The mysterious thing that happens to people when they get sick is they know something is off, but what is it? Being tired can come from anything. And what about headaches… or anemia? “Ohhh, you’re Italian, that’s cultural.” All Italian young girls are anemic? Really? Um, no.

Achy joints aren’t normal if you are young and have not been diagnosed with Arthritis. Headaches every other day, or every week, should not be something you just live with. Stomach problems in a young healthy body? Get to the root of the cause! Don’t give up on trying to find the answers.

When you get Celiac Disease, it’s a slow process. You don’t suddenly wake up one day anemic or malnourished. It creeps up on you. A surreptitious creep. Like a bully who comes on board your life train, and when you think things are going pretty smooth, they hit you with some offhanded comment—or worse—some serious back stabbing. Where did that come from? And now your body—your constant companion—has turned on you. At first it seems normal because that’s what you’re used to. You perceive it a certain way because your body is your best friend. It would never do that to you… right? But the the teasing gets louder, and meaner. It’s a breach of trust. It keeps you off balance.

If you are told to eat a little bit of everything in moderation, this is not going to work for your undiagnosed Celiac body. Mexican food one day (which may not have any flour in it), then Italian food the next (mostly flour), and here’s where the imbalance comes in. Everything was great yesterday… And today you’re lethargic with a stomachache and brain fog. And if you’re not bedridden, you muddle through and keep going. What’s going on? Does this sound like your life?

Food is not supposed to make you feel bad or imbalance you. Just like your friends are not supposed to make you feel bad, or mess with you, or steal your peace.

It’s crazy to look back on life and realize, DANG. If I just hadn’t eaten those lobster rolls, I would’ve felt great on our vacation up the east coast to New England! Once you have a real honest-to-goodness diagnosis, then you also have an explanation. But it’s also important to know that wonky stuff can still happen once diagnosed. You can eat what you think are all the right ingredients, but something gets goofed-up. Were the scrambled eggs at the restaurant really eggs, or poured out of a container? What protein powder did they use for the smoothie even though you asked, and they said it was gluten-free?

Did you know that an estimated 1 in 133 Americans has celiac disease and that 6-10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed? According to The University of Chicago Medicine, “undiagnosed celiac patients are at greater risk of osteoporosis, anemia, infertility, type-1 diabetes and other serious illnesses, in addition to suffering ongoing health problems that can compromise quality of life.” Fourteen years ago, doctors weren’t diagnosing celiac. I am a RN-BSN and my husband is a MD, so we went to many doctors. We were at the top medical facilities in the southeast and no one knew what it was for a very long time. It got dismissed as “You’re working too hard. You’re a young mom. You’re stressed.”

Balance in our lives is affected by so many things. Busy schedules, curve balls, weather, people, and yes… food. Juggling all that can be tough, so you have to be strong and healthy to keep the balance. Keeping peaceful is a job in and of itself. Try to eat the same foods that you know work for you. Keep a regular weekly exercise routine. Sleep. Spend time with loved ones. Go on a digital detox. Find balance and your life compass will point true. Look for the answers to feel healthy and find your peace.

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Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” —Jim Rohn

If you’re being messed with, not well, no peace, no energy by whatever the cause is, by all means get to the bottom of it. It’s not a way to live. Get to a physician. Get the necessary tests to find out if you have gluten intolerance. Stand up for yourself. And once you feel well, up your game! Shake off the stuff that makes you feel bad and focus on your health and well-being. It’s a quality of life thing. You can muddle through, or get out there and do something about it. Ask yourself the question: Could it be food related? Could I have Celiac Disease?

Every day has the potential for balance when you know what the heck is going on. Identifying the “bully” is a first step toward understanding and helping you make adjustments to achieve the balance you desire. Observe your diet, intervene, and send the bully to the principal’s office where they can be held accountable.

“Pure life balance comes from the alignment of health, peace of mind and unconditional love.” —Jet