I SYMPATHISE greatly with S Radcliffe (April 2) and his problems with dining out, as I am also a coeliac.

But perhaps he could imagine what visiting restaurants and cafes is like for someone who is coeliac, vegetarian, and diabetic, like myself !

At least Mr Radcliffe only has one dietary difficulty to deal with!

I’m limited to vegetarian dishes to start with, then it must also be gluten-free (hard to find!) and no dessert either due to sugar!

Eating out for me is very depressing and to be honest, I avoid it if at all possible, except for the sake of being social on family special occasions or during travel etc.

In my experience, even when some restaurants do specifically cater for coeliacs, the gluten-free alternatives are usually horrible.

I had a gluten-free pizza out recently and, while I suffered no ill-effects, it was literally like a slab of concrete!

As Mr Radcliffe points out though, many people do not realise that coeliac disease is a serious illness and insisting on gluten- free ingredients is not just another food fad or crank diet.

Like him, I too have become very ill for several days after inadvertantly eating something contaminated with gluten.

It’s a lifelong problem and it seems like almost everything contains gluten.

People who can just nip in a shop and grab a sandwich or a pasty or cake, or have a bag of chips from a chippie when they feel like it don’t know how lucky they are! S Johnson Bolton