Katrina Berlo

At the beginning of my senior year of high school, I started to become really ill, and every time I ate, I would feel sick I was losing a ton of weight and couldn’t hold any weight on and just kept getting thinner and thinner the entire senior year. I went from being 135 pounds to 108 pounds in the space of just a few months without trying to lose weight; I was trying to gain because I was eating food and not understanding why I was losing weight because I did not want to.

I became so unhealthy that I had to go see a heart doctor because they were saying my heart was starting to become irregular heartbeats, and I had to be monitored for that. my primary doctor told me I was losing weight because I had depression, but I knew that wasn’t the case because I didn’t want to lose the weight I was trying so hard to gain and didn’t understand why I was losing it I didn’t want to be skinnier.

I finally got a new primary doctor and told her my symptoms, and she immediately thought I had celiac disease and sent in an order for bloodwork. I got a call from her saying that I do have celiac disease, which means that I can’t ingest gluten. I had no idea what that meant I googled it, and the first thing I saw was I could not eat weed, and my jaw dropped, the tests to her clearly showed I had celiac and the next step was an endoscopy, which finalized my diagnosis.

The first few months of having celiac or hard because gluten-free is new to you, and you don’t know what is good and what is bad products to buy or what you’re going to like. You feel very sheltered from what you can eat, but now two years later, I have no problem living a gluten-free life, and I actually enjoy living gluten-free; one of my favorite things to do is try safe new gluten-free restaurants and cook new gluten-free things and buy new gluten-free products it’s like my favorite hobby.

You definitely deal with a lot of mean people, and I’ve lost numerous friends because they have been mean about my diagnosis and have not accepted my new life. but you have to put it into perspective that a really good person wouldn’t be mean to you because of a medical condition you have, and it really shows people’s true colors, and people are ignorant because they have no idea what gluten-free actually means, and a lot of hate is spread on it because of one product that is gluten-free that could be not tasteful or because it is looked at as a depressing way to live, which I don’t think so at all. going out and eating gluten-free, I’ve had some of the best foods I’ve ever tried in my life that I would’ve never tried if I didn’t get celiac disease.

I am 145 pounds now, and I’ve gained 42 pounds since my diagnosis and feel and look great, and it would’ve never happened if I didn’t get my diagnosis. I am grateful to be diagnosed because if I wouldn’t, who knows if I would even be here now.