Hello and welcome to Suitable for Coeliacs! My name’s Ellie and I am a coeliac, student, food enthusiast and a lover of all things gluten free. I created my blog to help other coeliacs with the challenges of being gluten free and living the gluten free lifestyle. I was diagnosed back in 2008 so I’ve been through the gradual improvement of gluten free foods – believe me, a lot has changed, I once ate breadsticks that tasted like washing up liquid!
My diagnosis story
It was around October 2008 that I had started to notice that something was not quite right. I had only just started year 2 at my primary school and most of my days were spent in the Nurse’s office complaining of stomach pains, often ending in spells of violent sickness. For those of you who aren’t Coeliacs or who believe that you may have Coeliac disease the pain is horrific and the only way to really allow you to understand the amount of pain the Coeliacs go through is to imagine being constantly punched in the lower part of your stomach. The pain resulted in 2 months off school during the best part of my childhood.
Just to add to the chaos we had recently adopted two cats fittingly named Chilli and Pepper. My breathing had become suspiciously weak with the introduction of our cats and my stomach pains had become worse to the point where I was unable to wear clothes as any amount of pressure would send me into agonising screams. It wasn’t long before my Dad couldn’t handle it anymore and drove me to the local A&E. I must have been in hospital for 3 days or so before I was released. Although the weak breathing had been diagnosed and put down to our precious cats, the doctors and nurses at Burton Hospital were unable to diagnose the problem regarding my violent stomach pains.
With no answer from the doctors at the hospital we took matters into our own hands and visited a private doctor who believed that a wide range of blood tests for any allergens would be the best way to resolve my problems. Fast forward to the 23rd December 2008 and a letter comes through the post addressed to my little 8 year old self confirming that I had Coeliac Disease. Honestly I felt worse for my Mum who had already planned the entire Christmas day menu with a range of items containing gluten. But there we go… Chilli and Pepper were adopted by some close friends of ours, Mum made a whole new Christmas day menu & I began researching my condition.
10 years later and I have firmly stuck to my gluten free lifestyle resulting in decreasing my gluten levels from 1031 to 5 in June this year. I am proof that with determination anyone can heal their body and have a gluten free lifestyle.
Lactose intolerance or dairy free?
Recently I’ve seemed to notice that whenever I eat dairy filled produce, such as Ben & Jerry’s Caramel Chew Chew – a particular favourite, especially for date night – the sharp pains that I once had before my coeliac disease diagnosis had begun to kick in – quite literally. Since this couldn’t be down to eating gluten there must have been another reason for the exact same discomfort. The pain had been going on for at least 2 months and last Wednesday I arranged an emergency appointment with the doctors to ask for some advice regarding the pains, full well expecting to do the dreaded food diary. Food diaries have been the bane of my life ever since I filled one out before my diagnosis in 2008. So currently I am on a two week period of living the gluten free and dairy free lifestyle – honestly its really tough and I applaud anyone who does this on a daily basis. If you thought that living the gluten free life is challenging think again, there are hardly any foods, especially at restaurants, that offer both dairy and gluten free options. All I can leave you with is the promise to update you after my 2 week dairy free period and blood tests.
As those of you who follow my Instagram and other social medias will know I have been diagnosed as dairy free, goats milk free, soya free and celery free – all of which kinda put a spanner through the works. Not only was the diagnosis a massive pain but also the process as my doctors some how managed to lose my blood sample… I know how do you lose someones blood sample? Anyways after taking another blood sample and waiting 3 weeks for the results my doctor phoned me with my results. Obviously the results were a real bummer and they impact my life a lot but there could be worse things happening and I’m not deprived of food – although many of you would think so due to my new allergies. Ultimately, I am basically living on a paleo diet which is going to be much healthier anyway. So heres to the gluten, dairy, goats milk, soya and celery free blogs in the future – hopefully this will benefit you all a bit more!