One thing I love about my new temporary office — it has a door. A couple weeks ago I started putting infographics on my door, and then I decided to change them up and do a new one each week. I’ve already forgotten what was the first one I put up, but last week I put up “Q: Who’s the tech leader at YOUR school? A: Odds are, it’s the librarian.”
This week I thought, “Hunh, if I’m going to do this, maybe I should share them on my blog, too.” Now, admittedly, I haven’t been terribly active here recently. There have been extenuating circumstances, partly involved injury, health and family, but also other work obligations. For one, I’ve been pretty intensely involved with leading the emerging technologies question for the MLA systematic review team on that topic. For a second, there is a REALLY EXCITING PROJECT I can’t tell you about yet, but hope to soon. When we can go public with that, you’ll see me back here actively a lot more. For one thing, I’ll have more time after I present the MLASR6 initial results at MLA 14 next week. I’m so craving more time to blog! I have so much to share!
So, this week, we are solidly into the middle of National Celiac Awareness Month (more info from NIH). And I’m a person living with celiac. So I chose a relevant infographic, the now well known one by GlutenDude for which he surveyed many celiac patients for the symptoms they had before diagnosis. I’m sure, if you read this blog regularly, you’re probably curious about my personal story. I don’t have time right now, so the short short version is that I had symptoms for roughly 20 years, and if you read through the infographic, of the 84 symptoms listed, at various times I showed over 60 of them and were treated by doctors for most of those. Ouch. Yeah, I’m really REALLY happy to have a diagnosis and effective course of treatment now.
“Many people who were newly diagnosed reported a long-standing history of symptoms, which should have raised the suspicion of celiac long before the screenings.” Fasano, Alessio. Gluten Freedom, 2014, p. 75.
There are a couple super important things to mention before showing you the entire image. (1) If you haven’t been formally diagnosed, KEEP EATING GLUTEN until the doctor tells you to stop. You may not be able to be accurately diagnosed otherwise, and it makes a difference for long term care. (2) Celiac disease is easy to confuse with many other conditions, so there is a rigorous differential diagnosis process. Even if you have all the symptoms, you can only suspect that you may have it, never be sure. Work with your doctor, since going gluten free without the collaboration of your doctor might actually end up with you missing a different diagnosis that is the right one. (3) You cannot develop celiac disease without the genetic component, but you can develop other gluten-triggered disorders. So getting the genome scans is fun and informative, but doesn’t give you the answer.