British actress Fay Ripley was convinced she was dying after a salmonella scare left her with a crippling food allergy.
The Cold Feet star was struck down with food poisoning after eating "some dodgy chicken" but she failed to bounce back from the condition.
Ripley, who is a mother of two, spent weeks feeling tired and nauseous and even feared she had a life-threatening illness, until her doctor discovered she had developed a serious wheat intolerance.
She tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "I had a salmonella infection... from eating some dodgy chicken in a restaurant... Most of the severe symptoms settled down (after a few days) but, even several weeks afterwards, I felt constantly tired and nauseous... (My doctor) said it was just the residue symptoms of the salmonella. I began to think I was going slightly mad! As time went by and I didn't feel any better... I thought the worst. I was convinced I had cancer or scurvy or trench foot at the very least. I was self-diagnosing, left, right and centre. I had visions of my children growing up without a mother..."
A year went by before a gastroenterologist finally discovered Ripley had a wheat intolerance, and she admits the diagnosis was a relief, adding, "It was great to finally have control... Ultimately, my intolerance is not life-threatening in the same way some full-blown allergies can be, but I'm very grateful to the doctor who suggested I try giving up wheat - I could have just carried on feeling awful for ever... Over time, my intolerance to wheat subsided and I am now stuffing my face fairly regularly with that naughty breakfast croissant once again."