Coeliac Disease & Me: Gluten Free 2 Weeks In


An Update On My Health, Diet & Going Cold Turkey On Gluten


You may vaguely remember that back in August I told you that I went to the doctors and was tested for a number of things after years of symptoms which seemed to get significantly worse over the last year, and in the end it came back positive for Coeliac Disease.

Well at the time although it wasn’t 100% confirmed that Coeliac Disease was the cause of all my problems, I had strong readings back from the tests I had and the doctors and consultants I saw seemed very convinced that this is what I had. I hadn’t even had my Endoscopy yet but in my heart I just knew, I knew that’s what I had…

 

Trusting In Yourself…

I think you just know your own body, you know that something’s not right and you know the way you feel. I had people try to tell me who weren’t medical professionals that the symptoms I was experiencing were normal. “Oh it’s normal to feel that tired, you work hard, everyone feels that way” or “It’s just a little stomach ache, everyone gets them, it’s no big deal“. The thing is, it was a big deal and even though a large part of me listened to what everyone else said and tried to believe them. Another part of me couldn’t. I knew something wasn’t right.

Truthfully I’m a bit of an odd character, I’m a Leo and I can be dramatic, but you’ll hear me moan more about silly little things than if something is really bothering me. I went about my day mostly holding it all in, I’d mention the odd thing now and again but I don’t think anyone really knew just how bad it was and how much it’s effected me, over the last year especially. I can’t even begin to explain how it’s effected me in all areas of my life and how much it’s made me feel down and alone. How much I felt like a shadow of my former self, with no life in me to give, no energy and a whole host of other symptoms that effected how I was on a daily basis.

I felt like one big fake at work, putting on this brave face but behind it was this crumbling wall just waiting to fall. I became a recluse, not having the energy or the desire to socialise, my bones and muscles ached constantly and my brain wasn’t working as well as it could. I felt sick all the time, had severe stomach aches, indigestion, bloating and just generally felt rubbish. That was my norm.

Time For Change

I had my Endoscopy at the beginning of November and my Coeliac Disease has all been confirmed so for the last two weeks I’ve been eating a completely gluten free diet (no wheat, rye or barley), which, when you realise what foods contain this is a lot more than you’d expect. Normal bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits, crisps are all off the menu along with other unsuspecting items including soy sauce.

I’d already started trying a few gluten free alternatives when my original tests came back positive so I already had a few items that I knew I’d like but the past couple of weeks have been a real eyeopener in terms of my diet. It’s been easier than I thought generally, but harder than I thought it’d be at work (I’m a nursery nurse by day and the children have 3 meals and 2 snacks a day so I’m constantly surrounded by food).

In terms of how I’m feeling, I’ve already noticed a difference. It’s only been two weeks so it’s not a groundbreaking difference but I’ve not really had any stomach aches (apart from a rather severe one on Friday along with some sickness but I think I may have had a stomach bug that’s going around) and I’ve not been feeling quite as sick as normal. Needless to say, I can’t wait for things to improve further and feel more like me again.


What Is Coeliac Disease?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition. This is where the immune system – the body’s defence against infection – mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Coeliac disease isn’t an allergy or an intolerance to gluten. In cases of coeliac disease, the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them. This damages the surface of the small bowel (intestines), disrupting the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.

(source)


Thumbs up to 2017 and to feeling better again, to being positive, to fixing things that have gone wrong, to being sociable again and to not settling with things just because they’ve become the norm. Thumbs up to having the energy to be myself again, to fighting for what I believe in, to making myself and those I love proud, to having the courage and the strength to make the changes I so desperately need. Thumbs up to the future.

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