img_0175-e1500142456258.jpgMy 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.

IMG_0252What 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!

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