My name is Megan Ringenberg and I have been loving living gluten-free since 2008 after being diagnosed with celiac disease. My daughter was 15 months old at the time and my symptoms started after I gave birth to her, my first child.
The path to diagnosis was difficult as my primary symptom was joint pain. I saw primary care physicians, orthopedics, rheumatology, and endocrinologists. No one could provide any answers for my condition. After a year of steroids to control the inflammation I asked for the celiac disease blood test from a nationally renowned endocrinologist. We had struggled with infertility and when I googled “joint pain & infertility,” celiac disease kept coming up in the searches. I was ecstatic when she called with the diagnosis of celiac disease. Finally an answer! Little did I know I still had quite the learning curve in front of me!
In hindsight there were a few clues earlier in my life that point to celiac symptoms.
1. I tried to donate blood in college and was told I was anemic and could not donate. I It was not suggested I see someone to determine why.
2. While being evaluated for infertility my liver enzymes were highly elevated and abnormal for no particular reason.
3. I did not have any menstrual cycles. At all. I was told this was normal after taking oral contraceptives.
It “only” took 15 months for a diagnosis which is a blink compared to what many others have endured on their path to a diagnosis.
I began working for the national non-profit, the Celiac Support Association (formerly known as the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA)), in 2010 and now help run the local chapter in Omaha, Nebraska. I have a passion for learning all I can about celiac disease and living gluten-free. It truly brings me joy to educate the public and help newly diagnosed celiacs learn to love living gluten-free.
What better way to do this by reaching a larger audience? I love to travel and am blessed with the opportunity. I’ve developed some tips and tricks that I look forward to sharing. Dining out is difficult at times but with the right tools it can be done. And of course cooking at home is so important and I plan on sharing what our family eats, how we manage a (mostly) gluten-free kitchen and host family gatherings safely.
That’s it! I look forward to learning more about you too so please feel free to share and engage in the conversation!