In 2016, I started experiencing severe lower back pain. It got progressively worse and worked its way down my leg (sciatica). An MRI showed a minor herniated disc. After trying physical therapy and steroid injections, the pain wouldn’t go away. I elected to have a microdiscectomy to remove the herniation. (That's me with a back brace, post surgery pictured above alongside my wife).
The sciatica went away, but the back pain remained. In fact it worsened to the point where I could not sit for more than a few minutes at a time. I also experienced joint pain in other areas, including my hands. I had also begun intermittent fasting, and found that when I was in a fasted state, my inflammation went down dramatically.
I spoke to my doctor about this and we decided to do some blood tests for inflammatory markers. A week later, a nurse called and told me I have Celiac Disease. I honestly didn’t believe it. I had eaten and loved bread my entire life. I hadn’t had the classic GI issues or stunted growth of many others with Celiac. Finally, an endoscopy confirmed I have Celiac. I removed gluten and ALL OF MY PAIN disappeared. No joint pain. Minimal to no back pain. I could sit again without pain. Truly life changing.
Adapting to a gluten-free lifestyle was not easy, but my wife was not about to let me go it alone. She immediately implemented a crash course on gluten and we learned how to embrace a gluten-free lifestyle at home and while dining out. Having Celiac Disease CAN be a huge bummer, but it doesn't have to be. I'm actually grateful for having Celiac for 3 reasons:
1. Celiac Disease has been a motivating factor and huge driver for me in creating Brass Roots, a snack food company that is Gluten Free and free from the top 9 allergens.
2. Celiac Disease has given me knowledge and appreciation for food and an understanding of what's in the food we're eating and the power of food to improve our health.
3. Celiac Disease has brought my family together around food. We cook together more and rally around this challenge together.
Thanks for following along! Share your story in the comments.
- Aaron, Chief Eats Officer