Coeliac Australia


I am Jim and was diagnosed as a Coeliac in 2004 at age 61. Previously, our youngest daughter was diagnosed and as a family, we had an awareness that other family members were also coeliacs. Those people were my wife’s uncle and cousin so that was not my blood line. 

In early 2004, I was getting a regular blood test so I said to my GP, “Please include test for coeliac so I can get all my family off my back. They all believe I should be tested.” By that time, the transglutaminase Ig-A test had become available. My gastroenterologist called me and reported my reading as “26” and advised that anyone above “7” was considered to be coeliac. I was in a state of unbelief and lined up for an endoscopy. That left no doubts. 

Since then, my wife has been diagnosed as well as another of our daughters. When I look back into my history, I see that for most of my adult life, I had often taken Bi-carb drinks after meals because of gut discomfort. That was something I had learnt from my dad who often did the same. His dad suffered all his life with gut discomfort and as a child, I can recall my grandfather always having a pocket full of strong peppermints to aid his gut woes. 

There is no doubt in my mind that if there is a coeliac in the family, there will be others. My father-in-law was never diagnosed but after an illness at age 79, he lived a miserable life with gut issues. He was tested but prior to the transglutaminase test and returned what we believe was a false negative result. His brother was the first case of coeliac we heard of and that was back in 1966 when he was hospitalised for a lengthy period of tests and coeliac was the resultant diagnosis. 

Now at age 80, I have had almost 20 years of a gluten-free diet. Only once have I had an event where I must have had gluten contamination and that was not pleasant.