This interesting article from The Mirror gives insight into the effects of wheat on the quality of life of a well-known celebrity, Gaby Roslin, will be a familiar story to many people but also maybe a wake-up call to others who are suffering with unexplained symptoms.
Gaby Roslin, 50, made her name on The Big Breakfast and presents a BBC London radio show as well as the National Lottery Draw. She lives in London with husband David Osman, Libby-Jack, 13, and Amelie, 7. Nearly 19 years ago she was forced to give up eating wheat and has never looked back.
As I was growing up I always had a snotty nose. There was never a moment when I didn’t have a tissue in my hand. I was always sneezing, my nose was always blocked and it stopped me from getting to sleep. And for as long as I could remember I had tummy aches. I’d always have a hot water bottle.
During my O-levels I was sneezing so much it was awful. I couldn’t breathe. So I had an operation called a submucous diathermy which burns through the back of your nose to try to clear it out. But my symptoms continued and it got to the stage where I couldn’t do my clothes up in the evening because I was so bloated. I was beginning to get excruciating pains in my stomach and I’d be doubled over. I’d be in tears every night and eventually I thought, ‘This is ridiculous’.
So I went to see a naturopath. I told her I thought I had a wheat allergy because that made up the bulk of my diet and I was always ill afterwards. She suggested eliminating it from my diet for two weeks. Within a week I wasn’t blocked up any more and I didn’t have stomach ache. After two weeks I had wheat again and I was in more pain than I’ve ever had. I felt really sick, very asthmatic and properly awful. But the joy I felt at finding out the cause was was incredible.
Nowadays, not eating wheat is seen as very faddy but my wheat allergy clearly makes me very ill. When I was first dating my husband David we went to a restaurant and during the starter I called the waitress over to check if there was wheat in the soup because I had been told there wasn’t. She came back and said the chef said there wasn’t, but I could taste it and stopped eating it. By the end of the meal, I was in such pain. By the time we got home I felt really ill. David said to me: “My God! You really do have a strong reaction to it.” And I replied: “You see! I wasn’t lying!”
And weirdly, ever since giving up wheat I’m now only a little bit allergic to cats, I don’t get hay fever and I’m not allergic to feather pillows. Eating wheat was dampening my immune system and making me allergic to everything. Now we don’t even have wheat in the house. Everything is wheat-free and the kids and David are completely fine with it.
Last Christmas, David bought me a bread maker. I couldn’t work out what this massive, humongous present was. I thought, ‘It’s not a ring, not a necklace, what the hell is it?’ When I opened it, he said: “It’s not romantic but you always say you miss bread.” It was brilliant and I make all my own wheat-free loaves with spelt flour.
The Mirror - 19 November 2014