Gluten free diet

Hi everyone , this is my first post and was diagnosed with coeliac disease about 2 years ago, I went on glut free diet for a short time I could not put up with eating a lot of terrible food especially bread , so I put up with the bloating and generally feeling rubbish.As time has passed I am getting different symptoms,and must go on that Gfd again, as I cannot go on feeling really ill every day. What I would like to know how long going on the diet does it take to get better cheers. Dave

13 Replies

  • Hi Dave, well firstly well done for joining us and none of us would chose to be a coeliac and however well we deal with our diets we wish that we could eat what we fancy. And another common emotion is the fear of food made by others and knowing that we share these emotions can help.

    How long does it take to feel better, this depends on many things. For me it was around 2 months into the diet and I started to feel really good and it was cold mid winter and I had this sensation of well being and knew that the diet was working for me. I ate only naturally gf foods which were also nutritious so I'm sure that helped. I had a 2nd biopsy and my villi had fully recovered and I had severe anaemia when diagnosed.

    What you have to bear in mind is that a gf diet is for life full stop with no ifs or buts. As it's you who will suffer as the malabsorption caused by gluten on a coeliac, causes anaemia, thin bones, brittle bones etc so it's just not worth poisoning yourself.

    There is gluten free bread available on prescription made with codex wheat, so it has the taste of ordinary bread and this must be a much better alternative than eating gluten. You want to look for naturally gluten free foods from around the world and I was really pleased when I found a shop that made falafels and onion bhajis and they are made with naturally gf ingredients and were kept gf so its out there. And the changing point is when we start to look at what we can eat rather than what we have to avoid.

    So in my opinion you want to try and change how you think about having CD and realise how lucky you are that you know what is wrong with you and that it is treated with diet and not medications with side effects. And of course you'd like to eat anything, thats life.

    And good luck and if you want to have a moan or ask others favourite foods in the free from aisles then you're in good company on here.


  • Hi Jerry, when I tried the gluten free diet at first I was determined to stick to it, the biggest problem was I absolutely love bread.I tried as many breads as I could find in supermarkets, but found them all disgusting.The only food I've eaten all my life is good home cooked English meals, when I went on the diet ,I could manage for breakfast, and main meal but in the evening usually had sandwiches or something thing contains bread, so found it difficult to know what to have. The other problem I find difficult is when I go in cafe with lads in work, or go fishing on weekends they always call in cafe, so I wouldn't have anything apart for my gluten free lunchbox, if you know of a very nice bread, please tell me the make, and where I can get it from, I could handle the diet with decent bread,I am am not fussy on Chinese, Indian, or an other foreign foods. Cheers. Dave

  • Hi Dave, bread and fresh bread is what most of us miss the most. I make my own bread but recently had a holiday in Scotland and I bought Genius bread and it was good and toasted well and I bought some Tesco's large rolls and they were really nice. I also like the gf hot cross buns they sell in Tesco's and Sainsburys and Asda has a good free from range.

    Marks and Spencer's sell Gf Scotch eggs, quiches and Pork pies, which could be handy when out fishing, your mates might even be jealous. The free from aisles have really grown in the last year too.

    The other thing that I would do is a google search for gluten free and where you live and towns where you go out and about. Some fish n' chip shops have a gf evening.

    And the prescription co's will send samples of their breads so this could be worth checking out as that has the taste that you crave. And that's what you have to realise, as it is natural reaction.

    And remember we're all in the same boat so we know how you feel and we've all had similar feelings, frustrations. So if we can do it so can you...

  • I have tried all the GF bread available and found most of it to be rubbish. I get Juvela bread mix on prescription and use my breadmaker on the fast option - lovely bread but I believe it has codex in it which some Coeliacs cannot tolerate. My ready made bread buys are Dr Schar which is freely available in every mainstream supermarket now - they produce a white sliced loaf, a seeded one and I picked up a new one found in Tesco a couple of days ago, also "brown" - they all result in a light, easily digestible "almost normal" loaf for sandwiches. Schar also do some ciabatta rolls on the FF aisles but my favourite is the frozen ready baked ones (white sadly) but a lovely crusty top ideal for lunchboxes. Of course more expensive, as GF food is!!

    On the length of time it takes to feel better. It varies enormously between a couple of months and sometimes years. How quickly the villi repair is for more professional folks to answer. Personally the bloating is still here even after 5 years but I live with it since I have been told I also have IBS again controlled by diet but if I cut out the food items which cause IBS and the ones that contain gluten and add to that I am a vegetarian so no meat or fish - I would probably have a horribly limited diet :(

  • I agree with you Dave...concerning bread... However, I find that the "new version" of wholesome seeded loaf by Schär is not too bad at all.. or at least compared to other types of gf breads on the market...and it's prescribable too!... In any case, make sure you stick to a gf diet, all the time, with no exceptions: as Jerry said, it's for life...with no ifs or buts. In my personal experience, I have been following a gf diet for less than 10 months...and during this period of time occasionally and inadvertently I got "contaminated" on a few occasions :( ... in any case, I feel much, much better than a few months ago, even though I believe that it will take some more time for me to get even better... I will probably need to do another biopsy and check for other possible food intolerance but with no doubts it is worth it... once you get used to the new diet and realise how much difference it makes in all aspects of your life, I can guarantee that you will not want to be anywhere near your beloved "normal" bread :)

  • Hi Dave,

    it is very frustrating not to be able to be able to grab a butty on the go or fill up your butty box like your mates can.

    my lovely local bakery can only offer a salad box or bag of crisps. :/

    So I try to take my own food with me which means having some easy standby's

    lots of places sell ham or other fillings and you can take along a couple of packs of gf wraps or bread cakes for a diy job.

    take your bread to the cafe for them to add eggs and bacon :)

    try to make a box up while cooking or before eating tea. Cold leftovers work well with chutneys and bits of salad.

    on holiday recently for lunchtimes i made a well filled omelette stuffed with potatoes, sweet potatoes, and lots of different veg. A good wedge (or two) is,really filling and delicious. And travels well in a box. Add ham or bacon or bits or other bits. And you wont miss bread. and everybody will want some.

    good luck


  • I also still miss 'real' bread. However, over the years, (8 since I was diagnosed) gluten free breads have improved enormously. I find Marks and Spencers, and also Schar the best. It's worth experimenting to find one that suits you best, although I like to ring the changes rather than have the same bread all the time.The dietician also told me in the beginning that my taste buds would change so that I wouldn't notice the difference eventually, and I think there has been some truth in this. Most gluten free bread is better toasted, but I find I can still make a decent sandwich with the ones mentioned above. With regard to how long it takes to feel better, that's a highly individual thing, and also can depend on age at diagnosis. I was 60, and whilst I started to gain weight almost immediately (I had lost a lot of weight before diagnosis), and my vitamin and mineral levels returned to normal within a couple of months, it took me much longer to feel really well, probably a couple of years. It's absolutely vital to stick to the diet though. Health is so important, and not worth taking risks just for a short 'real bread' fix. Try focusing on the foods that you can enjoy that are naturally gluten free, and praise yourself for healthy eating.

  • I love bread too Dave but I know it can give me nasty health problems so I don`t touch it any more.

    Did you know that even if you don`t feel ill, the gluten can cause enormous damage to your body - depriving it of essential vitamins and minerals which can lead to other problems and it can even cause a form of bowel cancer !!

    There are doctors who also think gluten affects the brain and can lead to dementia (read Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter).

    The fact remains that bread is poison to people with coeliac disease so please don`t put yourself at risk. Sorry to be so blunt but sometimes these things need to be clearly said.

    The others are right, Dr. Schar`s bread, especially if you toast it, is not bad and you do get used to it. Look after yourself Dave because you are worth it.

  • Dave, I was diagnosed 10 year's ago and when I found out about what I can, and can't eat or drink anymore, I was devastated, at the time I weighed just 8st 5lb, I felt really ill and listless all the time, but I started the GF diet and I have to say that I felt so much better after just a couple of days, obviously the villi wouldn't have healed in just two days, but the bloating had stopped and I had more energy, and after just three months my weight had gone up to well over 12st and I felt great.

    So Dave, please try and stick to the GF diet, otherwise you could end up with some of the problems associated with coeliac disease such as osteoporosis, infertility and cancer of the bowel, apart from feeling absolutely awful most of the time.

    I eat great food because I hardly ever buy anything from the free-from range, I agree with what most people are saying, that the majority of GF foods taste disgusting, and to rub salt into our wounds, we have to pay twice as much for the products.

    I eat "normal" breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, mainly because we cook at home.

    Breakfast can consist of beans on toast, cheese on toast, egg on toast etc, or even a full blown english breakfast which can be made up of, toast, McCain's hash browns, beans, eggs, GF sausages, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, bubble & squeak, etc.

    For lunch, I have things like home-made soups, cheese on toast, fish salad, jacket potato, or anything left over from the previous day's dinner.

    Dinner is all the normal things such as, a roast, chinese (home made), curry (usually home made, but most currys in restaurants are GF anyway providing you don't have baaji's etc) chops, steak, GF pasta, the list is endless, and all these things can be accompanied by roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, chips, rice, and gravy made with GF gravy, or better still, use corn flour and make the gravy from the juices from the meats, and you can make sauces in the same way by using corn flour, and you can have all the vegetable and salad items that you can eat with the meals, my wife also makes yorkshire pudding to go with the roasts from the Juvela mix and they are really nice.

    If you fancy some nibbles in the evening, then there are plenty of GF crisps around which are produced by some of the best crisp manufacturers, nuts, cheese, prawns with dips etc.

    The only things I have on Prescription are Warburton's bread, and the Juvela mix which my wife uses it to make lovely bread, cakes, cookies, yorkshire puddings, and other treats which are far better than anything you can buy from the GF Free-From range.

    I wish you all the best Dave and I hope that I might have convinced you that you can follow a strict GF diet, but still eat some great food.

  • Hi nomorebeer, I've good news for you, onion bhaji's if made traditionally are gluten free as they are made with chickpea flour:

    Also popadoms should be gf including some cook at home and ready made ones available in the supermarkets:

  • Yes you are right Jerry, I'm getting confused with the naan bread, I do have the popadoms when out for a curry, although one restaurant wouldn't confirm that they are GF because they buy them in and can't guarantee them being GF.

    We do use the ready made ones from the supermarkets for our home-made currys, and they are great.

    Blimey, talking about currys is making me hungry now, I could murder one!

  • Please try the 'Wheat free bakery' on line bakery in Scotland, best bread and rolls I have tasted. You can even eat the rolls fresh and don't have to toast them light and fluffy. I used to have my bread on prescription, but got so bored with the cardboard eating experience I gave up.


  • Dave, have you joined your local coeliac group? I've heard that the local one to me has a partnering up scheme where you can contact your 'mate' if you feel desperate! I think they often have manufacturers giving samples for you to try.

    Best bread for me: Be free brown, for sandwiches. Scharr French stick which I chop in two and slather with gluten free sausages, or bacon and tomatoes. I don't think you are supposed to eat it in one sitting, but hey ho!

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