So you think bread hates you…..

I don’t know how many people say to me “oh when I eat bread it kills me off the next day you know” but never consider they might have a gluten allergies or intolerance they just keep plodding on pooping their life away thinking nothing else of it.

Well stop guys you don’t need to become best friends with your toilet every time you fancy a sandwich!

However, diagnosis of an allergy, intolerance or auto-immune disease isn’t always that easy.

The symptoms….

Everyone poops. And everyone poops different.

And us British folk don’t talk enough poop.

I can not encourage people enough to look down their loo’s once they have gone, i’m a poop monitoring ambassador. I know it might feel weird but your poop tells you a lot about what is going on inside you.

If your not in the healthcare circle you might not have hear of the Bristol stool chart. The Bristol stool chart is exactly that; a chart of stools.

Image result for bristol stool chart

It is a really good way to describe your poop to the doctor if you have any concerns. Now for many the “normal” should be 3/4 but for those of you with diagnosed allergies 2 or even 6’s maybe the norm.

Pooping is not the only symptoms that come along with a gluten allergy.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pains
  • Headaches
  • Feeling tired
  • Skin problems
  • Changes in mood
  • Iron deficiency anemia (that’s how I found out!)
  • Anxiety and brain fog
  • Joint pains

Unfortunately the other week, when It was my birthday weekend, I went out for a meal and I think they may have given me a non-gluten free meal and I have had lots of horrible symptoms since including the brain fog and anxiety, which has caused the vicious circle of anxiety to re-trigger.

People just think that when you have a allergy if you do eat something you shouldn’t you’ll have one of two reactions, you’ll stop breathing and swell up like a giant balloon or you’ll poop forever!

They never associate allergies with mental health.

These symptoms may or may not be associated with a gluten allergy and any new symptoms should always be assessed by a medical professional.

These guys will (hopefully, and I say hopefully because I still haven’t’ a formal diagnosis of Celiac’s I just “might” have it 3 years later on) send you for some tests and assessments to see if there is an issue there.

The tests….

The first assessment they will  send you for should be a routine blood test.

This test should be all inclusive including:

  • FBC – full blood count
  • LFT – Liver function test
  • GFR – Kidney function
  • U&E’s – Kidney functio
  • Full iron screen
  • TTA – Celiac screen

This test will give your doctor a insight into your innie bits and show any abnormalities. Now the TTA screen for celiacs can be a bit dodge apparently and you can get false readings.

If there is a abnormal test result, or even if there isn’t, but your doctor would like to investigate further they normally suggest a Gastroscopy.

A gastroscopy is a small flexible tube that goes down your oesophagus (throat) into your stomach and has a look around and sometimes takes small biopsy’s of your stomach for testing.

Now I have to be honest, I had this test a few years back and I asked other’s who had it what it was like. I got mixed answers from those guys, for me it was one of the most traumatic experiences I have ever experienced.

I think it depends on you as a person though.

I have a big anxiety about not being able to breathe, so having a tube down my throat wasn’t the greatest and unfortunately due to my agitation I was restrained by the staff to remove the tube before a biopsy could be taken. That’s why I have no formal diagnosis.

If you think you have a gluten allergy please have this test, don’t be like me a panic. Relax, take the sedative they offer and get your diagnosis.

I have been advised to take it again and not to take it, but if I did want it I would have to go back on gluten for a few months to have a positive reaction to it, which sounds great!

All the sandwich I can eat, soggy toast and cakes!

But after this last week where I’ve felt like my insides were so swollen I couldn’t breathe and the raging fires of hell had made base camp in my bowels don’t think I could willing eat gluten just for a diagnosis.

The diagnosis….

I have no formal diagnosis. Yet i’m no longer anaemic, I have started making blood again and I feel like i’m alive and have my life back.

I asked my haematologist that if I was formally diagnosed with Celiac’s what would I need to do differently from what i’m doing now. The answer was

Nothing.

So why a diagnosis?

Those that suffer from any gluten allergy, sensitivity or intolerance will have chronic issues that are caused by their consumption of gluten but may not be permanently damaging their bodies.

However, those with Celiac disease if untreated are more likely to get bowel cancer, they can not absorb nutrients properly and there bones are also effected so are more prone to fractures as it is a auto-immune disease rather than an allergie.

Its a minefield out there….

Allergy. intolerance. Sensitivity. Auto-immune disease.

It can be so confusing and frustrating trying to find out which one is you, if any.

First thing is to speak to your GP or doctor. Please don’t just google stuff or you will end up with a diagnosis of Batman knows what!

Speak to a professional, take your Bristol stool chart so you know exactly whats going on down there. Explain everything to them.

Don’t be embarrassed. We all poop!

Discussing and describing it is nothing to be ashamed by.

Ask for tests and assessments.

Don’t be fobbed of with “oh its’s just IBS”.

Aye it might be, but please don’t just take that as the first answer.

And embrace your diagnosis, don’t see it as a problem. It’s what your are, and there nowt wrong with that.

And be a poop monitoring ambassador!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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