What I've learned as a 26-year-old living with chronic pain.

This is what people don't tell you about living with a chronic illness at a young age.

A few months ago, my feet began to hurt.

At first, I thought that it was just from standing a lot for work, but then it continued to get worse. The day the pain spread to my hands, I knew something was wrong.

But it was when it spread to the rest of my body — my shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles — that I panicked. What was happening to me? All of a sudden everything hurt, all the time: sitting, standing, walking. At first, lying down was my only relief. But then the pain got so bad every joint would throb, no matter how comfortable I was.

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Internet strangers are helping each other manage chronic illnesses. It's wonderful.

The web can't cure chronic illness, but it can help make it seem less daunting.

Being diagnosed with a chronic health problem can be terrifying and isolating — even more so if it means changing your diet, your lifestyle, and the products you bring into your home.

I know because it happened to me.

It was 2000, and I was 21 years old, broke, and sick when a new doctor diagnosed me with celiac disease. After a few visits, he told me I had celiac disease with lactose intolerance. If I wanted to start feeling better, I needed to cut out almost all grains and dairy products.

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Seventh Generation

Meet Nima, the food tester that could change your life.

This triangle-shaped food allergen tester is half the size of an iPhone and can detect gluten in any meal.

During her studies at MIT, Shireen Yates felt sick all the time. She couldn't figure out why.

She assumed her problem was stress until her doctor informed her it was gluten — plus dairy, soy, and eggs. Suddenly, Shireen had food allergies.

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