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Living with coeliac disease

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7269.1165 (Published 04 November 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1165
  1. Jo Bramall, medical student
  1. Cardiff

    During my third year at medical school in Caridff I gradually became unwell, with depression, lethargy, exercise intolerance, muscle weakness, a lack of motivation, and a general lack of wellbeing.

    When I finally consulted my GP, I was told that I was anaemic and should eat a proper, balanced, healthy diet. But I had been “anaemic” for the past 12 years since regular attendance for blood donation had invariably resulted in a failed pinprick test and a full blood count, followed by a letter from my GP saying that I needed iron supplements and should eat a proper balanced diet. I had come to the conclusion that I just “ran on a low haemoglobin” and lay in the 2.5% of the population whose normal haemoglobin was below the normal range.

    Often I just turn up with my own food to make life easier

    It was my flatmate, a registrar, who suggested that my haemoglobin level was not normal and that my diet was not responsible. In the absence of blood loss, he suggested that I was …

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