MY COELIAC DIAGNOSIS
Christina Punter, Owner of Cake Me
"So I can't eat KFC anymore?!"
My name is Christina, I'm originally from Newport, South Wales and moved to Glasgow in February 2017....this is when I was diagnosed as "coeliac".
I went to my GP back in May 2016 about chronic fatigue, to which she asked if I had ever been tested for coeliac disease and took some blood samples to check my Antithyroglobulin (anti TG) levels.
One week later, a call from the GP to come in urgently to inform me that my anti TG levels were very high and that I required an endoscopy to confirm the presence of coeliac disease. The endoscopy took place in January 2017, so between May 2016 and January 2017 I was to continue to eat gluten to ensure a reliable endoscopy test.
Endoscopy showed positive, and so it begins…..the gluten-free diet for life.
Luckily, I had some knowledge about coeliac disease due to my Gran being diagnosed in 2005! I knew not to eat wheat, barley or rye anymore which is found in FAR TOO MANY nice products! Never allowed foods covered in beautiful batter or breadcrumbs, no more tiger bread, no more Mr Kipling Viennese Whirls, no more buckets of KFC popcorn chicken, I could go on......It took quite a few months to adjust to a gluten free diet, involving a cheat day here and there!
On the Bright Side!
Since starting the gluten free diet (without ANY cheat days), I feel so much healthier! I didn't even realise I could feel this good which means I might have had coeliac disease for years and never known!
Throughout Primary and Secondary school and even through my early adulthood I had so many sick days due to chronic fatigue, stomach cramps that lasted months, sickness and generally feeling unwell constantly looking pale and weak. I remember being 9 years old and taking nearly 5 months off from school due to unknown abdominal pains, sickness and fatigue...this may have been the cause! Who knows!
But worst of all, I had severe asthma from aged 3. I took inhalers daily, several trips to hospital over the years to receive nebulisers and steroids, even stayed overnight on occasion as my oxygen levels dropped. I kid you not, since starting the gluten free diet, my asthma is practically gone. Sure, I take my inhaler on occasion if I'm in a damp house or if I have a laughing fit (yes, laughing so hard can make me wheezy!) but it's nowhere near what is was like two years ago. I'm able to take up more sporting activities like running and swimming without having to worry about a wheezy chest!
So I Started a Wee Home Business....
I was always baking at home for family, friends and colleagues and some people had mentioned about starting a cake business, so I thought it might be nice to start up a home business when I moved to Glasgow!
I tried out gluten free cakes in my local area, including the pre-packaged nonsense....I wanted to make my gluten free cakes the BEST that Glasgow has ever tasted! Quite a big goal, but I like a challenge!
Cake Me began in April 2017, creating birthday cakes and a wide variety of cupcake flavours for coeliacs to indulge! We also supplied over 10 cafes every week around Glasgow with gluten free products!
Wee Bit of Advice
If I could offer a small piece of advice for those who have just been diagnosed and are asymptomatic, try not to have a cheat day! When you’re asymptomatic, it’s very easy to take the “f**k it” approach!
Each cheat day I would experience dizzyness, cramps and feeling the need to sleep for a long period of time, only a few hours after eating gluten! I never used to feel those effects after eating gluten before but because I had started the gluten-free diet, my body wasn't used to this and began to react this way! It's very common and is often referred to as being "glutened".
Sometimes you can't help it if you're in a restaurant and order a gluten free meal but there's a chance of cross contamination, you may experience these side effects or maybe worse....I talk more about this subject in another post, "Being Restaurant Safe" if you'd like to take a look at it!
I hope you will find a cake flavour that takes your fancy! If you do have a particular favourite flavour that we don't have on our website, PLEASE get in touch with us and we'll be more than happy to help you!