Successfully Coping With Autoimmune Diseases

67 Comments 10 November 2008

Autoimmune-book Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body mistakenly attacks itself. Interestingly, there are over 80 autoimmune diseases and unfortunately, for a reason science cannot readily explain, women are at more risk of having these disorders.

Are you a woman that struggles to keep it all together while coping with celiac disease and/or related health issues while maintaining a career?

What is your biggest obstacle? What related autoimmune disease or chronic illness situation are you dealing with? What words of living wisdom do you have to share?

Most of us have read about how celiac disease may be found in combination with other autoimmune diseases, but I'd like to hear from those of you that are living it.

Women, Work, and Autoimmune Disease: Keep Working, Girlfriend! is a new book that encourages women with chronic illness to stay as successfully employed as possible so they can preserve their independence and sense of self. Rich with information and inspiration, it is the voice of warmth, wisdom, understanding and sisterhood. This book encourages you to keep going, in spite of the hurdles.

The authors, Rosalind Joffe and Joan Friedlander, would like to randomly give away one copy of their inspirational new book to one of our readers. The winner will be chosen from the comments section.

Thank you for sharing, us chicks need to stick together!

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Your Comments

67 Comments so far

  1. 1
    Nina says:

    I’ve just joined the full-time working world for the first time with Celiac disease and am interested to find out how other working women cope with work and the disease. In particular, when they get sick, attend office parties and potlucks, and general cafeteria guidelines. I’m having a difficult time dealing with all of these in my new job! Thanks for publishing something like this 🙂

  2. 2
    Lori P. says:

    I am recently diagnosed and learning to cope with not only CD, but dairy intolerance, soy intolerance, GERD and a chemical sensitivity. I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and recently received news of AS-CUS results. I sometimes wonder while looking up at the heavens (but am careful not to say too loudly), “Is that all you’ve got?”

    In addition to my family, I work full-time and go to school part-time as well as take care of a 70lb handicapped dog. I also help my husband with his own photography homework, and I freelance. Needless to say, it can be rough. I find no time to cook from scratch and must rely on the few things I can eat and purchase ready-made.

    I think your a book of encouragement is a great idea! These issues can sometimes feel overwhelming and frustrating. I’ll be on the lookout for it once it’s published.

  3. 3
    Samantha says:

    This sounds interesting. I have been diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases. Celiac disease is the easiest to cope with. A disease controlled completely through diet is easy. It’s the others that are a nightmare… However, the issue of gluten free tends to be the predominant one. Office gatherings, lunch meetings, and (this time of year) the inevitable holiday parties! Of course, one can live with it, but it is a real pain in the… I look forward to reading this book!

  4. 4

    I would love a copy of this book. Celiac has always seemed to get in the way of my career goals – it would be great to have new advice in this area. Thanks for the chance!

  5. 5
    Marie says:

    I am excited about a book that talks about coping with auto immune diseases and continuing to work and meet career goals. My oldest daughter has Celiac Disease, but she also has MS. She tells me that some of the days that are the hardest with her MS symptoms, she is glad that she has her job. It helps take her mind off of the numbness and the pain she feels. I hope that you will consider giving my daughter, Mollie, the book. I think it would support her on the days that are hardest.

  6. 6
    Susette says:

    Sounds like a book I need to read. I am struggling to stay healthy. I am a stressed out teacher who has tmj and a pinched nerve. My tmj doctor wanted me to quit teaching so that I could heal properly. I am very chemically sensitive along with celiac. There are no support groups where I live. I am dependent on the internet for support. This year I am currently employed on a half-time basis. The stress is less, but not enough. Needless to say, with God’s help I hope to heal properly. 🙂

  7. 7
    Peggy says:

    This book sounds like the boost I need from time to time when I get frustrated with being a celiac. It’s a nice reminder that there are so many of us out there & I’d love to hear other’s stories of coping, overcoming & living the life of their dreams despite living with celiac disease. I hope I win!!

  8. 8

    Autoimmune thyroid issue is responding to gluten free diet…woohoo…

  9. 9

    This seems like a wonderful read. As a working mother with young children, one of which also has celiac, an entire book about dealing with this experience seems like a real treasure. I would love to win it — but if not, likely will track it down for myself anyway.

