Dennis’s coeliac story

I was diagnosed as having coeliac disease in December 1996, and I have tried to keep strictly to the diet since that time.

I have been a blood donor for over 40 years and prior to diagnosis, for a number of years, my iron levels were found to be low at some donor sessions, but not all.  Sometimes I was given iron tablets and occasionally referred to my doctor, who again gave me iron tablets.  I was suffering no obvious symptoms.

In early 1996, my current doctor said that there should be an investigation, after I was again found to be anaemic.  I subsequently had a biopsy taken from the gut, and coeliac disease was confirmed.   By coincidence in the months prior to diagnosis I began to feel tired, and had a pale complexion.  I also started to lose weight at a steady rate.   Since being on a gluten free diet I have been told that my gut has returned to normal, I understand that this is not always the case.  I now have to be careful to keep my weight down!

The diet is controlled fairly easily in our home.  My food, like sandwiches, are either prepared first or on a separate surface.   I have my own toaster for example.  I can easily get all my gluten free bread, pasta etc on prescription.  Grandchildren have learned not to touch Grandad’s food with their crumby fingers.  Jam, marmalade, and other things in jars are served with clean spoons.  ‘No sticking your knife into a jar’.

The main problems are eating out and going on holiday, especially overseas.  Also manufacturers frequently changed their ingredients, and it is necessary to check labels even on products I have known previously to be safe for me.   Life is much easier when ‘gluten free’ or the gluten free symbol are clearly displayed on the packaging.

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~ by theblackfarmer on May 16, 2009.

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