If you didn’t already know, 14th May marked the start of Coeliac Awareness Week and as it’s nearly a year since I was first diagnosed with my first set of bloods, it felt only right to dedicate a post towards this occasion.
I wanted to just take some time to talk about how I really feel about having coeliac disease and hopefully if anyone else is feeling the same way, this might help you realise you’re not alone.
I try to keep my blog and Instagram positive and proactive places where I share products and advice to make our lives with Coeliac Disease a little easier but sometimes there are negatives and there’s most definitely down days and it’s ok to talk about those too.
Generally, I am ok with this. Most of the time, I’ve accepted it, I’m living with it and I’m just getting on with it but there’ll be the odd day, just every now and again, where I am most certainly not ok with it and those are the days where food feels like the enemy and the struggle feels more overwhelming than it ever normally does.
Before diagnosis, before I had any kind of answer towards what was going on in my body, food was most certainly a negative. Food was something to be scared of and eating was something to worry and panic about. After diagnosis and a serious amount of learning and changing my diet, most days I don’t feel like that.
Most days, food can actually be exciting. That probably sounds unbelievable to anyone newly diagnosed and I know that because I was there 12 months ago but when it comes to finding new products and trying new recipes, there is a lot of fun in that and it’s important to embrace that feeling and those moments and focus on those and not the negatives.
Before I was diagnosed, there was a lot of pain, a lot of illness and a hell of a lot of symptoms and although I wish I could say after going gluten-free that all went away, it hasn’t and that’s something that makes me feel really down about having Coeliac Disease.
It would seem from what I have heard from fellow gluten-free folk, Coeliac Disease rarely works alone and it usually comes hand in hand with other food allergies or auto-immune diseases and that’s what I’m facing now. 12 months down the line, no gluten being consumed for a year, if this was Coeliac Disease alone, I might not feel perfect but I’d be well on the mend but unfortunately, I’m not and that’s what makes me feel so negative.
Coeliac Disease is hard. Some people who suffer don’t like people saying that and maybe Coeliac Disease itself isn’t difficult to deal with, some people can eat gluten-free and never suffer again but for many of us, the symptoms are more than just a dodgy tummy and the answer to a pain free life isn’t as easy as cutting out gluten.
Coeliac Disease takes over your life. Everything becomes about food and eating which in turn leads to feeling poorly, negative, stressed and anxious. This is more than a physical disease but something that has serious mental implications too.
I’m not here to be negative or scare anyone who’s newly diagnosed, I’m here to be honest, share my experiences and make other people who feel the same way not feel so alone.
If you have Coeliac Disease and you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle, don’t power on in silence, talk. Talk to friends, family, professionals or join the online community of blogs or Instagram and talk to hundreds of people who are going through the exact same thing.
Through Coeliac Awareness Week and beyond, I’m here to help and listen to anyone who’s struggling, so feel free to email me or drop me a message on Instagram if you need someone to chat to.
Keep fighting, you’re stronger than you know!