“My story began in 2002, when I realised I was allergic to wheat and my life changed. I had been repeatedly ill with colds and flu, my bones would ache and my digestion was a mess. Constantly tired and struggling with pain, I was at a loss as to what was wrong with me…
But it all started to become clear when, out walking, I managed to get wheat into my sock. Where the wheat had touched my skin it was inflamed, and remained so for several days. It was clear to me that if a little bit of wheat could do this to my skin, it would be wreaking havoc with my digestive system.
As an experiment, I promptly gave up wheat and within just 3 days I was in far less pain. At the end of two weeks, my health was markedly improved and only then, by contrast, did I realise what I had been living with.
‘I felt like I was back!’
My friends commented on the improvement in my skin and my overall vitality and I felt like I was ‘back!’ This was the start of my recovery and my research into gluten and coeliac disease.
Giving wheat up at first was a lifestyle choice, it was only later I realised I had coeliac disease.
In the first year, I craved wheat in everything, especially brown bread and pastries. Walking through the bakery aisle in the supermarket was torture, and it made me thoroughly miserable.
The constant restraint was a strange agony and in the early days, I used to lose control of myself and buy a croissant or a scone – to hell with the consequences.
‘I never wanted to make a fuss’
After a while though I managed to actively equate wheat with poison in my head and the thought of what it would do to my body gave me the strength to give it up altogether.
I never wanted to cause a fuss, so from time to time when eating with family or friends, I would eat wheat foods. I remember the concern on my father’s face when he saw me double up in pain after eating just a few slices of toast.
The symptoms I got from eating wheat once I had given it up, were far more acute than when I was eating wheat every day. From that point onwards, when I visited my father, he would go out of his way to stock up on gluten free foods, offering me the largest selection I had seen and packing me off home with any of the wheat free feast I couldn’t manage.
A year of wheat free food went by and thankfully new products began to appear on the market. It was then, however, that I bought my first spelt bread and was promptly ill.
The notion that I was actually coeliac began to whisper to me – I gave up everything containing gluten and I called the doctor.”
After being diagnosed as a coeliac, Emma went on to create Delicious Alchemy. Read more about our story since then here.