My Gut Feeling Week

19 May

Awarenesss WeekWell just let me see wow! What a week Gut Feeling Week has been.  I have been blown away by the fantastic sense of feeling and togetherness amongst the coeliac community on Twitter and Facebook.  There has also been great support from non-coeliac gluten free folk too which is very much appreciated.  I think we have all done a great job in trying to raise coeliac disease awareness, and if we can help just one person get diagnosed it will all have been worth it.

CookiesMy wife Abby, my parents and my cousin Chris are all doing a gluten free week to help raise awareness with their friends and colleagues.  I thank them for their support and this means a lot to me.  I started the week by taking some of Abby’s delicious home baked gluten free (of course!) cookies in to work to announce the start of the week to my colleagues.  I also posted a blog aimed at non-coeliacs giving a (hopefully) concise overview of coeliac disease and what the week is all about.  I then asked all my Twitter and Facebook friends to share this to help raise awareness of coeliac disease to all their friends and followers.  There was a great number of retweets and shares so I thank everyone who did for their support.  This post is here and it’s not too late to share!

On Tuesday I posted about some great gluten free offers that companies were running for the week and I thank those companies for supporting the cause.  Coeliac UK have been encouraging people to share their diagnosis stories for the week and I have really enjoyed reading them.  There have been some powerful and moving stories, but at the same time uplifting as we read how people have come out of the other side.  It’s also been concerning reading how the medical profession has let so many people down.  We can only hope that things are improving and that weeks like this are raising awareness with GP’s and not just the general public.  It has been an honour to be in a position to share the diagnosis stories of some people who do not (yet!) have their own blogs, and I thank Carrie, Becca and Steph for being so brave and letting me share their stories.  Even now reading other people’s stories make me feel less alone and it’s been enlightening to read some of the pre-diagnosis symptoms.  Steph’s story in particular had many seemingly uncommon similarities to my own.

CarrieBeccaSteph

HeraldAs I work in the I.T. department of my local newspaper (The Plymouth Herald) I asked a colleague if they were planning on running a story for Gut Feeling week, and thankfully they thought this was a great idea.  They also ended up running a cut down version of my own diagnosis story and ended up dedicating a full page to raise coeliac disease awareness.  Lai-Yin Wong Brooks and I drafted a press release on behalf of the Coeliac UK Plymouth Voluntary Support Group, and this also featured heavily.  I am very grateful to my colleagues Clare and Sophie at The Herald for doing such a fantastic job as you can see that for yourself here.

We also visited Las Iguanas during the week which has newly opened in Plymouth.  As we were in a large group it gave a good chance to talk about Gut Feeling week and what it meant, particularly as Abby was eating gluten free too.  I had a great meal, though Abby struggled a bit to find something she liked that was both gluten free and vegetarian.  You can read my review here.  Hopefully Gut Feeling week will help spread the word to restaurants and more will have a separate gluten free menu like Las Iguanas.

So a brilliant week and a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed and helped support it.  This is the last day so let’s have one final push and spread the word.  If you’re Tweeting don’t forget to use the #GutFeeling hashtag, it would be great to get it trending.  I’d love to hear what you all got up to during the week, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know.

Do you have bloating, fatigue, IBS, diarrhoea, vomiting, anaemia or abdominal pain? Could you be living with coeliac disease and not know it? Listen to your gut with Coeliac UK’s Gut Feeling campaign – visit www.coeliac.org.uk/gutfeeling for info.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

One Response to “My Gut Feeling Week”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Spreading the word about Coeliac Disease - People's Republic of South Devon - September 4, 2013

    […] fellow coeliacs shared their stories on Gluten Free by the Sea, and you can find links to them here. The Plymouth Herald also printed an extract of my diagnosis story as part of their Gut Feeling […]

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