“Now I’m diagnosed, I can finally enjoy Christmas!” Katie Millis, 27
For over 12 years, Katie suffered with painful mouth ulcers, and having to run to the loo after a meal was the norm.
Told she had IBS, it wasn’t until she picked up a leaflet about coeliac disease in her local pharmacist and asked her GP for a test that she was finally diagnosed with coeliac disease four years ago.
Now, making sure her gluten free diet is safely catered for is a top priority at Christmas.
“Before I was diagnosed, eating anything was awful as it made me so ill. At school I often didn’t eat lunch as didn’t want to draw attention to myself rushing off to the bathroom. I never enjoyed Christmas as I was so poorly. But now I’m on a gluten free diet, I can finally enjoy Christmas!
“There are so many wonderful products in the shops at Christmas now, especially over the last couple of years, and I use Coeliac UK’s Gluten Free Food Checker app to check what’s okay to eat. It’s so great to see gluten free mince pies and Christmas pudding – before I was diagnosed I wasn’t able to eat them, as they always made me too ill.
“I’m really lucky that my family are really supportive and ensure that we only have gluten free food at home so that I can safely eat everything and not have to worry about cross contamination. This really helps, especially at busy times like Christmas when everyone is rushing around and it’s easy to pick up the wrong serving tongs or top up a bowl of crisps with a different packet. With everything being gluten free, I can relax knowing everything is safe and my family can too, knowing that I won’t get ill or end up with mouth ulcers for two weeks.
“Whenever I eat out, I always check Coeliac UK’s GF accredited venues for somewhere to go and this is especially important at busy times of the year like Christmas. I had a bad experience at a dinner dance where, although they assured me they could cater for me, when the food was brought out, they couldn’t confirm if it was gluten free and I ended up eating nothing – apart from the gluten free snacks I had taken with me!”