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Elizabeth Hasselbeck and her fight with celiac disease

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Elizabeth Hasselbeck has not kept quiet about her battle with celiac disease. The View co-host felt so strongly about spreading the word on celiac, she wrote her own book. The publication, entitled The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide, later became a bestseller.

Celiac is an autoimmune disorder whereby the body has trouble processing gluten, which is found in most wheat-based products such as bread and pasta. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and chronic indigestion and is often made worse by stress. If left untreated, celiac can lead to much more serious conditions such as bowel cancer, malnutrition and osteoporosis.

In her book, Hasselbeck states: “No matter what I ate, I would soon be doubled over with cramps, awful indigestion, diarrhea – or all of the above simultaneously,” the New York Daily News reported. The star’s troubles began in 1997, when she was still in college, after a trip to Belize.

Elizabeth Hasselbeck talked frankly about her celiac disease

She was finally diagnosed with celiac disease when she started working for The View in 2003. The star found stress catching up with her and making work practically impossible.

“I’ve always thought that if you work really hard at something, you can get it,” she tells Good Housekeeping. “But I was faced with the reality that this just wasn’t happening. Especially given my celiac disease, my body tends to shut down when I’m under stress, like when I’m training for a marathon or when I was starving in Australia.“

“So I decided to be kinder to my body,“ she continues. “And my mom was always saying, ‘You should be eating potatoes!’ So I ate potatoes — and yams and anything with soy in it. I did as much as possible, lifestyle-wise, to calm my body. It finally worked.”

Images: PR Photos and BitchBuzz

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