James Miller - Coeliac Diary


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Halls Extra Strong


I received this letter about Halls Extra Strong which is good news for coeliacs.

Letter from Cadburys - Click for large

Let's hope that other companies remove unnecessary gluten from their foods and snacks.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Aspergers, Autism and Diet


Discussion on the radio this morning is about a boy of 10, who suffers from Aspergers and has been given an ASBO for a whole string of problems.

I am a coeliac, which means I'm allergic to the gluten found in wheat, barley and rye.

It may seem strange, but there has been a lot of work done, which shows that a gluten-free diet can help disruptive children.

So don't overlook diet in the solving of the problems of disruptive children and adults.


Medical records


I saw an article on BBC Breakfast about the computerisation of medical records.

Personally, I've no problem with this as my medical records don't contain any dark secrets. I've read most of them by the way, as the nurse and I usually browse through the older ones to look at all the coeliac symptoms that are there, when I have my B12 injections. (Does your nurse sit with you for five minutes or so, to check for any injection shock?) Unfortunately, they start when I was 21 as they got lost after University. (I suspect that I may have two NHS numbers, which is a problem for computerisation as well.)

But the first entry is persistent and severe diarrhoea, which won't go away. Guess what we had a lovely bakery in the village.

If they show anything, they show that doctors kept missing the symptoms of CD for thirty years and even then it took another five for a correct diagnosis. If I look at those doctors, none were incompetent and one was a personal friend. So perhaps it says something about the problems of diagnosis of CD.

But what if I have something to hide.

Say abortion of which there are upwards of 50,000 a year in the UK or a sexually transmitted disease. Would you want those to be on a computer system? On the other hand if you didn't, then would you really want to give that as the reason for not being entered.

I know this is off topic, but what does everyone think.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Additives in Medicines


I am a coeliac and can't eat the gluten found in wheat, barley and rye.

I have a real problem with things like cough mixtures which are not gluten-free as some contain syrups defined from wheat. Gluten is something that should be banned from all medicines.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Coeliac Disease and Back Pain


I'm having building work done at the moment and I was talking to their project manager and he was telling me about his wife's severe back pain, which was brought on by childbirth about twenty years ago. About a year ago, she got a new consultant, who suggested that she go on a gluten-free diet and see if things improved.

They have got a lot better.

Interesting that the orthopaedic consultant should recommend such as action.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007



I bit my nails for over fifty years. Then I was diagnosed as a coeliac. I have now stopped, since I've been on a gluten free diet.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How to do a Gluten-Free Menu


I've just been tidying the office and found the menu from the River Cafe.

River Cafe Menu - Click for Large

What is good about it, is that is a single sheet of paper that the customer can take away and not some grand document, that is totally the property of the restaurant.

You'll notice that the waiter has written all over the menu, so that there is no confusion as to what is a good meal or not.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Supermarkets and Gluten-Free


Our closest supermarket is a Waitrose in Newmarket and their gluten-free offerings are pretty good.

I get Trufree crackers, Village Bakery cakes and ginger biscuits and Orasco bars from their Free From section, but I also buy a lot of other things that are certified gluten-free from other parts of the store. These include Whole Earth cornflakes, Aspall cyder and some of the ready meals by people like Castle Farm Kitchens. (They also seem to have introduced a Free From section into the chilled foods in the last week or so.) My problems with Waitrose include the fact that they don't do any reasonably priced liver.

Sainsbury's are the closest the other way in Haverhill and their gluten-free offerings are not as good as some of their more up-market stores. I do buy their small sponge puddings (where are the jam ones), some of their scones and the Meridian sauces. For a time they did have a very good gluten-free pitta bread, but apparently the factory burned down. I would use them more but they don't stock Village Bakery stuff.

I try to avoid Tesco for personal reasons, but I still have to go there for their pitta bread.

As for Asda, being owned by Wal-Mart is a very good reason not to shop there.

My wife also gets things like liver and gluten-free fishcakes from Marks and Spencer. They also do some excellent cheese souffl├ęs in some stores.

So to get what I need, I have to go to four different supermarkets. That isn't really a problem for me as I travel to Cambridge about twice a week, where there is another Sainsbury's and three Tescos. But this must be a problem for people who only have easy access to one supermarket or large shop.