When a Coeliac is served gluten

What happens when a coeliac eats something with gluten?

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary, which my husband and I celebrated by going out for dinner. Sometimes it’s nice to simply relax and have exactly what you want without worrying about the nutrition. It was a lovely evening.

Unfortunately, it turns out I was served the standard Pizza Express dough balls rather than the gluten free ones. I know because I woke in the night with the telltale signs of having eaten gluten. As a medically diagnosed coeliac, I am unable to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. When I eat something with gluten it causes an immune response, with my own body shredding my intestines from the inside. Cue massive stomach pain, nausea, diarrhoea, gas and bloating. Needless to say I was up most of the night. Once my body has expelled every bit of gluten (a process which takes several hours) we then proceed to exhaustion, headaches, a fuzzy head and generally feeling unwell for 2-3 days while my body repairs the damage.

I share this to show that for a coeliac, avoiding gluten is not a trendy diet choice, but a medical necessity I would not wish on anyone. Now, I am very grateful that gluten free foods have become so much more widely available in the UK. I remember when the only pizza I could have was a frozen one found in health food shops: Now I can get good gluten free pizza from every major chain restaurant. The downside is that some restaurants do not take their contamination procedures as seriously. After all, most people ordering this food will probably not even notice if they are served the gluten containing version.  However, for coeliacs like me complacency in this is not an option. Unless we want to go back to the days when the only thing I could trust to be gluten free in an Italian restaurant was a naked salad.



The Score:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre: Alcohol:
3146 107.50g 355.37g 169.89g 113.54g 42.15g 29.21g 32.67g
14% 45%   33%   8%
Calories burned through exercise: 338      


What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories
08:00 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 250mL 0
Soft boiled eggs 115g 150
Free From pure oats 50g 171
made with boiling water 250mL 0
topped with sultanas 25g 74
and ground flaxseed 10g 45
Black Tea 450mL 0
10:30 Decaf black tea with semi-skimmed milk and sugar 450mL 78
12:00 Tuna sandwich with tinned tuna, 56g 55
Hellmann’s real mayonnaise, 10g 72
and French’s New York deli pickle relish 8g 7
on Genius brown sliced gluten free bread, 2 slices 70g 188
Sliced raw tomato 131g 26
Golden delicious apple 110g 58
15:00 Activia natural yoghurt 150g 96
Tesco mixed frozen fruits 100g 40
Brazil nuts 5g 34
Walnuts 5g 34
Pecan nuts 10g 71
Sunflower seeds 5g 30
Pumpkin seeds 5g 30
15:45 Gym Session
17:15 MaxiNutrition Lean protein powder, chocolate 40g 143
in water 275mL 0
20:00 Pizza Express roasted tomatoes half a serving 33
Pizza Express gluten free dough balls 3 balls 229
Pizza Express Padana Romana pizza on a gluten free base 1 pizza 870
Red Wine 175mL 133
21:30 Tesco finest Belgian chocolate mousse pot 100g 285
Disaronno amaretto 50mL 194

Image Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_designua’>designua / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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