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"Now I’m Healthy, I Realise How Bad My Symptoms Were" - Coeliac Disease

Updated: Mar 8

Grace Pountney, Editor-in-Chief at Grace Writes

Researched & Edited by: Grace Pountney (Editor-in-Chief)

Step into science with Science Snapshot, a Bio Brigade blog. Find out about interesting science, health, and diseases. We spotlight individual stories, increase awareness of rare diseases, and answer your Science Suspicions!

Coeliac Awareness Week - 15th to 21st May 2023

Coeliac UK's campaign 'coeliac disease is different for everyone' for Coeliac Awareness Week 2023.
Coeliac UK's campaign 'coeliac disease is different for everyone' for Coeliac Awareness Week 2023.

In light of Coeliac Awareness Week 2023, we are publishing several articles to raise awareness of the science behind coeliac disease and to shed light on the real-life stories of individuals negatively affected by gluten. Head to the Coeliac UK website for more information about Coeliac Awareness Week 2023, and to find out more about their campaign.


Story Spotlights: Coeliac Disease

Ellen Johns, Coeliac Disease Sufferer

Name: Ellen Johns

Age: 23

Diagnosis: Coeliac Disease

🍰 Follow Ellen on Instagram @glutenfree.livin to see her favourite coeliac-friendly finds!



What symptoms did you experience before diagnosis and how long did you experience them for?

I experienced a variety of symptoms without knowing they were symptoms of coeliac disease! I pretty much had all of them, but the main being tiredness and bloating which I experienced for as long as I can remember.

It’s only now I’m healthy that I realise quite how bad the symptoms were.


When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed when I was 20.

This was almost 4 years ago now!

How did you feel when you were diagnosed?

I felt instantly relieved!

My blood test showed I had coeliac antibodies but I had to have an endoscopy to confirm the diagnosis of coeliac disease. I had to continue eating gluten to get an accurate endoscopy/biopsy result, but knowing it was highly likely that it was gluten making me so ill, made it really rough.

After the endoscopy, I was relieved to never have to eat it again! My results came back positive, confirming my diagnosis of coeliac disease.


Find out how coeliac disease is diagnosed in our previous issue.



How do you feel now having been gluten-free/ diagnosed for almost 4 years?

I feel like a new person

I am so much healthier and happier.

What challenges have you experienced since having coeliac disease and being gluten-free?

When I was first diagnosed, the anxiety around eating out and not in my own home was really tough. Luckily, it's something my closest family and friends, and I, have gotten used to, so it’s become the norm, now.


Science Suspicions

Science Snapshot Blog logo

Each issue, we answer your science questions!

Do people with coeliac disease experience symptoms once they are gluten-free?

Short answer: It depends!

  • Some individuals may stop experiencing symptoms after just a few days or weeks of not eating gluten.

  • Some may stop experiencing some symptoms, but still experience others.

  • Others may still experience symptoms if they are accidentally consuming gluten or for an unknown reason.

More research into the disease needs to be done to determine why this can vary.


Got a question? Submit it using the link below:



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