Coeliac disease is a common digestive condition where a person has an adverse reaction to gluten.
Gluten is a protein, commonly found in wheat rye and barley.
Gluten is also found in:
- Cakes (flour)
- Ready meals/fast food
- Beer (barley)
Coeliac disease brings about an automimmune response, where the body’s natural defence against infection attacks healthy tissue.
It is the substances found within gluten that are found to be a ‘threat’ and so the body attacks them.
The ‘attack’ damages the villi in the small instestine, which are responsible for absorbing nutrients. If they are damaged they cannot function as they should.
- Bloating and wind
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Feeling tired as a result of not getting enough nutrients
- Children not growing at the correct rate
Approx 1 in 100 are affected by coeliac disease in the UK.
Coeliac disease can run families - there is a 10% risk you will have coeliac disease if someone in your family does.
Your risk can be increased if you suffer with the following:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Ulcerative colitis
Coeliac disease is diagnosed by:
- Blood tests (checking for antibodies)
- Biopsy (a small part of the gut is removed)
A STRICT gluten free diet!
Examples of gluten free foods include
- Meat/fish (unbuttered)
Following a gluten free diet doesn’t have to mean missing out on those sweet treats, bread and pasta. Simply eat a gluten free substitute or bake with a gluten free flour.