My coeliac story: Online tool led to my diagnosis

For many years, I'd often felt tired. I used to have a bad reaction to certain foods, such as bread, pasta and pizza, ranged from feeling nauseous, extreme tiredness to sickness and bloating.

My headaches started about two years ago, which is when I went back to my doctor and was diagnosed with anaemia, which is when I started a course of six weeks on, then six weeks off, of iron tablets; this was repeated for a few months, with blood tests in between, which didn't really lead to anything. The tiredness didn't really go away and I had the attitude that I just had to get on with things.

I started to do my own research after one of my friends was diagnosed with coeliac disease. She had been getting similar symptoms to me so when she got her diagnosis I began to start putting two and two together. I decided to do some online research and that's when I came across the charity Coeliac UK's online assessment tool.

After I completed this assessment, I received an email from them which recommended that I get tested for the condition. So I took this to my doctor and was tested for coeliac disease, which involved first having a blood test and then a gut biopsy. I was eventually diagnosed as being coeliac.

I'm still in recovery as my iron levels are still quite low and I've recently started having a problem with a lack of vitamin D but I'm really thankful the assessment helped me to get the right diagnosis.

Looking back, using this online tool was a breakthrough because, up until that time, I'd just been relying on iron tablets which weren't really dealing with my health issues. I'd recommend the tool to anyone who is having similar symptoms, as like me, you could have coeliac disease and not even realise it.

Rebecca Shimells is 37 and from East Yorkshire in the UK.

Rebecca's story was kindly provided with thanks to her and the charity Coeliac UK

Find out more about the charity's campaign to raise awareness about the link between anaemia and undiagnosed coeliac disease.


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