What did you get? Let’s see, mine came with a thyroid disorder and severe allergic reactions that turned out to be gluten intolerance. So now on top of the carb-counting and the shots, I’m limited to wheat-free foods, which is a whole other world of complexity, since so much “normal” food is glutinous. Are we having fun yet?!
I’m finding out how common it is for us folks with one organ-specific autoimmune disease to develop other autoimmune disorders. The body’s immune system, already going haywire, attacks other organs, like the thyroid gland.
Apparently upwards of 30% of Type 1’s also get Celiac Disease, an inability to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Sheesh! If it’s so common, why did it take so many allergy-specialist-visits and so much bloodletting on my part to discover that my reactions were caused by gluten?! They tell me mine is a “straightforward wheat allergy” as opposed to full-on celiac sprue, but the imposition’s the same: no normal pasta, bread, or baked goods of any kind. Analyze that!!
So is it becoming more common for new diabetics to suddenly show up with all sorts of add-on disorders? Probably not. My Endo says it’s partly due to the doctors getting more and more proactive in looking for these things before symptoms arise: Type 1’s get tested for thyroid disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, and (maybe, if suspicion arises) gluten problems. Type 2’s for cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and a host of other things if they’re severely overweight.
My doc recommended I search the official Endocrinologists Association web site for “polyendocrine autoimmunity” to research this issue further. Um, NOT really a site for patients. Too much medical mumbo-jumbo we’d rather not decipher. But I did like the Patients First campaign and the Patient-Physician Contract. If you tend to slack off, this is worth printing out and pasting on your fridge, I’d say.
Back to reality, though: Diabetes and gluten intolerance is otherwise known as the DOUBLE-WHAMMY PAIN IN THE ASS. Those of you who’ve got them know just what I mean!! So here’s what I do: I order lots of gluten-free (GF) crackers, cookies, and baking mixes ahead of time from my favorite online stores, www.glutenfreemall.com and www.glutenfreetradingco.com. Then I bake breads and prepare GF pancakes and such ahead of time and freeze them. So when I’m at home, no problemo. Going out in the restaurant world’s another story. But that’s a posting for another day…