That’s me there with my husband Mos lurking behind me as usual.

In the spirit of Coeliac Awareness week and following the lead of other coeliac bloggers I decided to post up my diagnosis story which began just under 8 years ago, at age 25. I should warn you that this might be a bit graphic but other coeliacs will understand!

As long as I can remember I had stomach ‘issues’. As a child, my parents put this down to nerves/excitement/bugs and to be honest it wasn’t that prevalent in my day to day life – I think I probably just had flare ups.  To be fair to my parents, I wasn’t failing to thrive, I wasn’t fatigued – I just puked or felt like puking quite a bit so I can understand why neither they nor my GP picked up on anything.

As a teenager,one of the first really obvious flags to me that something was wrong was that every time I ate Burger King (usually out with my friends hanging around a shopping centre) it came up straight away. Like, within minutes. Funnily enough, the same never happened with McDonalds – perhaps showing the absence of real wheat in their burger buns?

Anyway, again, there was a bit of puking here and there after my breakfast/dinner (again, put down to nervous stomach but really I was rejecting gluten) and I often got really bloated. This was put down to ‘women’s troubles’.

Wombs – you have a lot to answer for but you can’t get blamed for CD! My poor mam tried everything she could think of including buying me herbal remedies for water retention. My GP  gave me a sympathetic nod and the hormones chat so I suffered on.

Into college I went and to be honest, had very little in the way of symptoms during this time.  I even spent a year in Australia and found a new love…. BEER… which you would think would be like a flag to a bull but I still felt grand….until I came back!

I think a year of bad diet and beer gave my system a shock and when I got back to Ireland I was experiencing fatigue, bloating, puking, constipation….everything. Not nice and definitely not pretty. After a year of this I eventually went to my GP and started looking for answers.

Given a family history with stomach problems, including ulcers, I was put on ulcer meds for a month which cost a fortune and did NOTHING. I went back and got bloods done and HALLELUIAH, got tested for CD.

The bloods indicated CD so I was sent for an Endoscopy which is basically a camera down your throat checking out your stomach lining and small intestines. I have intravenous sedation which I highly recommend – any doctor who tells you plenty of people are grand getting it done with no sedation are LYING.

Results don’t lie, my poor villi were as flat as pancakes and a coeliac was born. I embarked on a GF diet straight away from diagnosis and noticed my energy increasing and symptoms waning within months. Further testing showed I was very deficient in vitamin B12 because my absorption had been poor so this was boosted with injections for a 6 months period.

Now, I get my bloods done once a year (ish) to make sure all is good, eat gluten free and miss tayto and jacobs cream crackers on daily basis – but it’s worth it.