Cappello's Catches Up With Erica Dermer from Celiac and the Beast
We caught up with Erica Dermer, blogger for Celiacandthebeast.com. Read below to learn her story and how she lives with CD.
Living with CD is no easy task. When were you diagnosed and how did it impact your life?
It certainly wasn't an easy journey. I've had multiple diagnosis and misdiagnosis over the years. I didn't present with "typical" symptoms and it confused a few doctors and masqueraded as other diseases. I've been poked and prodded and had so many medical tests. Finally, I had proper tests done, including the genetic test, and found I had celiac disease. I wish I could have just walked into a doctors office, talked about why I felt so terrible for 5 minutes, had a simple blood test and was told I had celiac, but it didn't work that way for me, and it doesn't seem to work that way for a lot of people...unfortunately.
It seems like we’re seeing an explosion of gluten-related health problems. What encouraged you to educate others with your blog Celiac and the Beast.
After I had complications in diagnosis, and finally had an amazing doctor at Mayo Clinic, I wanted everyone to know. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops how it should be done right the first time to avoid shenanigans in diagnosis. I also wanted others to benefit from my experience with new food products and education from food trade shows. I'm pretty lucky to be able to have the access that I do to new products, and I want to be able to have readers find the tastiest life possible.
Is the level of discipline you have to apply to your everyday life difficult to get used to?
I always say that it never gets easy, it gets easier. Every day is another day where you have to strap on your detective hat and play Sherlock Holmes. Every meal, every snack has to be investigated. Over time, it gets easier and becomes second nature.
What resources do you use to educate yourself on CD?
Here's the thing with celiac. Unfortunately there are a lot of uneducated "experts" out there that don't have experience with medical professionals. While I'm not a doctor, I attend doctor-only clinical events about celiac disease. When I write about celiac disease, I write from clinical research and from celiac disease non-profits that are the key resource for education in our community. When people consider themselves diagnosed with celiac, and they haven't had the proper tests and/or visited non-medical doctors that fed them quackery, I get so mad. Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease and therefore should be taken seriously - not diagnosed on a whim.
What's your favorite gluten-free dish?
I start my morning out with toast. I love toast. I don't love sandwiches, but I love toast. I know that's not a dish, but just throwing it out there. I love to make gluten-free spaghetti and meatballs with corn and quinoa pasta and using gluten-free oats in the turkey meatballs. I just love FOOD in general!
If you could use only one sentence to describe what it's like living with CD, what would it be?
Living with celiac disease, a lifelong autoimmune disease, looks different on everyone - but everyone has to live a strict gluten-free life.
Where can people find you?
Thank you Erica!