Last summer I had my second endoscopy procedure and the results were pretty amazing. If you don't know me already I was diagnosed Celiac in 2015 after a blood test and an endoscopy. I was one of those Celiacs who didn't have any major symptoms except I was really fatigued regularly, so when I asked my doctor for a blood test for Celiac, he was actually really reluctant about it.
He gave me the blood test anyway and much to our astonishment it came back as positive for Celiac and I was sent for the endoscopy. In this procedure they have a look the intestinal wall for signs of the disease. You can choose to be sedated or not, and I'm not sure why, but I choose to be awake for it!
The doctor asked me to swallow as the scope passed down my throat. I just closed my eyes and tried to breathe normally through my nose as they started feeding the camera tube in. I felt some pressure on my throat but no pain. It was extremely strange feeling something poking around in your stomach and intestines.
During the procedure I could hear the doctors saying that I was definitely Celiac. They could see the visible damage done by Gluten. When you have Celiac disease, the villi that absorb nutrients are flattened and stop absorbing.
The doctor had a chat with me after and explained that it would be best to start the diet straight away after what they’d seen. They would give me a call in a few weeks after the results from the samples had come in.
It was a bit shocking to hear that my insides were in such bad shape! So even though I didn't have any major symptoms other than tiredness, I really went all in on the gluten free diet. It only took a few weeks on the diet before I started to notice major changes. My body was completely invigorated. I wasn’t lethargic anymore and was able to get through the day without at least one nap. It was amazing, I really had not felt this good in so long. I didn’t realise how bad I was actually feeling until it was gone.
The disease must have been creeping up on me really slowly and I didn’t notice how fatigued I had been getting. If you are reading this and battling through the first few tough weeks, I implore you to stick with it.
Knowing how much better the diet made me feel really helped my stick to it.
So cut to 5 years later on the gluten free diet and I get a call from the hospital to have the second endoscopy. I was not to enthusiastic about this and had been putting it off for about 6 months. Eventually, after a 6 month battle, I managed to fight off the procrastination monster and I booked the appointed.
For some strange reason I decided to not get the sedation again!! I guess I was thinking ''well if I did it before I can do it again''. It was the same story again with some added Covid precautions this time of course.
The procedure was fine but on the journey home, my stomach started to feel uncomfortable. By the time I reached home I was feeling some cramping and bloating. I was happy that I had picked up some soup as that was all I was able to eat. It was just uncomfortable, I wasn’t in any pain.
A few weeks later the doctor called from the hospital to say that all was well. The villi in my intestines had returned to normal. The doctor explained that my blood marker when first diagnosed was at 124 and after the second test 5 years later it was at 4 which is a great result (I'm not an expert so I not too sure what this means but it sounds good 😅). "You are basically free of Celiac Disease", he said.
For a second I thought that I was cured and could go back eating gluten. "But of course you will have to stay on the gluten free diet".
I was really delighted with the results because it was a worry at the start that the gluten free diet might not work, that I had done permanent damage.
Long story short, it works, and what you gain is immeasurably more valuable and than what you give up.