Coeliac Awareness Week – My Story

Hello everyone

This is a bit of a different post from my usual recipes.  I don’t tend to make my website that personal and I think this is probably one of the first pictures of me I’ve shared in a post.  It was taken last September in Pompeii, I’m talking as usual and I had just finished eating a gluten free cookie.

As it is Coeliac Awareness Week I thought I would share my story on how I was diagnosed with coeliac disease.  I actually have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which is a connective disease that causes all sorts of problems so I always blamed what I now understand to be my coeliac symptoms on EDS.  Coincidentally, it is Ehlers Danlos Awareness month so I might share my EDS story later on in the month.

To cut a very long story short,  I was actually diagnosed with coeliac as a by product of being tested for something else and only about 5 years ago.  I used to have stomach aches after eating which got worse as I got older but I always related it to EDS as stomach problems can be an issue with EDS.

When I was in my early thirties I suddenly started to lose a lot of weight (I’m talking about 3kg in a week) but I had an insatiable appetite.  I was having to get up in the middle of the night to eat food as I couldn’t sleep for the hunger – I remember waking up in the kitchen next to a chocolate cake!

I had all sorts of tests to figure out what was wrong with me and the first set of bloods can back with the markers for coeliac.  I also started having problems digesting milk protein so I had to change to a gluten and dairy free diet all at once.

It was a lot to take in to begin with but I soon got the hang of what I could and couldn’t eat.  The worst day was when I packed up everything in the kitchen I couldn’t eat and gave it away.  I was left with literally nothing so I started from scratch and started to experiment in the kitchen.

I developed a real passion for gluten and dairy free cooking and started to share my recipes through my website.  My photography isn’t perfect and sometimes my writing isn’t great (I’m an accountant after all) but the main purpose of my site is just to share my food journey on a gluten and dairy free diet and try and help people if they are struggling.

Unfortunately the gluten free and dairy free diet didn’t solve my weight loss and hunger problems and I was eventually diagnosed with pancreatic enzyme deficiency which basically means my body doesn’t produce what is required to breakdown my food into the nutrients I need.

I now take all the enzymes required in tablet form, have put the weight back on but I still need to eat a bit more than your average person and more regularly.  well that’s my excuse for all the cakes on the website.

I would love to hear all your stories of why you are on a gluten and/or dairy free diet.

Have a good evening

Fiona