I have found a few Gluten Free blogs to follow and love lately, and one of them, Apple & Spice, brought it to my attention that it is Coeliac Awareness Week this week! As someone who is Gluten Intolerant and Coeliac-all-but-with-a-diagnosis, I feel like its an important week in the UK to raise some awareness about what it means to have an intolerance to gluten.
My story of intolerance (of the glutenous variety) started 6 years ago when I started feeling sick, often. I was on first name basis with all of the staff at my gastroenterologist's office due to the frequency with which I had appointments. Five rather unpleasant exams later, still no diagnosis. It was clear that there was something very wrong with my digestive system, but they couldn't quite put a label on me yet.
I had bowel resection surgery after about 18 months of all of this, because symptomatically the specialists suspected I had Crohns Disease. After a fairly traumatic surgery and recovery period fraught with complications, pathology reports came back negative. The trouble with diagnosing any of these gastrointestinal disorders is the nature of the diagnosis. So many of these diseases exist in little pockets of infection riddled throughout the intestines, and if those exact pockets aren't biopsied, the results will show negative. The amount of stories of people suffering through countless false negatives until finally a positive biopsy is vast. And frustrating. This article in the Huffington Post 50 Shades of Gluten Intolerance (as linked by My Darling Lemon Thyme) talks about it far more scientifically than I can, and is worth a read.
I continued on with my journey towards diagnosis, but the journey never seemed to end. I got sick of being poked and prodded and so decided to stop (well, having to go through a colonoscopy in the UK AWAKE & IN AGONY was the final straw for me. Seriously, if you need to have one, do it in Australia, we won't make you feel a darn thing). It was only very recently that I decided to go Gluten Free again to see if it made a difference, and the difference has been, well, life changing. I won't go into it, because, well this is a food post afterall, but lets just say, it has been well worth sticking to for me.
To honour Coeliac Awareness Week, I will only be posting recipes that are Gluten Free, and will link to my favourite other Gluten Free blogs that I currently adore. Its funny the number of people I know who have some form of intolerance to gluten, and apparently it has become quite trendy to follow a Gluten Free diet according to the Harvard Medical School.
Do you suffer from an intolerance to Gluten? Do you find it to be easy to live with? Do you have any favourite blogs or restaurants who make it easier to handle?