As if bariatric surgery wasn’t reason enough for a personal connection to our company, you went on to be diagnosed with Celiac disease. Celiacs like you are allergic to gluten. Gluten is in just about all prepared foods and pretty much all foods in the carbohydrate group. Because of your Celiac disease, you have small intestines that can’t digest gluten. When you eat foods with gluten in them, your intestines are unable to break down the gluten and an autoimmune response is triggered that causes the villi in the small intestine to be damaged. This causes malabsorption of critical nutrients by your body.
In the past, people thought that Celiacs would always present as malnourished – underweight and with a range of health issues associated with malnourishment - and someone like you would never have been diagnosed. Evidence is now surfacing that obese people may have a higher than average rate of celiac disease. The mechanism is not well understood, but it appears to be related to how the body responds to malnourishment. For survival of the species, our brains and bodies adjust to chronic changes in diet. In the absence of nutrients, the brain causes the body to crave carbohydrates, which the body then stores as fat for use later. The problem Celiacs have is there is no real starvation driving this and there is no time in the future when their bodies will absorb more nutrients, so they continue to crave food and gain weight, in some cases a lot of it.
So there you were, Linda, in a high stress profession eating as a stress response and a biological response, and gaining weight because, paradoxically, your body wasn’t getting enough nutrients. All the while you were fighting for the legal rights for women in particular, you were feeling the negative body image, discrimination, and physical effects of obesity. It makes me wonder just how many people I know with weight problems are actually Celiacs, and how their lives would be different if they knew and were using teraswhey.
Gastric bypass surgery doesn’t cure Celiac disease; only a completely gluten free diet can relieve its symptoms. Because gluten is almost ubiquitous in our modern diet of manufactured foods, eradicating it from our diets is very difficult. And the incidence of Celiac disease seems to be increasing. Much research still needs to be done to determine whether there is in fact an increased rate of incidence or just more diagnosis. Some practitioners I know are beginning to think it could be exacerbated by the increased presence of not just manufactured foods but also ubiquitous biologically engineered foods like corn that are either in everything or fed to everything. When these things end up ubiquitously in our diets, our guts have to deal with more and more substances that they don’t recognize as food. Eating. It used to be something easy and nourishing and joyous. Now somehow what we’ve done to our farms and our food and ourselves has made it complicated.
Linda, every day you get to deal with the puzzle of how to get enough protein without eating any gluten. Whey protein is not only a source of a lot of the protein you need, it is also the most bioavailable and most readily absorbed protein for your body. This means teraswhey is great for bariatric surgery patients and for Celiacs, in short, a simple food that’s perfect for you. Maybe the universe wanted you to be part of teraswhey because you were going to need it as a foundation of your diet for the rest of your life, and because it would give you a way to share your story with the thousands of people who have been on the same health journey you have.
We get to change the world, one shake at a time. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this journey with me.