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Updated on May 6, 2013


I, as regular readers of my 200 plus Hubs will well know, am a Coeliac. Through this crippling disease, I have had periods of horrible illness from infantcy right up to 2010 when I got a perforated bowel that disclosed , during an emergency operation, a LYMPHOMA , more commonly known as Cancer.The events are recorded over many Hubs from that point until I completed Chemotherapy and went into remission which is my current state.

As a result, and due to the severest of warnings from my Oncologist, my wife meticulously checks every item of food we buy to ensure it is Gluten free. Modern product information is making the task easier but stiil constant vigilance is required. Gluten free is what Coeliacs must be. No half measures if the crippling effects of the disease are to be avoided. These include, stomach bloating, cramps, wind, diarrhoea as discernible symptoms. However, there can also be swift weight loss, lethergy, anaemia, and a thinning of the bones if things develop.

The disease was only diagnosed in the 1940 war years when starving Dutch children, without wheat based foods were noticed to have less stomach related illnesses than before. It took till 1985 for the NHS here to diagnose me and the rapid improvement in my health was amazing.

So amazing was my recovery that over the years I began to neglect my need to be Gluten Free with the rsult that in 2010 I was struck down with a great might. Since then I have banged the drum whenever possible for the diagnosed to be sure to be gluten free. The simple reason for this is that for the 600,000 {and rising} of us in the UK who have the disease is that there is no cure ! We all have the same problem in that if we eat gluten containing foods our immune system spots and attacks it vigorously and as a result breaks down the surface of intestinal walls and inflames them with the effects indicated above. Diagnosis is still not perfect and often GP "s fail to spot it at least initially.


I am writing this Hub today simply because I have read an article which, to my mind as a Coeliac is sending out the wrong, or at least mixed messages to all who have or may have in the future, this debilitating ailment.

Basically a 52 year old adventurer, noted for scaling difficult mountains was interviewed about his diagnosis as a Coeliac. Being the type of man that he is, it naturally follows that he will have his own take on the disease and to be fair advises all sufferers that they must follow their own path and not his. He refuses to give up his pint of beer, claimining most wheat is destroyed during fermentation, though hs view is contradicted by a dietician used to dealing with the matter. Also, and pointedly, examples of Gluten Free beers are shown alongside the interview. Seems a no brainer to me, but then I do not try to scale life threatening mountains either.

The dietician quoted rightly points out that microscopic damage to the gut caused by tiny amounts of gluten can increase the risk of bowel cancer. As a result, it may be fair to state that avoiding gluten at all costs is something all Ceoliacs must do.

It is not an easy thing to do. Restaurant food is a nightmare to check, though some now offer gluten free dishes which is a real advance. Travel abroad brings problems all round often and the best way is to stick to bland offerings and avoid restaurants unless they serve steak/ chicken and chips.As our intrepid climber confesses, he has yet to discove a gluten free mustard to give focus to our ceoliac difficulties

So, and briefly the message to ALL Ceoliacs is clear and unequivacable------ GLUTEN FREE MEANS GLUTEN FREE TOTALLY ! Mountains are hard enough to climb without putting obstacles in your way unnecessarily.


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