It’s not often that I will comment on an article from the Daily
If you didn’t see it here is a quick screengrab:
It’s the type of article which really doesn’t help raise awareness of how serious an issue Coeliac Disease is. Because it’s not a fad or someone trying to lose a little weight by cutting out bread. It’s not a choice. People with coeliacs disease cannot eat any gluten. Ever.
Our local GP along with pretty much every GP discussed in a Coeliac forum ( of thousands of coeliac sufferers ) does not prescribe anything which can be classed as junk food. Which can only make you question where on earth this headline has come from. Yes some surgeries offer a flour mix with which you can make bread – this mix can also be used to make cakes, doughnuts and the like. Yet the surgery offers it to make bread. They cannot control what people make from it. Nor should they. This mix is typically offered in cases such as Chloe’s ( prior to the successful reintroduction of egg ) where a suitable loaf can’t be offered due to multiple allergies.
For those who like to know..Chloe receives a loaf of bread ( previously it was a mix which I then made up and baked ), a bag of pasta and some plain rice puffed cereal. This is to help us as a family manage some of the absolutely exorbitant prices that come along with eating gluten free. It barely scratches the surface but we are grateful that our wonderful NHS can offer this to us.
We are additionally unlucky in the sense that Chloe also can’t tolerate dairy or soya (we had tried a soya reintroduction which didn’t work). This is common of a lot of coeliacs – extra intolerances or allergies. It’s almost impossible ( or so it seems ) to find supermarket products that are free of gluten, dairy and soya. It means that I can’t just grab a packet of biscuits from the supermarket. I can however buy her a single (plain) gingerbread man for £2.00 – that’s right, if we want to treat our daughter to a simple biscuit we are paying about 4 times the price of an entire pack of standard biscuits ( based on packets of Oreos at Asda today – 50p a pack ). If I wish to buy her chocolate at Christmas or Easter it’s roughly £2 – £2.50 for a bag of buttons ( same size as a small bag of the cadburys ones – 3-4 times more expensive ). I also have to order these online as they are not stocked locally.
On the whole we prefer both of our children to eat healthily, fruit, veggies, meat and potatoes/pasta etc. But we are far from perfect. We believe children should have treats. Our monthly grocery shop has tripled since Chloe’s diagnosis. Tripled. Our wages have stayed the same. Try to imagine how you would absorb that cost. It’s hard. Really hard. And have I mentioned how much longer shopping takes? We read the labels on everything. Even products we have bought before because ingredients change, factory processes change. It’s exhausting.
Definitely worth it to see this look of glee after a simple slice of cake:
Normally I would just ignore this type of news story. Let myself take the higher ground with the knowledge that it’s not correct but after so much discussion on the matter today – including well known TV presenters ( shame on you ) I just felt so annoyed. I did a supermarket shop this afternoon whilst angered and almost cried whilst reading tiny ingredient lists over and over again.
If you don’t know much about Coeliac Disease then take the time to find out. Don’t let these headlines cloud your judgement or make you feel frustrated at how your taxes are spent.
Think of how you would feel if it was your child or you. For most people with this lifelong auto immune disease these prescriptions are like medicine. A necessary part of their day to day lives and who knows how many would be in real financial difficulty without this support.
Life is far from easy for a Coeliac.