“I was diagnosed with coeliac disease four years ago at age 29, during coeliac awareness week. I had always known of coeliac disease but like many others, did not really understand the complexity of the condition at all.
Right up until my diagnosis, I would pick up colds and flus regularly, and was a regular at my local GP for things like tonsillitis. I began to attend a neurology clinic in the mater hospital at the age of 13, where I attended twice a year until I was 19. And to top it all off, I had very low b12 during this time also, where I was required to take b12 injections regularly.
Never in a million years did I or anyone close to me suspect this would be related to coeliac disease.
I went to my GP as I felt generally low in my mood and unwell, and couldn’t understand why. I was shocked when she suggested it may be coeliac disease as like many others – I did not know there was a wide variety of symptoms!
I went through the usual procedure of blood tests, and eventually an endoscopy that confirmed my diagnosis.
The first few months were extremely hard and I struggled to adapt, almost developing a fear of food and eating out, and I hated trying to decipher labels. The first few times I was glutened after going gluten free were awful and I went through what I can only describe as the four stages of grief.
Fast forward four years and not only is my physical and mental health better, but I have developed a love for cooking that I could never have seen coming!
There are still some hard days and all coeliacs will know it isn’t as simple as “never eat gluten again and you will be fine”. There are slip ups, stressful food situations and we all have our own complications at times. But my family and friends are incredibly supportive, and amazing at making sure I’m kept safe and catered for!
The coeliac society has been an amazing resource for me and I would urge anyone who feels they may have coeliac disease to get tested – there’s an amazing gluten free community here in Ireland made up of wonderful people who are always willing to support!”