Where’s Allie?

Hi! My name is Allie and this is my story. About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Celiac is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself in response to gluten in the diet. Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats. Yup, that means I’m basically ‘allergic’ to wheat flour and all things made from it.

When you have Celiac and you eat gluten, your body attacks the duodenum, which is part of the intestines. This damage causes inflammation throughout the body, and all sorts of things happen. For me, my symptoms were bloating, stomach pain, nerve pain, joint pain, brain fog, anxiety and depression… and it took years for those symptoms to fade.

Celiac disease is diagnosed with an endoscopy. When I woke up from the anesthesia after my endoscopy, I looked across the recovery room and saw a picture of myself as a toddler! When I was about 2, my mom’s friend who worked for Nationwide Children’s Hospital marketing needed kids to pose for pictures. My brother and I went in and got our pictures taken. My 2 year old self follows me in every department of the hospital I visit. My picture is in the silver frames on the walls. Maybe you’ve seen me already but if you haven’t, play “Where’s Allie?” of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

There is no cure for autoimmune diseases, only treatments for the symptoms. Celiac is the only autoimmune with a known trigger: gluten. So if you remove gluten from your diet, you get to heal. That’s why I have worked so hard to teach others how to avoid gluten in their diet… so they can not only heal, but also feel empowered. I have presented about Celiac at science fairs (local, district, state), 4-H club meetings and project judging, Girl Scout troops, Gluten Free Eating programs and NCH Celiac Conference.

Celiac disease is sometimes called an invisible illness. No one could see the pain I was going through, and you wouldn’t believe how much that hurts after a while. All of that pain, and I was all alone because no one knew what that felt like. But my faith, family and friends helped. My friend Kathryn and I both have autoimmune diseases. Both of our diseases got really bad at the same time. We both looked so sickly and skinny. But, slowly and miraculously, we got better, together. We are now the very best of friends. Instead of letting our diseases get the better of us, we turned our situation around and beat it. We may have a disease, but disease does not have us! That’s what I wanted to share. Don’t give up, don’t give in. Keep fighting. There is always hope.

https://flutter.nationwidechildrens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Featured-image-allie.jpg
https://flutter.nationwidechildrens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/gluten-free-allie.jpg
https://flutter.nationwidechildrens.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/allie-on-the-wall.jpg
  • Name: Allie C.Allie Carter
  • Condition(s): Celiac Disease
  • Age at Treatment: 11
  • Age Today: 05/10/200415 Years

Hi! My name is Allie and this is my story. About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Celiac is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself in response to gluten in the diet. Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats. Yup, that means I’m basically ‘allergic’ to wheat flour and all things made from it.

When you have Celiac and you eat gluten, your body attacks the duodenum, which is part of the intestines. This damage causes inflammation throughout the body, and all sorts of things happen. For me, my symptoms were bloating, stomach pain, nerve pain, joint pain, brain fog, anxiety and depression… and it took years for those symptoms to fade.

Celiac disease is diagnosed with an endoscopy. When I woke up from the anesthesia after my endoscopy, I looked across the recovery room and saw a picture of myself as a toddler! When I was about 2, my mom’s friend who worked for Nationwide Children’s Hospital marketing needed kids to pose for pictures. My brother and I went in and got our pictures taken. My 2 year old self follows me in every department of the hospital I visit. My picture is in the silver frames on the walls. Maybe you’ve seen me already but if you haven’t, play “Where’s Allie?” of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

There is no cure for autoimmune diseases, only treatments for the symptoms. Celiac is the only autoimmune with a known trigger: gluten. So if you remove gluten from your diet, you get to heal. That’s why I have worked so hard to teach others how to avoid gluten in their diet… so they can not only heal, but also feel empowered. I have presented about Celiac at science fairs (local, district, state), 4-H club meetings and project judging, Girl Scout troops, Gluten Free Eating programs and NCH Celiac Conference.

Celiac disease is sometimes called an invisible illness. No one could see the pain I was going through, and you wouldn’t believe how much that hurts after a while. All of that pain, and I was all alone because no one knew what that felt like. But my faith, family and friends helped. My friend Kathryn and I both have autoimmune diseases. Both of our diseases got really bad at the same time. We both looked so sickly and skinny. But, slowly and miraculously, we got better, together. We are now the very best of friends. Instead of letting our diseases get the better of us, we turned our situation around and beat it. We may have a disease, but disease does not have us! That’s what I wanted to share. Don’t give up, don’t give in. Keep fighting. There is always hope.

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