Stomach cramps and vomiting part of daily life for 10 years
LISA Marie Dean was sick for 10 years and figured she'd be sick for the rest of her life.
Stomach cramps and vomiting were a part of daily life and doctors couldn't help her.
Little did the Yeppoon woman know that her career as a chef wasn't helping either.
After a conversation with a friend, she got in touch with a specialist and was diagnosed with coeliac disease.
"GPs back then weren't aware (of coeliac disease)," Lisa Marie said.
Now she sticks to a strict gluten-free diet.
And being a chef at the time didn't help Lisa Marie before her diagnosis, eating foods containing gluten on a daily basis.
Lisa Marie shared her story with The Morning Bulletin as Coeliac Awareness Week wrapped up this month.
"It was a huge relief (to be diagnosed)," Lisa Marie said.
While the then 34-year-old managed to switch her diet and symptoms went away within a few months, she has been left with severe osteoporosis as a result of late diagnosis.
"That's one of the big bad side effects if you're diagnosed later in life," she said.
The now 46-year-old is happy and healthy with the gluten-free lifestyle, with supermarkets and cafes aware of the disease and catering for a gluten-free lifestyle.
Over a quarter of a million Australians have coeliac disease, 80% do not actually know that they are sufferers
Over half (56%) had symptoms for three years before they were diagnosed
31% had to take sick leave because of their symptoms
29% have a first degree relative who is also diagnosed
80% are happier now that they have been diagnosed