Katie’s diagnosis story

23 April 2021

Katie’s diagnosis story

Grandma was diagnosed coeliac first…

16 years ago, my Grandma fell ill with shingles. The doctors carried out tests on her and unexpectedly discovered she had coeliac disease – something we’d never heard of before. Because of her diagnosis, and because coeliac disease is hereditary, the rest of the family was tested.

Back then, the range and quality of gluten free products in supermarkets and restaurants left much to be desired. My cousin and Mum tested positive, but I was relieved to find out my results were negative and I could continue happily eating my Krispy Kremes.

Then Katie started to show coeliac symptoms…

Fast forward 9 years, I had moved to London and had just started working. As a 23 year old, I should have been full of beans and living life to the full. Instead, I felt knackered and nauseous every day. I knew the inevitable was happening so took myself to get checked out. After undergoing blood tests and an endoscopy, I finally joined the family coeliac crew, which now also included my Grandma’s younger brother.

Katie’s biggest challenges in going gluten free

The most difficult adjustment for me (other than giving up Krispy Kremes) was working out how to continue a normal, busy social life with my friends and family that didn’t revolve around me and my food requirements. Fortunately, the range of gluten free products has improved immensely in the last few years, with an ever growing selection of restaurants and supermarkets providing delicious gf alternatives to ‘normal’ food. I have a fantastic and supportive husband and understanding friends who have gone out of their way to find exciting new gf restaurants to try together and who gladly make me gf birthday cakes. I am also lucky (is that the right word?!) to have a family full of coeliacs who fully understand how challenging it can be – and nothing beats my Grandma’s gluten free scones.

Top tips for someone who has just been diagnosed with coeliac disease:

It’s not the end of the world. You can live a completely normal life with gluten free alternatives to almost every thing (although still waiting for KK to bring out their gf range…). Meals out don’t need to be difficult, just sometimes require some extra forward planning. I was even able to have an entirely gluten free wedding! And find yourself some friends who understand!

Please see photos of a birthday cake baked for me by my friends, the cake I made for my Mum’s 60th and my Grandma’s delicious fruit scones. All gluten free and baked with Glutafin gluten free flour!

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