Coeliac Disease

In May 2013 I discovered that I had coeliac disease.

As defined on Coeliac Australia, “People with coeliac disease (pronounced ‘seel-ee-ak’ and spelt celiac in some countries) the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats), causing small bowel damage.

After a year of feeling unwell and constantly getting sick I decided to consult my doctor. She decided to do a blood test (coeliac serology) to check, amongst many things, my antibody levels. An untreated coeliac typically has above the normal antibody range as your body reacts to gluten intake.

My doctor called to explain my antibody levels were off the charts and predicted it was coeliac disease. From here, a diagnosis requires a small bowel biopsy (camera down the throat and into your bowel). The small bowel biopsy will provide evidence of villi damage. The villi, which lines the bowel is where the fun happens! For untreated coeliacs, the villi becomes inflamed and flattened – “villous atrophy”. An inflamed and flattened villi reduces the surface area of the bowel for nutrient absorption. Often this damage isn’t visible to the naked eye so they take some samples for further observation. In my case, my gastroenterologist came over after and explained that I had the textbook appearance of coeliac disease. Goodbye gluten.

Since my diagnosis I have developed an obsessive tendency to seek out all things gluten free. This originated from a need to replace favourite foods and has evolved to perpetual gluten free research. Overtime amongst searching the web and Sydney, I have stumbled upon great information, recipes, places to eat and shop but I have been disappointed to see that a lot of this knowledge isn’t shared online.

So I have decided to solve my own problem and to share my knowledge.

If you are making the transition to a gluten free diet I’ve put together some tips on being coeliac here. For more information on coeliac disease go no further than Coeliac Australia.

2 Comments

  1. Louise says

    I have just come across this site! I am a 32 year old mum to two little boys and I’ve recently been diagnosed with coeliac.
    I’m struggling. Mainly because it is such an unexpected lifestyle change. I’m trying not to let my boys see how much it is affecting me but it’s so hard especially now at meal times when I’m having to eat separate dinners etc
    Sooooo, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know anyone going through this so to be able to trust what you are saying and the advice and recommendations you are giving have helped me beyond words.
    Thank you.

    • glutenfreehunter says

      Hi Louise,

      Thank you for your lovely message. I am sorry to hear you are struggling but diagnosis is a step towards a healthier, happier life.
      I recommend you sign up for Coeliac Aus if haven’t already. They send you lots of resources and I think membership is $50 a year.

      Apart from that there are SO many gluten free foods and gluten free alternatives. For you and your kids, it is an opportunity to be creative in the kitchen. It is easy to cook normal meals gluten free and you can just have separate gluten free bread & pasta when required.

      Please feel free to send any questions through if you need – I’m happy to help.
      Have a lovely weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *