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[BLOG] MY ENDOMETRIOSIS STORY

Today marks the end of Endometriosis Awareness Month 2016 and it is during this month that all around the world, brave and beautiful women are sharing their own ‘Endometriosis Story’ in the hope to spread awareness of this horrible and debilitating condition.

Before I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2013, I had never heard of the name or knew it ever existed. Yet since being diagnosed and speaking to people about it, I have discovered that so any women suffer from it or know of someone who does. In the UK alone, 1 in 10 women will be diagnosed with endometriosis, which is a high statistic, especially since most doctors aren’t informed about the condition, they’re still finding out new discoveries about it and that sadly, there is no cure.

endometriosis-information

Endometriosis is when cells, that behave like the lining of the womb (endometrium), is found outside of the womb. Every month, these cells react in the same way to those found in the womb, building up, breaking down and then bleeding. Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape.

The most common places it can be found is on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the bladder and the bowel to name but a few. Symptoms can vary from woman to woman but the most common symptoms are; painful periods, heavy periods, pain in the lower abdomen, pain in the pelvis and lower back etc. As each ‘endo sufferer’ have their own personal experience with the condition, it has been very hard to find a treatment that works. For example, what works for one woman, won’t work for the other.

My Endometriosis Story

On my new site, ‘Gluten Free City Girl‘, I have wrote my own ‘Endometriosis Story‘ which I hope spreads awareness, encourage other women to go to their GP if they suspect they have endometriosis and to reach out to other brave ladies who are also ‘endo sufferers’. Although I was diagnosed in 2013, I am STILL finding out new things about it, new ways of coping with the condition, new ways or managing the pain. I would love to hear from other ladies with the condition and discover their ways of coping and managing it.

 

ENDO STORY 2016

If you would like more information about Endometriosis, you can visit the amazing website: Endometriosis UK who have several really useful pages such as ‘Getting Diagnosed with Endometriosis‘ and ‘Facts about Endometriosis‘.

However if you are a sufferer but would like to speak to somebody about your endometriosis (or want to discuss a loved one with the condition), the Endometriosis UK have an amazing  and useful Helpline service, which I have used a few times myself. As the helplines are manned by volunteers who happen to be ‘endo sufferers’ themselves, they aren’t allowed to give you any medical advice but can talk about their own experiences with endometriosis. If you do want to contact them, please check their opening times before you call to see when the service is available.

I have also left my contact details below incase you would like to talk to me about your endometriosis story, to tell me about your ways of coping and managing endometriosis pain or to simply rant! However, you are more than welcome to leave a comment in the comment section below.

ENDOMETRIOSIS HELPLINE NUMBER – 0808 808 2227
FACEBOOK – THE GLUTEN FREE STUDENT COOKBOOK
TWITTER – @GFCITYGIRL
INSTAGRAM – @GFCITYGIRL
EMAIL – GLUTENFREECITYGIRL@GMAIL.COM

[BLOG] AN UPDATE: ENDOMETRIOSIS AND GLUTEN FREE CITY GIRL

 

For some time now, I have wanted to start another blog. Since becoming ill with Endometriosis I have found it difficult to come back to blogging on The Gluten Free Student Cookbook as well as finding easy and cheap ways of making gluten free student grub. On the rare occasions where I have an ounce of energy, I am finding it hard thinking of something to write. This has become extremely harder since I am no longer a student.

Which is why I have started my new blog; Gluten Free City Girl where I will blog about new recipes I have tried, new places I have discovered as well as blogging about things I love. I will also blog about my Endometriosis in the hope I help anyone else who suffers from the disabling and chronic disease. However, if I come across any news, recipes and restaurants that I think would help if you are a gluten free student, I will also blog about here.

gluten free city girl

Gluten Free City Girl is still a working progress but I am excited to come back to the world of blogging and get back in with the amazing gluten free community. Both me Instagram and Twitter account names have changed from @CoeliacStudent to @GFCityGirl but for the moment my Facebook page still remains the same.

I also want to thank you all for the amazing and lovely messages, comments and emails that I have received whilst I wasn’t blogging and I am so sorry for not having a chance to reply to any of you and to comment back. Since being diagnosed with Endometriosis back in 2013, I have had nothing but scan after scan, two surgeries (with one impending),  a few 999 calls, a couple of hospital stays and daily dose of tramadol and morphine – which completely ‘zonks’ me out. Although I am trying to keep a relatively ‘normal’ life by managing to work full time but that does mean by the end of the day I am wiped out.

But, I am trying to remain as positive as I can and really want to start blogging in and getting back in touch with you all!

[BLOG] COME DINE WITH ME…..BUT NOT IF YOU HAVE DIETARY REQUIREMENTS!

04_Pearlfisher_1_Genius-Identity

During Coeliac Awareness Week 2015, the awesome and fabulous guys at Genius commissioned a survey that highlighted some unsettling results. Here is what they found:

39% of people don’t know how to cook for someone with a specific dietary requirement

80% don’t know where to start when catering for coeliacs and those avoiding wheat and gluten  

20% of those with a specific diet requirement have felt excluded from social events

Over a 3rd of those lucky enough to be invited have been forced to go without food because their dietary requirements haven’t been catered for (and I have personally been in this situation myself!) 

But according to the Survey, over 2000 adults deliberately refuse to cook or cater for those with specific dietary requirements, not because they are being cruel and unkind, but because they are scared of getting it wrong and worse – making their guest very ill.

Additionally it’s not just the hosts that deliberately avoid inviting guests with specific dietary requirements, 49% of those with dietary requirements will avoid social events, meals out, holidays etc as they’re worried their needs will not be met!

gluten-joke-2 (1)

So what do we do? Here I’ve listed my own tips for those hosting an event, organising a meal out or having friends round for dinner who may have a guest who has Coeliac Disease and avoid wheat and gluten. Feel free to leave a comment below if you know of any more tips or helpful advice that will help others:

LABELS ARE EASY TO READ

All packaged food within the UK must list whether a product contains wheat or gluten (and other allergens).  They have also made it easy by highlighting ‘wheat’ and ‘gluten’ in the ingredients so you can see this immediately. They also list these in the ‘allergen box’ which is usually situated after the ingrediants, however this is being phased out (only because it’s become easier to read the ingredients) 

gf labelling

WATCH FOR OTHER INGREDIENTS

Unfortunately for Coeliacs we don’t just avoid wheat and gluten, but we also avoid; Rye, Barley, Oats, Spelt and Kamut. So remember to look out for these ingredients if you’re catering for a Coeliac.

MAY CONTAIN LABELLING

Manufacturers will use this label if the product may contain wheat/gluten because it was either made on a line that handles wheat/gluten or made in a factory that also handles wheat/gluten. Personally I am OK with this risk (as *touch wood* I have not been ‘glutened’ yet) but some people are very sensitive to wheat/gluten,  and understandably don’t want to take this risk. If you come across this labelling and are still unsure, I’d recommend speaking to your guest who has Coeliac Disease.

SPEAK TO YOUR COELIAC GUEST 

If you’re unsure, nervous, anxious about hurting your guest – speak to them! After all they don’t want to be ill nor do they want you to be so worried! They may be able to offer advice or guide you in the right direction. If you’re planning on eating out, they may know of restaurants that cater for Coeliacs or alternatively what products to buy or dishes to make.

DO SOME RESEARCH

They are some amazing blogs and websites that offer great and honest advice, delicious recipes and product/restaurants reviews! If you’re unsure where to start, I have listed my favourite ‘Gluten Free Go-To Blogs’ [here]. I also list easy Gluten Free Receipes [here] as well as a list of Gluten Free Restuarants that cater for Coeliacs or those who need to avoid wheat and gluten [here]

BE CAREFUL OF CROSS CONTAMINATION

You’ll be doing everything correctly. You’ve read the labels religiously, sourced and bought the right gluten free products but you’ve just used the same spoon to stir your own gluten ridden pasta with the gluten free pasta! This can be a disaster for coealics as we can become very ill from cross contamination! Just a small amount of wheat and gluten can make us poorly! Try not to fret and worry too much when cooking but do be careful and mindful!

DON’T FEEL BAD ASKING YOUR GUEST TO BRING OWN DISHES OR PRODUCTS

Gluten free food is expensive. A loaf of gluten free bread can cost a whopping £3! So don’t feel bad for asking your coeliac guest to bring their own products – they’ll be more than happy to oblige! Also don’t feel bad about asking your guest to bring their own dishes either. If you’re that worried about poisoning your guest with gluten so much so that you’re considering not inviting them – ask!

NATURAL GLUTEN FREE PRODUCTS

Sometimes you don’t have to buy expensive alternatives or read food labels to find gluten free products as some are gluten free naturally. I’m talking about any fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, rice, potatoes, pulses and fish!