Ok, sorry, that’s beyond poor.
But to be honest, anyone who’s ever read this blog before would expect nothing less – or nothing more, more to the point.
But before I explain the title (and I know you just can’t wait to find out) I’ve got to say….. IT’S SUMMER!! It was warmer at 1am today than it was at 1pm last week – from scarves to shorts in (almost) an instant.
I love it; cycling home at 8.30pm, hot in a single jumper, the sun still out, birds still singing, the smell of the hawthorn blossom and cow parsley, which line the country lanes, wafting on the gentle breeze… (that’s enough trying to be poetic – Ed)
So back to the title, which isn’t even entirely accurate as it ain’t just wheat I’ve got an issue with 🙂
A few years ago, I hadn’t heard of coeliac disease and only vaguely knew what gluten was. But in January 2007, I started feeling ill. Pain, discomfort, weight loss and just generally feeling rubbish – I finally got organised and went to the doctor.
In hindsight, I was lucky that she didn’t send me away with a vague “IBS”, ie “I don’t really know what’s wrong”, diagnosis, as many doctors do. She tested for IgA (most coeliacs are deficient in this) referred me to a consultant and by July, I’d had the endoscopy (camera-down-the-throat joy) and the small bowel biopsy (the most fun you can possibly have in hospital).
A couple of weeks later, I was diagnosed, gluten-free and feeling better than I had for ages.
I was offered membership of Coeliac UK and the chance of support groups but although I was very grateful for everything Coeliac UK does, I was never really that over-bothered by the diagnosis. Everyone I knew bought me delicious gluten-free products and it meant I started experimenting with all the different things I can have.
There was a dodgy moment when I checked the packet of my addiction at the time, Cadbury’s Whole Nut, realised it had gluten in it and thought I’d never be able to have chocolate again (closest I’ve ever been to heart failure) but other than that, it’s fine. You get used to checking packets and avoiding anything if you don’t know what’s in it but other than that, I never feel restricted at all.
The only slight problem is that some people, for example waiters who think they can just remove bread from a dish to make it safe, don’t realise exactly what coeliac disease is. It’s not just a sensitivity or intolerance, it’s an autoimmune condition which causes the body to react to proteins in wheat, barley and rye. (The similar protein in oats can be tolerated by many coeliacs – including me – because it’s slightly different but they have to be guaranteed pure, uncontaminated by any other grains) It takes only the slightest microscopic crumb to make me ill for a week. Plus, of course, the main problem is that if I eat gluten, my body actually attacks itself. And that’s not nice.
Anyway. Anyone who’s got this far deserves a medal 🙂
But the reason I’ve rambled on about my own experiences is because of these lovely people:
As it’s estimated that about 23million adults have some sort of allergy or other, Axa PPP healthcare is holding a live internet chat on allergies next Wednesday, May 30, from 3-5pm.
The group’s Dr Michael Radcliffe, an allergy specialist for many years with a special interest in food issues, will be offering live advice to teenagers and adults on any sort of allergy. Whether it’s hay fever, food, asthma, drugs or skin sensitivites, he’s ya man when it comes to reactions.
After the chat, there will be more information available here, at Axa PPP’s new allergy centre. You can join in here on the day, or ask a question on the Facebook or Twitter pages. I’d like to ask about lactose intolerance/allergy. I know newly-diagnosed coeliacs are often lactose intolerant until their damaged small intestines heal but how common is it after that and how is it properly diagnosed?
Have you got any allergies or intolerances and if so, how was it/were they diagnosed? And how amazingly brilliant is this weather?!
This is a sponsored post but entirely my own opinions and experience 🙂