- High up sharp stomach pains.
- Vomiting (sometimes).
- Low down cramps.
- An urgency to go to the toilet.
- Explosive bowel movements with mucous.
- Dry mouth.
- A severe headache.
- Achy/puffy/sore all over.
- Brain fog — this has to be one of the worst symptoms! I have no idea how this is even possible but it happens.
- Clumsiness, and feeling drained of energy. Symptoms can last as long as five days.
Community pharmacy gluten-free service
The community pharmacy service is fantastic, as a healthy diet alone is expensive, never mind the high costs of gluten-free food on top of it. It is so important that we have a healthy, mixed and balanced diet as possible. Food is like our medicine.
I have rectified my symptoms of low iron by sticking to a gluten-free diet, but still, haven’t had success with correcting my low calcium, and with osteopenia already (like many coeliacs) I have to take prescribed calcium supplements. So, anything that helps us stick to a healthy diet is very much appreciated. I now have to take Laxido to combat the side effects of the Calcichew.
I used to go through my GP for a GF prescription to take to my pharmacist but with this new pharmacy-led system I have had more contact with my pharmacist since the scheme started, and it’s so easy! Every few months I just phone the chemist and put an order in. They even phone me when it arrives! It normally only takes a day or so.
As part of the service, I now get an annual review. They even conducted it in a separate room to maintain confidentiality, I was very impressed.
I now sometimes feel guilty about getting free food, especially as so many health boards in England stopping the gluten-free food on prescription, despite the fact I live in Scotland — it has made me feel as if they think we don’t deserve it. The result is that I do not want to look like I am abusing the system, so I do not use my full monthly allowance. I tend to order my 14 units (9 bags of porridge at 1.5 units each) and spread them over about 4 months.
Please fight to keep our gluten-free food on prescription, as we do appreciate it and it helps out so much!