It's been awhile since I've posted, but rest assured I'm still around. I spend most of my creative energy regarding celiac disease and happy, healthy gluten-free living at my Day Job as Director of Communications and New Media for Beyond Celiac, a leading patient advocacy organization driving research for treatments beyond the gluten-free diet, and ultimately a cure altogether. One of the cooler projects we've worked on lately is Gut Reaction: How Celiac Disease is Triggered and Might Be Treated. I narrate the video version (though you can just download the slides), so it's almost like having me explain the physical mechanics of celiac disease to you in person. A treat!
Working on it was actually a big help to me. I, like many of us with celiac disease, knew the mechanics to the level of "gluten sets off an autoimmune reaction causing damage to the lining of your small intestine and interfering with absorption." In my mind, I'd pictured gluten as a giant sheet of sandpaper buffing my villi to a glossy sheen, like a ski slope. (I was supposed to go skiing today, but I had some minor surgery on my back, which is keeping me on unslick surfaces. However, I do like a chance to post good snow pics, especially since I've been glued to the Winter Olympics!*)
There's way more to what's going on in our bodies than that! And, Gut Reaction gave me a peek into how the treatments in the research pipeline might stop this damage. I'm definitely in the camps of either the "break down the gluten before the damage can happen" or the "tighten my cellular junctions before gluten can get through" approach. Definitely worth checking out.
* And speaking of the Winter Olympics, keep an eye on Resi Steigler. She's a downhill Olympic skier from Jackson Hole WY and she has celiac disease. This is her third trip to the Olympics. Let's cheer her to victory!