“In 2010 I was at my fittest, I was in training for running my first marathon, and everything was good.
For many years I had bowel problems and the doctor put these issues down to IBS.
I completed my first marathon running well with a great time. In 2012… I was training for my 2nd marathon, but I was struggling to get past the 14 mile mark. After several visits to the doctor and blood tests, I was told it was just IBS, to stay away from spicy foods. I was suffering with terrible headaches, fatigue, and severe diarrhoea, I went back to the doctors again, and he said to me…. “What do you want me to do about it?” to which I replied “find out what is the problem is, you’re the doctor”. He went back through my medical notes and found a few markers in my blood results that could lead to something, so he referred me finally to see a gastroenterologist. He told me that he would do an endoscopy and a colonoscopy to rule out any major problems but he thought it was just joggers tummy… after the procedures were completed and the biopsy’s done, I was informed in August 2012 that I did indeed have coeliac disease.
So a whole new lifestyle was required, a new diet, dieticians, and more doctors. I had no idea of the changes that this would make to my life. But the damage had already been done to my small intestines. Two years and finally getting the hang of the new lifestyle and diet I was still feeling fatigued and run down, I discovered that I have anaemia, a calcium deficiency and very low Vitamin B12, which I now have regular injections for. This means that no matter how healthy I eat I am still not able to absorb the vitamins and minerals into my body due to the damage to my gut. I have tried every diet, to try to help, taken every supplement that I could find on the market, but nothing has helped. I was still suffering with the diarrhoea, and fatigue, but did my best to push through it.
In 2013 and after years of trying I finally got a place in the London Marathon, but I tripped over a bottle at 18 miles and didn’t realised I had damaged my foot so badly, it wasn’t until after the marathon that I found out I had several micro fractures and damaged tendons in my left foot, I finished the marathon, but due to the coeliac disease and problems with my gut. I struggled to heal and spent the next 11 months in a cast boot and on crutches followed by physio for several months.
By the end of 2014 my foot was finally better and I was finally back on track , I started training again, trying hard to lose the weight I had gained whilst being on crutches for such a long time, and with a place in 2015 Brighton marathon I was back training again. However, three weeks before the marathon I pulled my hip flexor so I had to stop my training and waited for marathon day, hoping that everything would be ok. Ready on the start line I felt great, but 5 miles in my hip flexor was hurting again. I pushed on, slowly but surely and nearly 6 hours and 30 mins later, I finally crossed the finish line completing my fourth marathon, but I could hardly walk, I was in constant pain, again trying to bite through the pain and not letting anyone know how much it hurt.
In June 2015 Janine spoke to me about Juice plus, she told me, that many other people had really good results and it was gluten free, I had nothing to lose so I decided to try it; I did start to feel better…. But it was short lived…. A regular check up with my gastroenterologist and another endoscopy discovered severe gastritis due to taking the ibuprofen for several months for the pain in my hip. I had to stop taking the juice plus, as everything was being destroyed before any goodness was being taken into my body. I am now on regular medication to reduce the gastritis as it has also inflamed the intercostal spaces in my chest and caused costochondritis. For the past four months, I have been resting as best I can and I have been taking juice plus regularly again. I am already feeling the benefits, my hair is no longer falling out in clumps, my nails are stronger and I have managed to stay away from any colds over the winter which has been surprising as I have a reduced immune system. My husband has recently had two colds. My diet has improved even further as I have been craving more fruit and vegetables too. However, with my small intestine destroyed by the coeliac disease I know it’s going to be a long uphill struggle, as it will take several months to repair and heal my gut.
I recently had an MRI on my hip, and I am still waiting for the results, fingers crossed.”