I am celiac diagnosed and when I look back on the best health time of my life, I can see why in those short times I felt so good--no gluten. I had one other incident in my life. (It is interesting that these times stand out as little islands of a time when I was well and are crystal clear. It is obvious that I had celiac all my life and wasn't diagnosed until I was 55 years old.)

I was nine years old. We were aboard a ship going to Norway, when the ship's engine failed. We drifted helplessly in the sea for a month. The fresh food supplies ran out, and I remember that the cook started making yeast free bread from the flour. I tasted the bread and hated it, so I did not eat it. I was in 4th grade and could not read. One of my symptoms was slow learning, ADD, lack of concentration, depression, anxiety, bone and muscle pain and such. My brother had brought aboard some Hardy Boy mystery books, and because we had so much time on our hands, my mother said it was time to learn to read and sat down again with me to try to teach me to read.

I was amazed. I opened the book, and to this day I can remember what the first line said. "Bang, Bang, a shot rang down the canyon." It was instant. All the lessons that I had been taught in school seemed to come together and make sense to me. I also learned to speak Norwegian in three weeks and can still speak it today. I remember standing on deck looking out to sea and having my mind feel so clear and all the depression and anxiety I had always felt as a child had disappeared. As a child I could not express these things to anyone. I did not understand. Then we went ashore and I had freshly baked slices of rye bread with butter. It was so good. But then the depression and anxiety came back. I had obsessive thoughts that I had to keep in a special routine known only to me. If you asked me today why I did it, I could not tell you. I was miserable. (I did not forget how to read, however.)

Each time I went off gluten and would eat it again, the symptoms became more intense. In conclusion, I would not go off this diet for anything. I think it causes the body to have extreme reactions, and now after 15 years of being gluten free, I am still not what I should be, I just can't seem to heal.