I was diagnosed with coeliac disease at the age of 13.
Mine wasn’t a sad tale really. I was one of the lucky ones.
I was never sick, bloated or tired. I wasn’t short and pale. In fact, I simply had no symptoms at all.
I was one of the 5% of coeliacs who are asymptomatic, which may sound like a blessing, but the reality is not so kind.
If it wasn’t for an insightful GP who realized I had a history of coeliac disease in my family, my sister and I may never have been tested, and I may never have found out I suffered from coeliac disease.
And after years and years of eating bread, cakes and gluten-filled pastas completely unawares, I may have fallen victim to one of the many horrendous conditions associated with coeliac disease; bowel cancer, osteoporosis and infertility to name a few.
Now this is not to say every Tom, Dick and Harry should rush off to get a blood test for coeliac disease if they are not displaying any symptoms, but it is a lesson to be careful.
Regardless of whether symptoms are present, if coeliac disease is in the family, all family members should be tested. And if any of the common coeliac symptoms are present (bloating, gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, lack of growth) are evident, testing must be a priority.
For me, the transition to a coeliac lifestyle wasn’t all too bad. My grandma and uncle (my mum’s brother and mother) are both coeliacs too, so we weren’t set off blind. We knew the basic components of a gluten free diet, what main foods to avoid which was a huge help.
Diagnosis is often so overwhelming, and you simply do not know where to turn, so I started writing about my gluten free life to try and help people who are lost in the puzzle of coeliac disease. I wanted to lead the newly diagnosed away from white crumbly bread, and diets of meat, rice and veg, directing them instead to wonderful products, knowledgeable cafes and restaurants, and easy and delicious recipes to make mealtime something special once more.
I have collated loads of useful information in this website from many different sources which I think covers most of the complexities of starting out and managing coeliac disease. I hope these resources can help you breathe a sigh of relief and get back on a path to health and happiness.