James Miller - Coeliac Diary


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Dodgy B12 Injection?


I have a B12 injection every three months.

After my May injection, I suffered all sorts of heart fluctuations, shortage of breath etc. I talked about them on-line and it was suggested I have thyroid function checked and that the other symptoms were down to a shortage of B12.

Since my August injection, everything has calmed down and I haven’t had a heart fluctuation.

I just wonder what went wrong with the May B12 injection.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Place to Stay


My wife stayed in the Hotel du Vin in Winchester. She’s not coeliac, but the service was very good and nothing was too much trouble.


Friday, August 19, 2005

Gluten Free Fish and Chips


We had fresh tuna grilled in olive oil last night, with peppers and fried new potatoes on Thursday night.

Excellent. Strangely the peppers were English! Didn’t know we made them here!

As an aside, my wife’s dietician told her, that fish from warm water is better for you.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Holidaying in Morocco


We had a lovely holiday in Morocco a couple of years ago. I didn’t have any problems. The food was generally very good. Lots of fruit and salads, if I remember correctly.

They are very friendly people and a lot of English is spoken. We were staying in a good hotel in Marrakesh and one evening we went about a kilometre to a very good restaurant. We asked the concierge what was the best way to get back and he said everybody walks as it’s so safe. We did.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Waitrose Gluten-Free Fish Cakes


Has anybody tried these?

They disappeared for a couple of months and are now back. We prefer the tuna ones.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Cross Contamination


I think we also have to bear in mind that some companies keep a factory gluten-free, by not having any wheat derived products at all.

Kettle do this. They also have to do it for their Organic products, where nothing non-organic is allowed. Many others do to!

Gluten is quite a simple one for the manufacturer, because if they are sure there is no cross contamination, then they can be pretty sure they won’t get sued for a lot of money! Their lawyers would advise them to either be gluten free or not say anything.

Now unless you get the sort of contamination you used to get in the 50s when a packet of 20 fell into the aniseed ball mix, you should be a whole order of magnitude safer. The cigs in the aniseed balls is true!

I should also say that I’ve worked a lot in chemical factories. Product contamination is something you always take seriously. With food they are a lot more so.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Barrister's View on Gluten Free


There has quite a bit of discussion on the new EU labelling rules and how it will affect products being labelled gluten-free.

My wife, Celia, who is a barrister, and I went for a meal at the Thai restaurant in Newmarket. It’s not strictly GF, but by eating selectively, I’m OK.

The subject got round to the fact that some people are worried about the new EU definitions on levels of gluten. She put her lawyer’s hat (wig!) on and said that if anything is labelled gluten-free then that means NO gluten. It’s got nothing to do with the labelling regulations, but all to do with unfair terms and things like the Sale of Goods Act. The basic legal premise is that free and no are words that are easily understood by everyone, so if free means so many parts per million, then that is a nonsense in a court of law in the UK.

So if you bought something labelled as gluten-free or suitable for coeliacs, and it made you ill, then you would have a claim. She also felt that this would not go unnoticed by supermarkets and manufacturers, who would make absolutely sure they don’t get sued.


Attitudes of Others


I can’t say I’ve had a problem with friends and family at all. We went to lunch with friends last week and they made sure everything was right. In fact they wanted to know more.

Incidentally, they are both Catholics around 70 and had some interesting thoughts on communion. For instance, the husband who is very much involved in the church, has always believed that it is wine and/or wafer. The real problem he has found is that on holiday, he has taken the occasional communion in a Greek Orthodox church, where they mix the two and give it to you on a spoon.

I do think that what coeliacs need is a high profile celebratory, who has the disease.

Just keep hitting the wall. Eventually it falls down.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Curious Heart Behaviour


I’m 58 in a few days time and was diagnosed as a coeliac about two years ago. Since then I’ve been on a pretty strict gluten-free diet.

As I’ve obviously got fitter, which I know from the fact that my real tennis handicap has improved, I’ve started to develop the odd heart flutter. Often it is caused by an adrenalin rush, like when I was breathalysed a few weeks ago. (I was well negative!)

Could it be that now I’ve got all the proper vitamins and other stuff going round my body, I’m reacting normally as most people do, but not as I’ve done, as I’d always been controlling in a different regime?

I’ve been to the doctor about it and he reckons it’s caffeine, as my blood pressure and heartbeat are normal.