Coeliac disease is an Autoimmune disease – not an allergy. It is caused by the immune system reacting to gluten causing damage to the lining of the small intestine. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
What are the symptoms?
- Symptoms can include: Diarrhoea, nausea & vomiting, bloating, constipation, pain and wind, weight loss…
- Damage to the lining of the small intestine reduces the absorption of important nutrients and may result in anaemia
- The immune response may also trigger symptoms outside the gut: Tiredness, headache, migraine, joint/muscle pain
What causes Coeliac disease?
1 in 100 people have Coeliac disease and many people are not yet diagnosed. The risk increases to 1 in 10 if you have a close relative with the condition. It occurs in people with the right genetic profile for the disease. It is closely linked with other autoimmune conditions such as Type 1 diabetes and Thyroid disease. It also affects more women than men.
How is it diagnosed?
- Blood test – measures levels of coeliac-specific antibodies
- Endoscopy and biopsy
What is the treatment?
The only treatment for Coeliac disease is a life-long gluten-free diet
Where is gluten found?
Wheat, rye, barley & contaminated oats and products that contain these, including:
- Wheat/rye flours
- Bread, pasta & breakfast cereals
- Cakes & pastries
- Biscuits & crackers
- Batters & thickened sauces
- Beers/lagers and barley water
What can you eat?
- Rice & potatoes
- Fruit & vegetables
- Other grains including corn (maize), millet and polenta
- Dairy foods and eggs
- Meat, fish and poultry where gluten has not been added during processing
- Gluten-free oats
- Specialist Gluten-free products
Join Coeliac UK for additional information and support & obtain a Food and Drink Directory.
If you have Coeliac Disease and would like tailored help, then contact me on 07741474076 for a personalised consultation.