Introducing Karin Joyce…
At ‘Home of the House Proud’, we’ve recently launched a section of the blog especially for coeliac sufferers. We’re working with two lovely individuals and Juvela to help provide information, advice and recipes (especially fresh bread recipes) for those people out there that have a gluten intolerance. On Monday, we introduced Carol, today, we’d like to introduce you to Karin…
My name is Karin Joyce and I am a freelance writer and parent blogger. I am the author of Cafe Bebe, a parenting website where I share my adventures in motherhood, marriage, mealtimes and moi. I am the mother of an energetic and entertaining two year old and the wife of an Englishman who is fully supportive of my coeliac diagnosis. I will be a regular contributor to Morphy Richards ‘Home of the House Proud’ where I will share posts, tips, recipes and reviews.
For the last two years I haven’t been feeling myself. Bloated, uncomfortable and with a belly that could rival a woman who’s six months pregnant, I knew that something was not right. However, even after mentioning it several times to the GP, I never really forced the issue with my GP. I felt embarrassed and just thought that I needed to eat less and exercise more. True, I had put on more than the average amount of weight with my pregnancy and as a result had a significant abdominal separation. I readily dismissed my symptoms as something I just had to deal with.
After encouragement from my husband, I went into the GP in November of 2010 to discuss my abdomen, discomfort and symptoms. I was finally sent for blood tests, however, I was not informed what the blood tests were for. About 2 weeks later I received a letter in the post requesting that I make an appointment with my GP. At that appointment I was informed that my blood tests did indeed confirm that I tested positive for Coeliac disease. The GP was referring me to a consultant and I was scheduled for repeat blood tests. I was thrilled to learn that there was actually something medically wrong with me. It wasn’t all in my head! I started researching coeliac disease to learn more about what was in store for me but was advised to maintain my diet and not to begin a gluten-free diet until I was seen by the consultant.
A few weeks later I saw the consultant who further confirmed the coeliac disease diagnosis. She put me forward for a gastroscopy which occurred on 13 December, 2010. The day of the gastroscopy marked the last day that I consciously ate gluten. I began eating a gluten-free diet the following day and haven’t looked back. Adopting a gluten-free diet and lifestyle is not easy. For me, I felt suddenly deprived of most of the foods that I had enjoyed previously. Pasta, bread and fish & chips were staples in my diet. Despite the fact that they made me feel rubbish, I did thoroughly enjoy them and I went through a bit of grieving and detoxification in the first two weeks of my gluten-free diet.
Those first two weeks were a learning curve for me. Gluten seems to be everywhere! I registered with Coeliac UK, Dietary Specials, Juvela and Glutafin and have appreciated receiving materials, information and product samples. The Free-From sections of local grocery stores have given me a good start on the gluten-free path but I find the prices excessively high. This has encouraged me to re-evaluate my own kitchen and helped me to start cooking and adapting recipes to our gluten-free diet. My biggest challenge is in helping family to understand what I can and can’t eat and finding reasonable choices when dining out.
Perhaps one of the best results of adopting a gluten-free diet and lifestyle is that I have started to make much better food choices, I have begun to feel better physically and my abdomen is not as bloated as it once was. I have conveniently lost 6 pounds in the last 5 weeks and am exercising more. I have found a new energy for understanding and living with coeliac disease and am looking forward to sharing my experiences, tips and recipes with others.
To visit Karin’s blog, click here.