will react, causing more pain if it’s only covered up), and steroid drops to decrease inflammation…

He needed to see me again in a few days…

BUT…In a few days is soccer for 6, and snacks for 2 teams, and 8 kids to the fields, and, and , and – I really didn’t have time for an appointment for myself…

But he made it CLEAR, I needed to see him for sure – Saturday morning.

*gulp*

Okay…

Do you know how cool you feel wearing sunglasses around all day…   inside?  Well…  if you don’t…

You feel VERY cool…

God even blessed me with a very cloudy afternoon which helped some.  Thank you God.

Oh that coffee.  I could kick myself.

The blessing in all of this – is this:  It’s helped me to be extra loving to my kids.  Which I should be everyday.  They’re a gift.  I feel like I’ve stared at them more…  and memorized their little faces and hands, as I stroke them and tell them how special they are, how much I love them, and how proud I am of them.

Our eyes are a gift we often take for granted…  being able to see, is one gift I’d rather not lose…  but in the event that I would lose my eye sight some day,  I can and will be forever grateful that I had the opportunity to see all the beauty God created around me, especially my children.

I haven’t had a whole lot of time to read on this condition… but from the sounds of it, it can become chronic in auto-immune disease patients.  It’s the 3rd leading cause of blindness.  Ironically, I had never heard of it before.

Off to take it easy today… God bless your weekend!

“I consider that our present sufferings

are not worth comparing

with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Romans 8:18

Posted on October 19, 2012, in Celiac/Gluten Sensitivity, Our Struggles, Truth and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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