David Millson November 16, at She is so distraught She is also correct.
I took a blood test, followed by a biopsy all the while still eating gluten and coeliac disease was confirmed. I switched to a gluten-free diet and felt much better, thank you. Coeliac disease is heavily under-diagnosed, partly because its symptoms can have very little to do with the gut, manifesting all around the body.
I am telling you my story, with all the unpleasant and personal details, in the hopes that it will encourage more people to get tested. I should point out that you may experience none of what I have and still have coeliac disease. But if you recognise a symptom, please talk to your GP about arranging a blood test for coeliac disease.
Barely noticeable beginnings Since I was diagnosed aged 25, I have spent quite a while reflecting on when my symptoms first started and thinking about things in my childhood and teenage years. Coeliac disease has a genetic component after I was diagnosed my mum was found to have it too, after decades of stomach troubles but it is thought that it often presents itself only after a trigger.
This trigger can be anything that puts a stress on the body such as puberty, pregnancy, a nasty virus or infection, or a traumatic event.
This trigger must happen in conjunction with eating gluten hence why there seems to be a higher prevalence in the Western world. For some people the trigger is obvious, but I can point to a few events in my life that may have set it off. Plain chips — yum!
Certainly my symptoms got progressively worse at two points: I was an extremely fussy eater, although I gladly ate wheat products. I remember that most food except for bland, plain food made me feel nauseous — so my diet consisted of white bread, ham, chicken, cereal, milk, chips, white rice — that sort of thing.
I also always seemed to be in trouble at the dentist, who told me to brush my teeth better, despite the fact that I was always very diligent about brushing my teeth. I now know that I had poor enamel formation, still noticeable on my two front teeth.
My current dentist tells me that the white blotches visible would have been formed around age 2 or 3 — leading me to suspect that coeliac disease has been with me all my life.
At a young age I got used to being ill all the time. A cold would always last for at least a week and invariably leave me bedridden. During winter I would always get probably 2 or 3 colds which could last up to 3 weeks each. I had flu as a teenager which left me completely unable to move.
Mouth ulcers were a common occurrence. This carried on into my teenage years, when I put it down to stress and a bad immune system. I shrugged it off. After puberty, I developed lactose intolerance, and cereal with milk in the morning would give me stomach cramps and bloating.
So I put up with it. Through puberty and my teens I also developed anaemia and depression, which were dismissed by doctor after doctor and also by some of my friends. I was always tired and always hungry, and I did a lot of sport and extra-curricular activities.
In Germany, aged 19, and 50kg. Age 18 and 19, I started drinking alcohol, and ate a great deal more but lost weight.
This mainly happened while living in Germany:As part of the stories of the year collection, this piece is being resurfaced along with others in the coming days as ESPN Digital and Print Media closes out the year.
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