What is Coeliac Disease?

Posted on 16th July 2018 by Gavin in News, Nutrition. comment(s).
What is Coeliac Disease?

Unfortunately, many of our beloved customers and friends suffer with Coeliac disease. Far from just a gluten sensitivity, this condition is much more serious and complicated – and can be life-threatening if not treated.

Yet, what exactly is it? What causes it, and how can it be treated? While still relatively rare (it affects around 1 in 100 people), we’re hearing about more and more stories of those with Coeliac disease, and it’s increased fourfold over the last decade.

What is Coeliac disease? 

 

Put simply, it’s an autoimmune disease caused by a reaction of the immune system to gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. When someone who is Coeliac eats gluten, their immune system goes haywire and begins to damage the lining of the small intestine. Sadly, there’s currently no cure, and it’s a lifelong condition – the only treatment is to follow a strict gluten-free diet.

Symptoms of Coeliac Disease:

Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all when it comes to symptoms of Coeliac, and they can vary massively from person-to-person. However, typical symptoms include:

• Diarrhoea, excessive wind and/or constipation

• Persistent or unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting

• Recurrent stomach pain, cramping or bloating

• Iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency

• Anaemia

• Tiredness

• Sudden or unexpected weight loss (but not in all cases)

• Mouth ulcers

• Hair loss

• Skin rash

• Tooth enamel problems

• Depression

• Liver abnormalities

• Repeated miscarriages

• Neurological (nerve) problems such as ataxia (loss of coordination, poor balance) and peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet)

Symptoms in children can include failure to thrive, diarrhoea, poor appetite, abdominal distention, lethargy and changes in mood.

If you do suspect you may have Coeliac disease, then please chat things through with your GP. However, a word of warning: don’t eliminate gluten from your diet until you’ve been tested or diagnosed by a professional, or chatted to your doctor.

 

What can I do if I’m Coeliac?

As we mentioned, the only treatment for Coeliac is by ditching gluten from your diet completely. Many people with Coeliac disease also find they’re intolerant to other foods, too, such as oats. If you are Coeliac or suspect you are, it’s important to chat with a doctor, and find out for sure. Once you’ve been tested, you should eliminate gluten completely from your diet, and see a registered dietician often.

You can also find plenty of advice and support on www.coeliac.org.uk 

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