Jeeva George-Abraham was 26 when her life seemed to spiral out of control. An economic policy researcher with a leading industry organisation, she found herself complaining constantly of stress, fatigue, sleeplessness and, in the worst trough, persistent diarrhoea. “I was running to the loo up to nine times a day,” she says. “I had a history of stomach-related ailments, and had also been treated for irritable bowel syndrome. All my tests were normal but the symptoms just wouldn’t go away.”
Apprehending that work-related stress was aggravating her health condition, Jeeva quit her job in end-2009. An uncle-in-law suggested she see Dr BS Ramakrishna, a renowned gastroenterologist at Christian Medical College, Vellore. He put her through several more tests, including a biopsy of the upper intestine. And finally, Jeeva arrived at an accurate diagnosis: she was suffering from coeliac disease, an extreme form of gluten-intolerance.