"So you don't eat gluten? Have you got coeliac disease?" I ask a new acquaintance at a friend's dinner party.
"Oh no, I just don't like to eat it. I have a little bit occasionally though," she replies.
People like that are the reason I don't get taken seriously at restaurants, the reason I end up curled around a toilet because the chef thought 'oh yeah another trendsetter, I can't be bothered cleaning down my station for that'.
I was diagnosed with coeliac disease at the age of 19, almost seven years ago. Since then being 'gluten free' has become a huge trend. I know many people who don't eat gluten even though they don't have coeliac and I have to wonder why?
I understand some people can have a slight intolerance without having coeliac, but it's the trendy people who think it's healthier and aren't actually affected by the tiny protein found in wheat, barley, rye, oats and malt that get to me.
Coeliac disease is not something we choose. It is a digestive and autoimmune disorder that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when gluten has been eaten.
The damage to the intestine makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients, especially fat, calcium, iron, and folate.
My body literally attacks itself when I eat gluten, I often get asked what side effects I get from it.
Are you ready? The details are far from pleasant.
First I get horrible cramps in my stomach, then I feel incredibly drained of all my energy, next I make a run to the bathroom and throw up everything I've had to eat that day, except what I have already started to digest which soon follows the vomit in a liquid form from the other end of my body.
Once my body is empty of all food, I then fall into a massive sleep and generally don't wake for about 16 hours.
For the next week I have what I call 'brain fog'.
It's like when you have a torch with low batteries and you have to whack it a couple of times to get it to work but it keeps flickering.
This week is Coeliac Awareness Week and as a coeliac I guess what I'm saying is, if it doesn't affect you, eat it! I wish I could.