16. Establishing the Genealogical Origins of Ones Celiac Disease Might Help with Gluten-Free Simplicity.
It seems pretty convincing that Celiac Disease is at least partially in our genetic makeup from the time we are conceived or born.
OK… So then, where did it come from? Does it matter?
For their own good reasons, some folks like to check things out. You know, peak beneath the surface in order to possibly establish a more thorough explanation for things.
One blogger wrote:
Celiac (see-lee-ack) disease appears to be most common among those of us with Scandinavian-Celtic roots. I read that in Finland they have Gluten-Free burgers at their McDonald’s. Wish we had that here in the U.S.!! http://boards.ancestry.com/topics.medical.hereditary/411/mb.ashx
So, on the super-technical end (which many of us enjoy), we can look into genetics and triggers etc..
And on the more folksy end, we can look at our own biological family history. For example, I know that on both sides of my biological family and in my direct ancestral lineage, there is a person within two or three generations who had very serious stomach problems. I am talking about my Paternal Grandfather, and my Maternal Great-Grandmother.
And of course, in those days, there were few (if any) formal diagnoses of either Celiac Disease or Crohn’s Disease. At the same time, as the above blogger remarks, there appear to be population or gene-pool-related prevalence for Celiac Disease.
Both of these persons in my family:
- Were probably of Scandinavian-Celtic ancestry.
- Were reputed to have serious stomach problems with one of them requiring serious related surgery.
- Were ancestors in my direct lineage within three generations.
HOW does this help us now?
Well, upon reading about Celiac’s genetic properties for the umpteenth time, I finally began to forgive myself for having Celiac Disease.
As with many Americans, I had been taught by family and culture that my illness was my fault, typically having allegedly been caused by something (sinful) that I ate.
So now, when I start to beat myself up for my sickness(es), I can often derail such negative energy with the logical explanations having to do with genetic causation. I can also begin to see the images of these previously-effected ancestors (whom I barely knew), and I can feel a sense of familialness or kinship with them. Finally, I can help avert some of my feeling sorry for myself by recalling and trying to imagine how tough it must have been on them, especially given that diagnoses, treatment and (most importantly) prevention, were nothing at that time 40 years ago, like they are today.
For that, I am grateful, and one step closer to Gluten-Free Simplicity. And therein lies a really good reason for Noting the Historical and Genealogical Grounding for Ones Celiac Disease.
The primary point of this post being that even though many of us rarely look to the health histories of our biological ancestors to try and understand (and/or better accept) our own health conditions; this would quite possibly be a very healthy thing to do. The information we retrieve could help us on many levels (i.e., physical / medical insights, origins of certain medical conditions, and even social / psychological relief from the shame, blame and guilt over the invalid, yet often presumed possibility that we caused our own genetic conditions, therefore in some opinions we must deserve the pain, losses, and isolation that can come along with it.
The proposition being that if we are free of all that multi-dimensional negative baggage, we can more easily attain a feeling of Gluten-Free Simplicity.