Around January 2004, I was becoming increasingly tired all the time, I would wake up in the morning, and feel like I hadn't had any sleep. I was working shifts then so put it down to my body clock not keeping up. As the next couple of months went on I would get cold after cold and flu-like symptoms. In May 2004 I decided to change jobs and started working a 9-5 office role. I expected to start feeling better but unfortunately not. I remember the HR manager seeing me on the sofa revising for a pensions test and barely being able to keep my eyes open. Within 3 months I had been 'let go' due to too much time off sick (again due to colds and a complete lack of strength and energy).
I was very lucky that my Doctor specialised in Gastro-Intestinal diseases and in August 2004, after 3 courses of antibiotics and various blood tests not making a difference, he suggested another blood test for Coeliacs (I remember my doctor taking the blood on this occasion and having trouble finding a vein due to the number of blood tests I'd had around that time). Hurrah, an answer, my doctor confirmed it looked like I had Coeliac Disease and would need an endoscopy to be sure. The endoscopy confirmed the blood test and I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. Next job was working out what gluten was and how to avoid it...
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How I was diagnosed with coeliac disease..... HAZEL ALDRIDGE
I had numerous appointments with doctors with regard to stomach cramps and needing the toilet urgently and was repeatedly told I was suffering from IBS. This I accepted, but I wasn't convinced. One day I woke up with a red eye, not veined but completely red. My doctor sent me immediately to the drop-in eye clinic and was diagnosed with conjunctivitis and was given some eye ointment. This made the eye worse so I returned to the hospital. I saw a different doctor who started asking me some strange questions about joint pain etc. I queried why he was asking such questions when I was there regarding my eye. He explained that often a red eye is an indication that there is an inflammation somewhere in the body, usually rheumatoid arthritis. He didn't think this was the case so sent me for an endoscopy which showed I was allergic to wheat, rye and barley and needed a gluten free diet. I strictly follow the diet and have never felt better.