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'Coeliac Disease really isn’t that bad, once you get the hang of it!'

'Being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease wasn’t the easiest of journeys, that’s for sure. All was confirmed by the age of 23, surprisingly quite early compared to lots of others.

After years of missing lectures and feeling pretty rubbish a lot of the time during university, I went to the GP and demanded a full blood check, along with some other tests. Shortly after, my results came back as positive for Coeliac Disease.

Being ‘glutened’ or having a ‘gluten attack’ isn’t fun. These times have most definitely been my biggest hurdles. You find yourself lying in bed, uncomfortable, helpless and feeling generally rubbish, even sometimes being physically sick. The recovery time after such an episode really depends on the individual and situation at hand! Was it actually eating gluten, or cross-contamination? Although I’ve most certainly experienced some dark days and negative experiences, there have been many times where I’m almost glad of the condition…

Without the diagnosis, and having to discover food in a totally new way, my blog and social media community wouldn’t exist to me, or anybody. It’s a way to connect to people and to not feel like you’re alone with some of the challenges. It's a way to record the triumphs faced, with the illness and other aspects of life. Aside from this, the support from family and friends has been immense. People around me going straight out to stock up their kitchens with not only essentials suitable for my new diet, but also plenty of goodies that they thought I’d be missing out on! The supermarkets have become so accommodating to ‘free-from’ lifestyles which makes it feel like an exciting thing when a new product is launched (almost daily across the board), rather than feeling that fear of missing out. Coeliac Disease really isn’t that bad, when you get the hang of it!'

Author credit: Hannah Hawkins

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