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Is Your Chronic Illness Your Identity? Saying "I Have Celiac" versus "I Am Celiac"

The more I connect with others in the chronic illness community, the more similarities and difference I notice. We all have different diagnoses - but we all know how it feels to have a doctor's visit that changes your life. Even with celiacs, we all eat gluten free - but our diets can still look radically different.

One of the most recent differences I've noticed in the gluten free community? Celiacs who say "I have celiac disease" versus "I am celiac."

Why does the distinction matter? Well, as a writing major who earned a (brutal) A in Linguistics, I obviously couldn't resist digging in. 
When I say, "I have celiac disease," I'm talking about a trait. It's the same sentence structure as "I have gray eyes" or "I have an addiction to granola." (Both are true by the way). 
Meanwhile, "I am celiac" says something slightly different. It says that celiac disease is who you are. It's an aspect of your very i…

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