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My Celiac Journey: Rediscovering Health on a Gluten-Free Diet

Updated: May 2

Welcome to my Blog!


Hey there! I'm Dorothy Lyons, a Registered Dietitian, health coach and mother of two. With 12+ years of clinical work experience under my belt, and living with celiac disease, I support families' health and wellness through a safe and nutritious gluten-free diet. Here's my story, from journey to diagnosis.


Dorothy Lyons RD with her son and daughter

Early Life and Symptoms

As a child, I never had any known health problems and ate a regular diet. My digestive issues started somewhere around the beginning of high school and progressively got worse. By the end of the school day, I was dying to go home due to severe stomach pain, gas, bloating. I was always exhausted.

Somewhere around that time, I was tentatively diagnosed with IBS and tried a couple of different medications which didn't really help. I was advised to “eat more fibre”. High fibre wheat cereals and snack bars were my go-to (hello gluten!).

Things got much worse in university. It seemed like anything I ate made me sick, so whenever I had a “flare up” I pretty much ate boiled vegetables and nothing else. Not surprisingly I lost a ton of weight over time. I saw several specialists including an endocrinologist who told me I have an eating disorder and just need to eat more food (lol). I was never referred to a gastroenterologist at that time, despite my struggles.


Diagnosis and Going Gluten-Free

After being incredibly sick more times than I could count, missing work and school, dreading social gatherings, and losing blood every time I had a bowel movement, I knew I had to do something else. I was afraid of food, I was a shell of a person (113lbs at one point) and not enjoying my life at all.

Finally after finding a new GP, I was referred to a gastroenterologist in Toronto. The doctor encouraged me to start a gluten-free diet and monitor my symptoms.

Of course, I didn’t know everything about a gluten-free diet, including risks of cross contamination or hidden sources of gluten, but I was learning. I felt indescribably better, with no more debilitating symptoms. After that, I never looked back.


Supporting Kids and Families with Celiac Disease

Fast forward to today. I am a Registered Dietitian with 12+ years of experience in the field, navigating a gluten-free lifestyle firsthand, and have 2 beautiful, thriving children. I have always worried that my babies could also have celiac disease, because it is hereditary, but so far they have not had any symptoms.

I am happy that my daughter knows that mommy can’t have gluten and daddy can’t have peanuts (another story for another time), but I realize she doesn’t fully understand what all of this really means just yet. Learning how to communicate with children (and adults for that matter!) about food allergies and intolerances is a tall order, but thankfully we have so many great resources to help now.


My Mission

The amount of support, resources and awareness of celiac disease has come a long way since my journey began, but it can still be very challenging at times. My mission is to support you and your family to live a healthy, thriving life, and safely navigate a gluten-free diet and lifestyle. If you have any questions for me or just want to chat, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m here to help.


Yours in best health,


Dorothy


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