Tuesday, 8 January 2008


Most unusually, today I haven't knitted a single stitch so far today. I'm going to knit some more on the sleeveless pullover this evening, but this post is about 'life in general' - or rather one specific aspect of it.

It has been a bit of a busy day today - phone calls, errands, supermarket shopping, all the usual stuff. Also, there was a visit to the doctor, which has given me pause for thought.

You see, over the last year, it seemed that I had developed some weird sort of IBS. It wasn't always there - sometimes I was absolutely fine. But when it was there, it really wasn't very nice at all.

Gradually it became more and more of a thing that I just lived with, until by the end of October it was clear that something wasn't right. I was getting through a fair amount of over the counter meds to deal with it, and it was a substantial inconvenience in my life - but, I was used to it, so it didn't seem to be any big deal.

It was my husband who suggested that maybe wheat was the problem. So I tried cutting out wheat, and lo and behold, I felt better almost immediately. By the time I'd had three days without wheat, the improvement was positively startling. So I stayed off wheat, which isn't altogether easy, as they put wheat in some quite unexpected products.

So, there was the odd hiccup when I ate some wheat without realising it, but basically the problem just disappeared. I didn't eat wheat - I wasn't unwell. In fact, the problem disappeared so completely that over the Christmas period I did actually start to think that maybe it hadn't really been that bad after all. So I started eating things with wheat again, just a bit, and just for a couple of days - and the problem came straight back.

Finally I decided to do what I should have done in the first place. I booked an appointment to see my GP, and started eating gluten again whilst I was waiting. You see, even if someone actually has coeliac disease, the blood tests will all come out negative unless the person is including wheat gluten in their diet. But how much gluten was needed, and for how long though? I didn't know. But I thought that I might as well get a head start on this.

So, today I saw my GP, and she told me that she is fairly sure that I have developed coeliac disease. I have to eat a 'normal' amount of wheat (hah! - what is normal?) for another two weeks, and then I am to have the blood tests. And a week after that, I should have the result.

This is wildly inconvenient - I am starting my lovely new job on Tuesday next week, and I would much rather not be feeling unwell then. However it is really my own fault, I should have got this sorted out before Christmas.

The upside of all this is that I can - indeed, I have to! - eat bread again.

I do love good bread...


Anonymous said...

This is weirdly bizarre...I have lurked occasionally on your blog (I love all the knitting stuff!) now I read about your bowel thing, I have been having symptoms, even been admitted to hosp recently, and am now having continuing and seemingly endless investigations, you make me wonder if i'm going through the same thing.....Fran franmachardy@hotmail.com

Stephanie, Minnesota said...

i feel for you! I remember going through the same thing when i was diagnosed as celiac and the only upside of it was that i did lose 15 pounds during my 2 weeks of eating gluten for the blood tests and colonoscopy for diagnosis. unfortunately, i was also too weak to get out of bed due to iron and other deficiencies because of malabsorption, so watch out for that one too. the diagnosis made a huge difference to my life though - so i hope the docs can help you out as well.

Claire said...

Welcome to my world! I was diagnosed as Coeliac in June 2007 after years of IBS. I'm still adjusting to my new diet, it takes a lot of getting used to. My GP has been a huge help and I get regular check ups with the dietician and the Coelic clinic at the hospital. If your blood test is positive your GP will send yoy for a Gastroscopy (word of advice, have the sedation!) If that comes back positive you have a diagnosis and will get free food on prescription. If this happens then make sure you join Coeliac UK and your local support group. I can also highly reccomend a breadmaker! If you do get a diagnosis then drop me a line and I can send you a list of 'safe' food I've discovered. Good luck!