  10. 10
    Lori says:

    I struggle with the symptoms of the disease. I also struggle with watching people enjoy eating foods daily which I crave so badly and obviously cannot have. I am putting this book on my “wish list” and hopefully down the road I will get a chance to read it. By the sounds of it I think it would be beneficial for me. Thank-you for the information!!

  11. 11
    Elizabeth says:

    I am sixteen years old. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in April of 2005, which was devistating. While coping with diabetes and the death of my father, in October of 2005, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. With the major support system and I have, I would like to say it comes easy to me. I try to be strong and get through the days. I obviously do not have a career as of right now but I do go to high school in Long Island and one day plan on going into the education of Diabetes and Celiac Disease. This book sounds AWESOME and I can’t wait to read it. We autoimmune disease ladies must all help eachother out!

  12. 12
    Robin says:

    ooo! ooo! pick me!! 😉 …this book looks really interesting. It’s always nice to feel like you aren’t the ONLY one with CD. Sites like Celiac Chicks and books like this make it much easier to navigate the gluten laden world we live in. My workplace was fabulously supportive (almost 2 yrs GF). They still are. My co-workers always are curious about what I have brought for lunch or where I can go to eat when we go out together for occasional lunch off site. And they are always thinking of me when they are out and about and find either a place to eat or food in the supermarket that is GF. I am truly thankful to my co-workers…they make it so much better for me socially, which is huge on your psyche!

  13. 13
    Megan says:

    Oohh, pick me, pick me. 🙂 I am still stuggling with eating gluten free. I have such a crazy life that eating gluten free only makes my life even more of a hassel. This book sounds great and I am definitely going to be seeking it out.

  14. 14
    Laura says:

    I feel I’m one of the fortunate ones to be diagnosed with CD so early–I suffered for about 6 years and was diagnosed about 7 months ago at the age of 27 thru an endoscopy (bloodwork was negative). While suffering with the typical symptoms of CD: chronic stomach aches, fatigue, nausea, joint pain, IBS symptoms, etc–little did I know that the overwhelming and sometimes painful coldness in my extremities was related. What I had always blamed on poor circulation, had actually been the auto immune disease ,Reynaud’s syndrome-which often accompanies CD. I feel at peace finally knowing that everything is related and that I’m able to keep the CD under control. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a remedy for the RS, but have found that the product Yoga Toes definitely helps! For anyone suffering with this-definitely check it out!

  15. 15
    Dana says:

    This book sounds so great. I was diagnosed 3 years ago with CD. I have just finished my university degree and I am starting a career in international development studies. So I think this book would help me a lot.
    I have found it hard to cope with CD in a working environment, but a push through it because I am passionate about international development. Currently I am in Guyana, South America and I find the food situation hard, but I do what I can and care packages help a lot. Having such a great support community is such a help, even though I live in Canada and there is not much for GF food in stores in Norhtern British Columbia there always seem to be people who share the stories.
    I look forward to reading this book.

  16. 16

    What great comments. For those who want the book — and don’t win it – it’s on amazon for $12.89 -(there are already used editions – which mean even cheaper) — and for those who want more concrete help with looking for a job or keeping your job while living with a chronic illness, my Working With Chronic Illness Workbook is a fantastic resource. Read about it on my website, or a direct link:


  17. 17
    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D. says:

    A little known fact is that gluten intolerance often goes along with dairy intolerance. In this case, it has nothing to do with lactase deficiency – it is the milk protein that hurts. All dairy products are highly inflammatory foods and should be avoided by people with celiac and/or auto-immune diseases.

    I like your website!

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author (and diagnosed with gluten intolerance more than 15 years ago).

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Kelly Courson


Thanks for stopping by! I'm Kelly Courson and this is where I've shared my gluten-free finds since 2003. The world has been my gluten-free oyster for 14 years now and I love sharing what I've learned in order to help others adapt to a gluten-free diet. Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. Connecting with people like you is what has kept me going this long! Seriously.

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