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A Coeliac’s Story W

ith the usual student diet comprising of Asda’s 7p noodles and cheap beans on toast, there is nearly always enough money for the emergency booze fund. But what if you had to pay over 4 times the ‘Smart price’ cost for your bread? What if pizza wasn’t a cheap option but a luxury? What if Subway was your idea of hell? Hard to believe, but for people with Coeliac disease, this is very much a reality. Coeliac disease is an intolerance to gluten, found in wheat, malt, barley, rye, and some are also affected by oats. Yes, that DOES mean no bread, pasta, pizza, cake, beer, sausages, burgers, fish fingers, and absolutely NO noodles. When a Coeliac does eat gluten, it starts a reaction which causes the inside lining of the gut to wear down, causing poor digestion of food, sickness, diarrhea, and many other nasty bodily functions. This can easily be controlled by eliminating gluten from the diet, but it’s certainly not a case of a life-long Lent. With the big chain supermarkets such as Asda, Tescos and Sainsbury’s all creating wonderful ‘Free From’ products, life could not get any better. Apart from when you become a student. After the initial bingedrinking, mass-shopping, book-buying session, the extreme dent in your overdraft is normally overcome by sticking to Asda ‘Smart price’. Sadly, the gluten free diet is a nuisance for student bank accounts. For example, a pack of Asda ‘Smart price’ White Rolls would set you back only 22p for 12 rolls. That’s enough to keep you going for almost a fortnight. A pack of only 4 ‘Free From’ White Rolls costs £1.66. It may not sound a lot, but that’s an extra 40p per roll, which definitely adds up after a while. Although it is costing the majority of our student loans, we Coeliacs are more than grateful for the awareness that is growing throughout communities. Instead of the usual disappointment we are greeted in corner shops, on a hungry moment, and Bournemouth University is a gluten free heaven.

Pies for every mood, be it French Cassoulet or Cheese and Potato. Flapjacks for those who can eat oats, Snack-A-Jacks, Healthy fruit options, Sesame Seed bars, and let’s not forget the legendary gluten free Chocolate Brownies. Gluten free products may not be dominating the shelves yet, and we may have to bust our arse’s to afford them, but for the effort that is put into making sure we don’t miss out, Bournemouth University does the average Coeliac proud.

Sarah Howells


coeliac story piece