My Anaemia journey so far

The last 6 months have been very testing health wise. On the 24th November last year I received a call from my GP to say my haemoglobin level was very low, down to level 7.1. I was asked to go directly to the surgery for more tests before admitting me to hospital. This blood test came after months and months of feeling fatigued with shortness of breath after the lightest of exercise ( walking the dog ) and a burning sensation across my shoulder blades.

The surgery visit concluded I was safe to go home and take it easy. Amazingly my body had become accustomed to being Anaemic as it had happened so slowly, I had naturally been reducing what I could do. I now felt like an unfit 80yr old!

Unfortunately eating iron rich food doesn’t improve my condition although I still continue to eat lots of iron rich food. Having Crohn’s disease and possible Coeliac disease ( have classic Coeliac history but been gluten free too long to be tested now ) and Leaky gut my body just can’t absorb it. Iron tablets normally prescribed make me very sick.

Plans were finally made for me to have a ferinject an iron intravenous drip in the middle of December. I was offered a late January 2016 NHS appointment but felt that was too long to wait so I went privately and used my health insurance. I’d never needed to use health insurance before . I had to work really hard to push for appointments, plenty of phone calls etc not easy when you are feeling incredibly fatigued, brain fog at the time was at its worst.

I had my IV at Gatwick park hospital which went well, although I hadn’t been warned how tired I would feel for the next week or so. I expected to come out feeling like I had been recharged! Instead I slept for days

IMG_0713

I finally did start to feel a little better. A blood test in January found I was now at level 10 for my Haemoglobin . I continued to feel fatigued with continued brain fog.

It was decided I needed another Ferinject IV I was finally booked in for 17th March . In the mean time the fatigue grew worse again and the strange pain across my shoulders increased. I couldn’t get to the hospital quick enough.

After the second IV , I slept again like crazy for a few days.

At the beginning of March feeling dreadful I decided I needed to look more carefully at my diet. I knew that my healthy diet had gradually slipped over these months and gluten free grains were slipping back along with some refined sugar and cows milk. When you feel tired all the time you long for a creamy latte and a gluten free sugar filled brownie! Lots of comfort food like rice , GF dough balls and gluten free cheese scones. My love of baking didn’t help .

But it did me no good at all. It took me to feel This rough to realise this wasn’t a short term healthy diet choice. This grain free, low refined sugar, no cows milk needed to be forever.

So now I can report after the two Ferinject’s and being back on my healthy diet I am feeling so much better. My energy levels are rising. I managed two long (6 mile ) for me Dog walks and feel sharper and keen to get back to blogging etc. I do still over do it. Easy to think I’m super women when I’m most definitely not.

IMG_0616

As my GP reminded me, I’m living with a life long chronic disease and I’m very grateful that apart from the Iron IV , I take no medication . Crohn’s effects people in different ways and I know I don’t have some of the very nasty symptoms which I am very grateful for. I was only diagnosed a couple of years ago in my late 40’s as I was always told it was irritable bowel syndrome Rather than IBD.

My haemoglobin level is now 11.7 ( Average level for an adult is 12 )

I still know very little about Crohns disease I guess a part of me would rather not know and  using Google isn’t always a good idea.

I now write down lots of healthy menu ideas and bake grain free regularly so I always have something in the freezer, then I’m not tempted to cheat.

IMG_0668

 

I’ve swapped rice for cauliflower rice, I make flaxseed buns which are yeast and grain free, I make a grain free fruit bread and cheese scones. It takes time, but well worth it .

IMG_0198

I know I have a long way to go to get back to full health and strength but I’m determined to give it my best shot.

If you have any experiences of being Anaemic I would love you to share them with me. Any grain free ideas are always welcome too.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Tips to avoid cross contamination from gluten

Newly diagnosed Coeliac or gluten intolerant check out my blog post on Cross contamination

Fabulously Free From

Newly diagnosed with Coeliac disease or sensitive to gluten? I have put together a few tips for staying gluten free.

Use separate area if possible for preparation in your kitchen, use easily identified chopping board. preferably not wooden. Glass or plastic work well as they can be cleaned easily.

Image

Have your own labelled butter dish to avoid contamination from gluten covered knives. It is advisable to have separate jams and spreads as it is hard to keep these free from gluten crumbs. Squeezable jams and honey work well.

Wipe surfaces well before baking and cooking and make sure cloth hasn’t been used to wipe up gluten crumbs, flour etc .

Make sure utensils are thoroughly cleaned before preparing a gluten free meal.

Always keep gluten free food stuffs in separate cupboard to gluten containing foods especially flour. If using wooden spoons they need to be clearly marked gluten free and only…

View original post 241 more words

Honeybuns bakery’s new gluten free flapjacks

Recently I ordered another box of honeybuns gluten free treats. I was pleased to see that the new flapjacks were available to order, so I added a couple to my selection.

Image

My parcel from Honeybuns bakery arrived very quickly, I divided the cakes and put half of them in the freezer. they freeze very well!

I was very excited to try the new gluten free flapjack. The flapjack was surprising soft which I loved, with a delicious flavour . A very indulgent treat. I remember eating flapjacks in my gluten eating days and them often being quite over baked and chewy. 

Image

I will definitely be ordering them again soon. 

This means that the Honeybuns bakery is now 100% gluten free, very reassuring!  

I now cannot wait to try the cake mixes. Watch this space, review coming soon.

Off to a festival this year? Check out this great blog post #glutenfree #LatitudeFestival

gluten free b

My second year at Latitude Festival this year wasn’t too muddy and was lots of fun! When I was packing for the weekend I contacted the organisers for some advice on food, but to no avail. There isn’t a lot about gluten free festival going on the web, so I thought I’d consolidate my advice. I don’t normally blog outside of London but friend Emilie insisted on featuring as she scouted me the only gluten free cake in the whole field! Hopefully of use to any other festival-goers, or parents packing their teenagers off!

Rule Number 1: Pack as if you won’t eat again

To be frank it’s best to assume the worst: that you will not get fed all weekend. Over-pack on food, paying particular attention to what you will want for drinking munchies and cold wet weather. The best option is to self-cater if you can, using a…

View original post 1,073 more words

A lovely Christmas #GF recipe

Wuthering Bites

All i needed was a Gluten free Christmas cookie Baking sidekick…

glutenfree cookies christmas black treacle cinammon

My friend Abby (also known as Bristol Eating Adventures) and i took a day off to bake. We baked and sang Disney and Kate Bush to our hearts content all day and it was excellent; i thoroughly encourage you to do the same. Silliness aside, we planned to organise this bake day so that i could show Abby how to make some Gluten Free treats. So we decided to make Gluten Free Christmas cookies. One recipe of mine and one recipe of Abby’s (we adapted to Gluten Free), which features on her blog here.

glutenfree cookies christmas black treacle cinammon

For my recipe i explained to Abby that we would need to use a very fine flour which doesn’t have a strong taste as we’d need to use lots of spices which will create the distinctive Christmassy taste and Sorghum flour (Jowar flour)…

View original post 468 more words