Coeliac Uk

When I was first diagnosed a year ago coeliac Uk was one of my first ports of call.
It’s a great resource, then send you a directory each year with foods safe to bug in supermarkets.

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This years directory is huge compared to last years! Great news for us coeliacs ūüôā
They also send out a magazine every now and again. Full of what’s going on, events and recipes.
This month a fabulous Chinese recipe was included I gave it a go and it was fabulous!

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It cost around £24 to join which pays for the directory and also pays for extensive research.
Well worth the money for such a useful charity for us coeliacs, if you haven’t joined please do consider it.
http://www.coeliac.org.uk

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Gluten free cook books

Sorry for being a little quiet, August got busy and hectic at the shop so I’ve had no time to cook let alone write!
I thought I’d share quickly though some cook books I’ve found useful over the last few months.
If like me you suddenly realise you’ve eaten nothing but gf pasta for a week along with strawberries and your mind goes blank at the thought of cooking something else. These have been great to refer to-
Gluten free on a shoestring bakes bread and gluten free on a shoestring both bought for me by my lovely sister and her family. These are written by Nicole Hunn who also has a great blog you’ve probably heard about already.

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Seriously good gluten free cooking by Phil Vickery, this was reccome des to me by Coeliac Uk.

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Gluten free girl & chef by Shauna Ahern and her husband Daniel Ahern. Shauna also writes the blog gluten free girl that I often refer too for tips and ideas.

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The Gluten free cookbook by Heather Whinney, Jane Lawrie & Fiona Hunter. My mum bought me this book when I was lost and confused as a newly diagnosed Coeliac. Great for some homely meals.

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200 gluten free recipes by Louise Blair & the Good Food Magazine Gluten free recipes. both great little books handy to take on self catering holidays and full of quick meals and bakes ūüôā

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That’s my collection so far. I really would like to buy ‘Meals that Heal’ soon but I feel I need to try a few more of these recipes first and leave something to get for Christmas! Happy baking!

Healing with vitamins

Since going gluten free I’ve read loads of books by other coeliacs and their journey to recovery. From Jennifer Esposito who opened a gluten free bakery in New York, her book Jennifer’s Way is a must read for any new coeliac! To Gluten- free girl by Shauna James Ahern who also writes a blog of the same name.
I’m currently reading ‘Gluten is my Bitch’ by April Peveteaux, a great funny read.
A lot of the books mention all the same things including vitamins.
It’s safe to say my body hasn’t absorbed enough vitamins for quiet some time. So after reading up on it all I know have a morning routine that starts like this-

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An actamel is a probiotic yogurt for healing the gut, creates healthy gut bacteria and some research proves to heal a coeliac gut faster. To this I add 5ml of vitamin D. Liquid vitamins are great and absorb faster if your gut is too damaged to absorb. My body lacks vitamin d currently and so any sun I see my skin is immediately burning.
Next-

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Vitamin B12 often lacking in coeliacs is responsible for energy levels I also use this for an extra boost-

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Great for when I’m feeling a little more tired. Tastes like peaches too!
Then I take a good all round multivitamin and vitamin c tablet too.
It’s vital to top up on these currently and also eating lots of homegrown veg and fruit.

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In October I’ll be having blood tests to test my vitamin levels, anything I’m lacking in I’ll be given injections or a course of stronger tablets.
I feel this routine is working for me currently and working 7 days a week at the moment I don’t feel tired and seem to have loads of energy so something must be right. I’ve even taken up running and cycling both major steps for me.
More about that another time ūüíõ

The Road To Diagnosis- Part 2

So I was ill, I was tired and I was pretty sure this wasnt normal.
I booked an appointment at the GP. As soon as I walked in she wasnt interested in what I had to say, I told her I was tired, I’d wake up a lot at night, id sleep 12 hours but wake tired. My joints ached I had bad back ache, the headaches, the bloating the stabbing belly cramps… I told her the whole shabang.
She told me I was tired because I was over worked, I hadn’t been at work for 4 months by this point. My bad back was my bed, my joints aching my height! And the belly cramps obviously IBS. Okay… so maybe I did have IBS that made sense, so I asked what tests they do for that. Genuinely she turned to me and said ‘What is it¬†you want me to do today? What do you expect?’

