Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Being Black and having Celiac Disease

Posted In: Medical Errors 0 Replies
  • Posted By: akosua
  • January 26, 2010
  • 00:53 PM

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a year ago after almost 20 years of suffering. I was told it was IBS, or lactose intolerance or all in my head. I found out that my brother was told by his doctor years ago that he had gluten intolerance, but he never took the diagnosis seriously. Finally I got fed up and researched my symptoms and demanded a test for Celiac. I was told it was a waste of time and money and that It was a European “white” disease. My family has a history of stomach problems, fatigue, eczema, and severe vitamin deficiencies, so I persisted and demanded the test. When my GI specialist called to tell me the test came back positive, he sounded shocked. For me it all made sense! I am not of mixed race and my family is of West African decent. We don't consume large amounts of pastas, breads or foods containing large amounts of gluten. Our diet is mainly yams, potatoes, rice, vegetables and meat. I am happy to say that since my correct diagnosis my symptoms have tremendously improved. It will take years for my stomach to heal because of all the damage. I have made this experience my mission to get that word out that no matter what race you are, you can still have Celiac Disease.

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