Hoping to be of help to all those living gluten free in the United Arab Emirates – نأمل أن نكون عوناً لكل من يعيش حياته خالية من الجلوتين في دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة
I am David and I was diagnosed as a Coeliac four years ago when I was 49. I do not know how for how long I was a Coeliac before I was diagnosed but looking back I should have at least considered the possibility many years before. The clues were there, my mother was diagnosed as a Coeliac when she was 75, I have had Psoriasis for years and drinking beer always made me unwell.
One day I was taken sick with what turned out to be cellulitis necessitating a week’s stay in the American Hospital here in Dubai, whilst I recovered quickly enough from the cellulitis the doctors were extremely worried as I was clearly severely anemic. A endoscopy and colonoscopy later I was told I was a coeliac which at least was a improvement on where the doctors were initially heading!.
To start with I didn’t take being a coeliac too seriously, after all other then giving me diarrhea eating gluten did not appear to detrimentally affect my life in way shape or for. I was aware of the possible side effects of continuing eating Gluten but I chose to ignore them. However about a year after being diagnosed and paying little attention to a gluten free diet I began to suffer stomach pains if I ate gluten and realised that I better start taking the whole gluten free diet a lot more seriously.
Since then I have been as strict as I have been able with the gluten free diet though I find it very hard to be totally Gluten free when I’m travelling for work around the globe, sometimes the language barrier just gets in the way, my gut issues tell me instantly when I have eaten Gluten! .
Over the past four years I have noticed a great more awareness of gluten intolerance every where I have travelled and here in the UAE. I was particularly impressed to see that McDonalds in Spain now have gluten free bread for their burgers. Now I always travel with gluten free snacks, a loaf of gluten free bread, airlines offer GF meals so as long as the trip isn’t more than a few days no problem. When I travel home to the UK it’s a pleasure to go to a supermarket and find a section dedicated to gluten free products, such an Aladdin’s cave of goodies!
It’s a pain having to search for gluten free products scattered throughout the super market and having to explain for the umpteenth time in a restaurant but with dedication and care it’s not impossible to remain as gluten free as is possible. You are almost bound to consume small quantities of gluten along the way given that gluten is so many everyday things but I don’t let this worry me as it is impossible to check every item eaten and hey life is too short.
I feel and am healthier now that I’m strict with my diet, being a coeliac needn’t stop you from doing anything and in July this year I finished Iron Man Austria fueled by a Gluten free diet. Power to the Coeliacs I say.