Poor relations, George-Goodwin-Kilburne, 1875
Below is a post written by my Mum, Dr Jane Rees, who is a G.P. If you are a long standing Especially Delicious follower you will know she has written a few articles on the medical side of being gluten free before.
Today's post is a personal account of being gluten intolerant and a very special competition at the end.
In 2008 she developed severe indigestion, after doing food elimination tests she discovered that gluten was the problem. Her blood test for coeliac disease came back negative and she has no other coeliac type symptoms, so the diagnosis of being gluten intolerant was made.
It’s Coeliac Awareness Week. So what does that mean to those of us who are wheat and/or gluten intolerant but not coeliac? At times I feel as if we are poor relations to the coeliacs. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want coeliac disease and, as a GP, I am only too aware of the harm the condition can do, especially to people who don’t stick to a gluten free diet. However, in restaurants and cafes asking ‘have you got anything gluten free?’ when you are ‘only’ gluten intolerant can make you feel a bit of a nuisance without the justification of a proper medical diagnosis.
There are two good things that could come out of Coeliac Awareness week. First would be a greater understanding of how problems with the metabolism of wheat and gluten can have an impact on many trivial symptoms people put up with for years. This should lead to more people with coeliac disease getting diagnosed earlier as well as more understanding of people with food intolerances. We are not all attention seeking nutcases!
Secondly, I would like a greater awareness of the need for good gluten free food from the catering industry. Last week at a medical conference in Yorkshire I felt like the only person out of the 400 delegates who was on a gluten free diet. One day I had to wait half an hour while they cooked me something, even though I had pre-warned them of my requirements. I then got a stuffed pepper while everyone else tucked into yummy-looking cottage pie. It was nice enough but I still felt like shouting ‘I’m gluten free not vegan’ when the food came. Why do so many chefs link all speciality diets together?
I was talking about this to Sarah the other day and we came up with a great idea- a competition for a chef working in an ‘ordinary’ kitchen to win a place on Sarah’s gluten free baking course!
So, are you a chef who’s interested in learning new skills and pleasing the fastest growing sector of the food market? If you would like to enter please send Sarah an email with a paragraph on why you want to learn about good gluten free cooking. Email Sarah on firstname.lastname@example.org