International Cricket Player Nicola Browne Recovers from Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Nicola Browne (image from Wikipedia)

Nicola Browne, born in Matamata, New Zealand, is an international cricket player. She helped bring her country to the finals of the Women’s World Twenty20 in 2010. Surprisingly, one year later she was announcing her retirement just shy of her 28th birthday.

Nicola had lost her motivation for training and “her mind and body exhausted by a crippling, persistent lack of energy”, according to a recent article on

Plagued by various symptoms, Nicola was eventually tested and diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an auto-immune disease affecting the small intestines.  Undiagnosed celiac can lead to a host of conditions including fatigue, depression, osteoporosis, migraines, neurological symptoms, and even cancer.

“Cricket was the farthest from her mind at that time. She had to get her life back. Out went all sources of gluten, found chiefly in grains such as wheat, barley, rye.”

In addition to a physical blow by a cricket ball to her head in 2006 resulting in an infected tooth and frequent headaches, Nicola believes stress was a contributing factor that may have led to triggering her celiac. She witnessed firsthand the tragedy of the earthquake in Christchurch (New Zealand) in 2011. “We had to play three days later and wanted to get through to our families. It was some experience.”

After becoming gluten-free, Nicola’s energy eventually came back,”I am just much more alive now”, and she returned to the cricket field for the 2012 World Twenty20. Nicola now embraces her gluten-free lifestyle, and  looks forward to trying out new recipes. “People who know me know I really enjoyed my food. But it has been like one door shuts and another one opens.” Nicola faces the challenges that many celiacs do. She packs her suitcases with gluten-free food when she travels and she avoids temptations like her favorite naan or garlic bread. “You just deal with it … change of habit takes a while but it eventually becomes part of your routine and then it is what it is.”

To read full article click here.

For more information on Nicola Browne click here.

For more information on Celiac Disease click here and here.

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On February 14th, 2013, posted in: CeliacCorner Blogs by

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