WHAT!? I expected was some help, someone to give me advise. I¬†blatantly¬†wasnt going to get it from this lady! It’s a shame my previous doctor had retired she was much friendlier! She told me she’d run blood tests but it was pointless because ‘your bloods in 2012 where fine!’

I had to book another appointment for the blood test the following week. I felt awful, I felt like it was obviously in my head and I was fine and everyone felt like this. I nearly didn’t turn up for those blood tests, The morning of the tests I felt awful, I went in the hope it would prove something was wrong.

Within a week they called me-
‘the doctor would like to see you with regards to your blood tests’

Wow… okay.. they never call you back unless they’ve found something. So I thought this will be her confirming the IBS then. I had to wait another week to see the GP. It was a different GP, the surgery was busy… my appointment ended up being late. Eventually I was called in
“hi what can I do for you?’
‘ummm you called me in… my blood results?’
‘oh….’
So this doctor spent 5 minutes reading my blood results, she asked if my belly cramps where still there, I said yes they’ve got worse, I’m really tired, the cramps are bad in the morning and at night.

‘your blood results came back positive for coeliac’

I had no idea what this was, what the hell is coeliac? She had no idea either! She printed me off 2 pages from google… she read it briefly told me not to worry and that I couldn’t give up gluten for life because what would I live on.
In hindsight what she said is ridiculous! Tell a coeliac to continue to eat gluten for life! I went home, googled the whole thing and immediately bought two books, both extremely helpful and highly recommended for any newly diagnosed coeliac.

Coeliac Books

I also joined http://www.coeliac.org.uk who are a dedicated charity and publish a directory once a year with all the foods in supermarkets that are safe to eat, refered to some as “The Bible”. Mine is well used on shopping trips and handbag sized!

The Coeliac Bible

 

The Gp had told me I would be refered to a gastroenterologist¬†for further tests to confirm the diagnosis. I read online and¬†in books that I needed to continue eating gluten for this time… I was ill and the summer season for our shop was fast approaching. How long was this going to take? I rang the hospital.. 36 weeks! That was january 2015!! People had babies in less time! That was only to see the gastroenterologist¬†it would then need another appointment for the tests! I couldn’t work a season in this state!

After much deliberation… I decided to go private, for the sake of our business I had to get this sorted. I had an appointment within 3 weeks! I saw the gastroenterologist, he was lovely he explained a few things and checked all my symptoms. He booked me in for an endoscopy in 2 weeks. I tought I was fine with this untill I saw an episode of embarrassing bodies the night before and suddenly I was terrified!!

For anyone worried about the endoscopy, don’t be. The nurses and doctors are lovely, someone will hold your hand. It’s not pleasant, they do give you a spray that tastes like fish and banana’s it’s true…. and it’s ¬†best to be sedated but it’s worth it and over within minutes.

I heard the gastroenterologist¬†tell the nurse ‘can you see the villi? awful.. flat as a pancake’ I was relived! I knew that flat villi meant one thing –¬†I had coeliac. He could see it. No more waiting. It was done.

Once I’d come round properly he told me it was evident, they’d send the biopsies away but all could be seen, stop eating gluten immediately.

I have and I’ve not looked back! I went through 2 weeks of massive energy! Then suddenly huge headaches.. I had an appointment with the gastro for the results –

‘defiantly coeliac and one of the worse I’ve seen for quiet sometime’

He thought I’d had it was at least 15 years. He said I’d have never made it to the appointment on a 36 week waiting list, I’d have ended up in hospital way before then.¬†The headaches where my body going cold turkey if you like, I’d eaten pasta 4 times a week and cereals everyday now nothing, I had withdrawal symptoms. they passed.

It angers me that no one had thought to test before, I’m anger at the original doctor you doubted that something was even wrong and felt she had to give me a blood test to shut me up.

I’m proud of all the research I’ve¬†done and the information¬†I’ve discovered myself and things I’m still finding out every day.

