BattleBots Celebrity, a lover of hardware, diagnosed with celiac disease, and Nima user.

A Celebrity Siting

The first time I met Lisa, I experienced what it might be like to be a celebrity. Connected by a mutual friend, we were meeting for the first time in a coffee shop in San Francisco. I knew she had a very cool background and was a judge on the show, BattleBots. Here was someone who was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and also had a very strong appreciation of well-designed hardware – I was so excited to get her feedback on using Nima! And, in the course of 5 minutes someone saw her from outside and yelled, “BattleBots!” She told me she gets that a lot…

The Diagnosis

She was diagnosed with celiac disease last year. Before then, she had never heard of celiac disease. She experienced acute symptoms building up to the diagnosis – acute intestinal pain and GI issues, thinning hair and skin rashes. She had no idea what the issue was and was finally diagnosed with celiac disease after a number of blood tests. 

The Challenge of Going Gluten-Free

Her antibody levels were so high that the doctor had her retake the test to confirm her antibody levels. She said the severity of the lifestyle change didn’t really hit her until a month after the diagnosis. It took about a month to fully realize how challenging it could be to avoid gluten and how pervasive gluten was in both packaged foods and restaurant foods. The contamination issues at restaurants and the poor labeling of manufactured products made navigating the new gluten-free lifestyle especially difficult. 

Eating Gluten-Free But Still Getting Glutened!

She was getting her antibody levels tested regularly and wasn’t making the improvement she or her doctor had expected given that she was on a gluten-free diet. Gluten was sneaking in somewhere, and she wasn’t sure where. 

Using Nima

She was first introduced to Nima through a mutual investor. He knew Lisa was recently diagnosed and told her about Nima – she was instantly intrigued, bought the device and gave it a try. Her first application was a pantry and household audit. She tested everything she was eating and using and marked what tested negative for gluten with a green sticker. She then started using the device when she was eating outside of the home and was surprised to see how often gluten cropped up in her testing.

The Most Memorable Nima Test – Contaminated Edamame?

Lisa’s most memorable Nima testing experience was using the device after she had audited most of the products at home and restaurants but went to get re-tested for her antibody levels and found they were still more elevated than they should be. She then experimented and only ate at home for a period of time, and everything checked out to be gluten-free. She then knew it must be something eating out.

She ate out once a week at a sushi restaurant with her team. At this restaurant, she only ordered rice and cooked edamame (soybeans). She had this every week and didn’t think to test before. But, given the consistent exposure to gluten, she decided to test both items. The rice came back negative for gluten, but the edamame tested positive for gluten! She asked the restaurant kitchen and they said they boiled the edamame in water used to boil gluten containing noodles. When they tried to remake it in regular water, they still tested positive, so she thought it could be the strainer. 

She cut that restaurant out of her weekly routine, and since then has tested for the normal antibody levels. 

– – –Breaking Bread

Thank you for sharing your story Lisa!