Are you an attention-seeking fraud?

It’s no good, I’m just going to have to comment on this: I refuse to tolerate food intolerances

I read this last night, and was so cross I had to turn my computer off. Don’t post angry, the advice is … well, I’m still angry.

Jay Rayner says (among other things):

I suspect the vast majority of coeliacs are actually attention-seeking frauds

Surely, writing this kind of article, designed to cause comment and controversy, and to raise one’s profile, is the same as the attention-seeking he accuses coeliacs of?

Does he think my 1-year-old was attention-seeking when she vomited at nearly every meal and suffered truly vile diarrhoea several times a day for months? When she refused to eat, because it just brought her pain? Or when she no longer had the energy to play?

Does he think that she was a fraud when I had to put her in the same size nappies as her 3 month old sister, because she’d lost so much weight? Or when her feet didn’t grow for months because of malnutrition?

Does he think the team of doctors who diagnosed her via a series of blood tests and a biopsy decided to confirm her in her fantasy world?

Does he think she should just be quiet, and get on and eat gluten, with all the predictable side-effects of intestinal damage, and with the concomitant risk of cancers, infertility, osteoporosis, tooth decay and all the other results of malnutrition?

He asks:

where were all the coeliacs when we were kids? Where were these battalions of people who couldn’t eat bread or pasta because it made their tummies hurt?

Jay, they died. Probably of what used to be called ‘a wasting disease’. I’ve seen my daughter wasting away, and its not nice. I hope that neither of your sons develop coeliac disease.

I think you owe my daughter an apology.

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Lucy is the mother of a coeliac, and has been managing a gluten free diet for her daughter for 20 years - though, to be fair, she does do most of it herself now...

7 thoughts on “Are you an attention-seeking fraud?”

  1. Well he’s certainly kicked up a stink…

    It would be nice if he actually engaged in the discussion. Lucinda put up a very considered and balanced response and so far we’ve heard nothing. He’s not coming out of it looking too good I think.

  2. I’ve added a comment too. One would have expected better from the Guardian. I was one of those coeliacs when he was a kid, only I didn’t know it at the time. How different my life would have been if I did!

  3. As a kid, I had debilitating intestinal pain, and was extremely skinny and short. Like many, I went into symptomatic remission when I was a teen, but I can tell you the month that it came back — late October of my senior year in high school. I had many CD symptoms, including diarrhea, but my parents were the sort of folk who didn’t go to the doctor unless you had a compound fracture or were hemmoraging blood. So, they just said, “Karen has digestive problems.” It wasn’t until my youngest son was dx’ed after wasting away and getting labelled “failure to thrive” that we found out what the problem was with both of us…

    I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but I’m sure LOTS of people who had undx’ed CD were like me — incredibly, confusingly ill, dx’ed with multiple chronic problems but NOT CD, since it was just commonly understood.

    On top of undx’ed patients dying from intestinal cancers, depression and many even more serious (though depression is bad enough) neurological disorders are common in CD patients. It’s my theory that a lot of suicides are of undx’ed CD patients. The vague illnesses, the “craziness”, the fogginess, and then on top of that, being called hypochondriacs by the general public and even by doctors can exacerbate mental problems, leading to suicide.

  4. Hi Karen – nice to see you. Interesting theory about suicides – though I suppose it’ll never be tested (unless by biopsying at autopsy? Might happen if you could get the medics interested …)

    Good job you did get diagnosed – even if it did take until the diagnosis of your son to get there!

  5. I wish I was an attention seeking fraud celiac is no joke for anyone and seriously hurts you when not treated all I can say to this woman is wot goes around comes around and look up the word ignorant

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