*** Warning ***
It now seems that my digestive problems were due in part to B12 deficiency.
Please read these notes with this in mind.
Coeliac disease (generally known as celiac disease) effects about one in a hundred people in Britain. It is a genetic disorder. A blood test for coeliac antibodies may indicate whether further investigation is needed.
Symptoms vary, and may not be particularly severe. They include intestinal wind, mal-absorption, joint pain, mouth ulcers and skin problems. Lactose intolerance is a common symptom. I found I got mouth ulcers when I ate carrots, or drank beer, though stout did not have this effect.
Some people lose weight due to mal-absorption. Others gain weight. The University of the Highlands and Islands is investigating a link with diabetes which could explain weight gain. Initial findings suggest that coeliac disease may overlap with type-1 diabetes. They are also investigating a possible link with schizophrenia.
The treatment for coeliac disease is to change your diet to avoid gluten, including wheat, bread, pizza, pasta and beer. Chip shop batter contains wheat flour too. Eating in restaurants can be a problem! I used to find Chinese restaurants very helpful, but cannot eat there now. Soy sauce contains gluten.
Breakfast cereals are usually sweetened with wheat flour. If you avoid breakfast cereals, you will be missing out on the added vitamins, including B12. You should beware of B12 deficiency.
Gofio de Millo, manufactured from maize, is a very useful food to carry with you for lunch or as an emergency ration, as a substitute for shortbread or sandwiches. Unfortunately, most gofio manufacturers cannot guarantee that their gofio is gluten free.
Maize flour can be obtained from health food shops. It can be used to make fried cakes or pancakes. Corn flour can be used for thickening soups or sauces, and for potato cakes. Buckwheat flour does not contain gluten, and can be used together with maize flour.
Maize flour varies considerably. I buy PAN Harina de Maiz pre-cooked maize meal, which is available by mail order in the UK. Do ask me about my current supplier.
See my recipe suggestions
Correcting long-standing malabsorption will increase the strain on the kidneys and liver. It could make hyperuricaemia worse and provoke attacks of gout.
Scones and cakes contain baking powder, which contains sodium bicarbonate. If you change your diet to contain less sodium bicarbonate, you may suffer problems with hyperuricaemia and gout.
For further information, see
I offer this advice in the hope that it will help you ask the right questions of your advisors, and in the belief that you will make better decisions as a result.
If you have any health problems, you should consult a qualified professional medical practitioner. In my own case, I feel the advice I have been offered has been dangerous, inadequate, and misleading.