Some research on celiac disease suggests that something triggers it, something starts it up. We are born with the genes to make developing the disease possible. It’s not certain that we will develop it but if we do it will probably be as a result of a trigger of some sort such as severe stress, physical trauma, pregnancy or viral infection. Can you pin point something in your life which could have triggered your celiac disease?
I have a few celiac friends who can pin point the start of their symptoms to a particularly stressful time in their lives and others for whom their trigger may have been a serious operation which they had. In my case I feel that it was a combination of a couple of different things. The first was an extremely stressful and terrifying event which occurred whilst travelling in Guatemala back in 2007. For six months John and I travelled over land from Iowa to Honduras, stopping off at a lot of exciting places en route. This trip was amazing, the only exception being when our bus was hijacked in Guatemala city en route to El Salvador. On boarding the bus we had to walk through a metal detector to ensure no passengers were carrying concealed weapons. We should have been safe but when our bus pulled over at the side of the road, 10 minutes into our journey, to pick up two gun carrying passengers we were in serious trouble. These two delightful gentlemen then proceeded to walk up and down the bus robbing us of our possessions.
This was absolutely terrifying. Could something like this be enough to trigger an autoimmune disorder?
The second thing, and what I think may have triggered it for me, was when John and I moved to the UK in the summer of 2007. This was a very stressful period for me. I had returned home after 2.5 years of living and working abroad and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. John didn’t even have a visa allowing him to legally work in the UK.
I became very depressed. I wasn’t the nicest person to be around. This was not a good time for me at all. Could my stress and depression have been the trigger?
I would love to hear your opinions and experiences on this issue. Can you clearly identify an event or time when you started to develop symptoms of celiac disease? Do you consider this to be what triggered it?