“Unfortunately, I know many people who have had terrible advice from GPs regarding Celiac Disease, which has led to them being misdiagnosed. It is worrying how often it happens and how many people are affected by it. I can understand this as GP’s are, for obvious reasons, not specialists but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I was first told to cut gluten out of my diet a year before there was any mention of being tested. I had already been experiencing key signs of Coeliac like vitamin deficiency, anemia, hair loss and digestive issues. As a result, the doctor told me cut out gluten because it might be Coeliac’s, and that was the end of it. There was no mention of a blood test, which I later found out was available.
By that point I was desperate because my immune system was crashing. I had severe glandular fever and I wasn’t getting better, as a result I was doing whatever the doctor advised me. Skipping forward another year, I was finally tested. Unfortunately that test was, of course, negative because I hadn’t been eating gluten! It then took a further 2 years for a different GP to say to me that she thought I definitely had Coeliac Disease, but she couldn’t test me until I did a “gluten challenge”. If I wasn’t willing to do this I would never get an official diagnosis, but I should treat it as Coeliac’s.
I was working full time as a teacher and couldn’t face having any time off work to do the challenge, as I knew how ill it would make me. My Doctor agreed and said it was for the best that we treat it as Coeliac Disease. Since this and having cut gluten from my diet, I haven’t had a single issue or any nutrient deficiencies since!
I know about 30 people who have had the exact same experience as I have, so my advice would be to not cut gluten out straight away. If you are suspicious that you have any issues with gluten seek immediate help from a GP, explain your concerns and ask for a blood test. I waited years to get a diagnosis and suffered severely as a consequence, so please be aware”.
Ellie’s favourite gluten free brand on the market:
“Schaer are amazing. They used to be awful but they now come up with really innovative products; I’m obsessed with their crisp breads!” See their range of products here: https://www.schaer.com/
Thank you to Ellie for sharing her story, I know this will help so many other people like herself. For more information on Coeliac Disease head to: https://www.coeliac.org.uk/home/
Love, Nutrition and Cake x