Functional Medicine & Wellness

Living With Celiac Disease — A Personal Health Journey

Everyone’s health journey is different but each comes with its own set of challenges and triumphs. Katie Ozimek, beloved functional medicine health coach at Omnia, has her own story to tell…

As a child, I experienced horrible fatigue, stomachaches, joint pain that prevented me from walking, fainting episodes, and low levels of iron. To put it lightly, I felt terrible all the time. The worst part of it was not knowing. Without the knowledge or means to help my body heal, I was helpless. The one thing I did know was that I was being held back from living life to the fullest.

It is estimated that up to 83% of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.


Receiving A Diagnosis

After “dealing” with my constant state of sickness for longer than anyone should have to, I received a diagnosis. My primary care doctor ran a celiac panel, which was not common at the time, and it came back positive. I then went to see a Gastroenterologist who confirmed it with an endoscopy. 

I had an answer for what was causing my health issues but I still had no resolution regarding how to heal my gut. The doctors simply told me to stop eating gluten. Although it prevented the symptoms from getting worse, it didn’t improve things as much as I would have hoped. This is where Omnia Health and Dr. Jacqui Pariset came into the picture.

Tired of feeling tired and so many other chronic symptoms, I looked for alternatives to western medicine. This brought me to Dr. Jacqui. Up until this point, I had gotten used to being told, “We don’t know what’s wrong with you,” or “We don’t know what else to do for you.” Dr. Jacqui was the first person to provide me with a course of action for HEALING my gut.

A Hope For Healing

After being sick for the better part of 30 years, I was relieved to hear there was hope. I was also empowered by the trust I had in Dr. Jacqui, which was a huge milestone after having been failed by so many other doctors. Functional medicine offered me the best of both worlds. It integrates traditional Western Medicine with the newest and best evidence-based data, creating an individualized plan that incorporates lifestyle factors such as nutrition, exercise, and stress management. 

“I was empowered by the trust I had in Dr. Jacqui, which was a huge milestone after having been failed by so many other doctors.”

Taking this approach, Dr. Jacqui gave me a list of which foods to eat and which foods to avoid. Additionally, supplements were added to alleviate the nutritional deficiencies I was experiencing. She taught me about the importance of reducing stress and provided practical methods for achieving an inner sense of calm. Every recommendation was partnered with an explanation as well as an ample amount of encouragement.

For the first time, I began seeing results and became more confident in my health. I even implemented a workout routine of weight training and cardio, which improved my body composition. Through experimenting with gluten-free foods, I went on to open a small business making gluten-free/grain-free granola, as well as healthy-ish gluten-free brownies.  

At one point, Dr. Jacqui encouraged me to go back to school and become a Functional Medicine health coach. It’s weird to think about the fact that if I had not been diagnosed with celiac disease, I would not be where I am today — in a position to make a positive impact on the lives of others while doing what I love for a living. 

A Journey With A Purposeful Destination

After going through what I went through, I was driven to help others avoid all the unnecessary questioning and suffering that I experienced. I found myself talking to people about my journey, helping strangers in a grocery store in the baking aisle looking for gluten-free options, and wanting to do more. At the time, I just wasn’t sure what that “doing more” would look like.  

With Dr. Jacqui’s encouragement, I went back to school at the young age of 39 and changed my career. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I absolutely love being a Functional Medicine health coach at Omnia Health and honestly, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

A Change In Perspective

Being on the other side of things now, I think there is a time and place for standard health care, particularly for treating acute problems. However, they miss the mark when it comes to disease prevention and identifying the “why” behind the “what” of a health issue.  

I see countless patients who have had a chronic disease for so long. Their previous doctors typically prescribe them lots of medicines without addressing the underlying problem. The beauty of Functional Medicine is our ability to identify and treat the root of the problem. Omnia Health changed my life for the better. Now it’s your turn. Start the conversation.




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