I’m currently waiting for my dietician appointment but today I got my first gluten-free foods on prescription. My cupboards are bursting with foods. I’m eating so much more healthy, my husband had been amazing and supportive.

Glutafin Pescription

I’m even toying with the idea of changing the cafe to entirely gluten-free for next season, but first I must master the baking!

Life doesn’t end when you become gluten-free. A new journey begins.

I toast to recover, health and the future! Lets go!

P.S the doctor who said there would be nothing to eat was wrong.. I’ve never eaten so well! This blog will prove it!

 

 

The road to diagnosis- Part 1

'Pizza?!'

‘Pizza?!’

This is my story of coeliac diagnosis. Looking back I hadn’t realised how bad I felt or for how¬†long. Now in recovery from active coeliac disease at times it’s a wonder I made it through! This blog is the beginning of my gluten-free journey with all the twists and turns it entails.

It had been some time since I’d first thought something was wrong. I’d spent years complaining about being overly tired and more recently just generally uncomfortable.¬†It’d just become normal to me, everyone felt like this as they got older!

I’d been told on many occasions throughout life that there wasnt any medical cause for it – ‘your a teenager your meant to sleep’, ‘your stressed it’s normal’, ‘don’t work so hard’ where staple answers.

My last term of university was a struggle, I worked extremely hard and so I put how I was feeling down to that. I spent the last month of term at home and my father drove me to university to drop all the work off, I could barely walk the stairs when I got there. Once I was home and rested the fatigue gave a little. When in a reality I was just eating better at home.

So last summer when the fatigue hit again I too put it down to being overworked and stressed, working 7 days a week in our own cafe and planning a wedding is a lot of work after all!

On our wedding day I complain about my dress being too tight when it hadn’t before, in hindsight I’d just eaten a platter of breads and meats, stew with dumplings and a large desert… it was most defiantly the gluten. By eight I was exhausted! But that’s normal surly?

I spent our end of season mini moon tired but under the assumption I was recovering from the wedding and a tough season?

Over the winter we close our cafe and concentrate on our craft work (My husband a potter and myself a designer), so this was great opportunity to catch up on some much-needed sleep I thought. Which I did, and I barley did any work. I’d wake, eat,slump on the sofa, sleep and repeat. I couldn’t shake the constant tired feeling.

By christmas I couldn’t make it to the garden shed without being out of breath… I’d joke that I was so unfit and January would see some resolutions to get fit!

I over ate at Christmas, Christmas is big for me! I love all the treats and baking! I made cookies, and cakes, meats, crackers, cheese! I love it! I got more and more tired and more and more achy. I put the aches down to the cold weather and continued making excuses for the fatigue.

We flew to New York in January for our honeymoon! We couldn’t wait, we both love food and running a cafe its a great excuse to visit as many food establishments as possible! We booked on a pizza tour around Manhattan, research reasons only obviously! With snow promised we rushed around for the first 4 days doing all the out-door sights so during the snow we could spend time in the warmer attractions. Come day 4 of our amazing trip I felt so ill. I ached, I was tired, I slept from 8.30pm each night, I put that down to jet lag.

All I ate was pancakes, french toast, doughnuts, pizza, pasta… everyday! It snowed. I was bed ridden. I had the shakes and a fever. I drifted in and out of ¬†consciousness. I was convinced it was the cold weather and some kind of virus. My amazing husband pounded the streets of New York in¬†the middle of a snow storm in search of cold medicines and food. It wasnt his fault that he came back with cereals and pizza, he wasnt to know it was making me sicker. He did however bring some fresh fruit salad, within an hour of eating the fruit I felt so much better! ¬†A miracle cure! And so for the next few days I ate very little other than fruit, I was by no means right but I was able to enjoy the rest of our trip.

Once we’d been home a couple of weeks, the same aches in my knees and back returned. There’s no way it was the cold or the mattress.¬†It was one day at about 11am, I¬†hadn’t been up long, I had to crawl up the second set of stairs¬†to our bathroom that I gave in. This wasnt right. I rang the doctors and made an appointment!

The visit is another post all in its self!