What To Know About Coeliac Disease | sheerluxe.com

What To Know About Coeliac Disease

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Affecting up to one in 100 people in the UK, if you suffer from stomach pains, tiredness and bouts of nausea, you could be suffering from coeliac disease. Different from gluten intolerance, coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition that, when gluten is consumed, can cause damage to the small intestine. If left untreateated, it can lead to a whole host of serious health issues. Here's how to recognise the signs...

What is coeliac disease?

In its simplest form, coeliac disease means the body's immune system is unable to digest gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten can be found in various foods – the most obvious being bread, pasta, pastry, cakes, flours, cereals and biscuits. When someone with coeliac disease eats gluten, their immune system reacts by damaging the lining of the small intestine.

Coeliac disease can remain undiagnosed in less severe cases, but if you suffer with bouts of uncomfortable bloating, bowel irritation, tiredness and mouth ulcers, it could well mean that your body has developed an intolerance to gluten, and you should get this checked out by your doctor as soon as possible.

What are the risks?

For coeliacs, eating gluten damages the lining of the bowel and disrupts the body's ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. If left untreated, it can lead to a whole host of serious health issues including osteoporosis, autoimmune thyroid disease, lactose intolerance and in some cases lymphoma and small bowel cancer. There’s also a risk it can affect fertility.

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What are the symptoms?

The severity and stage of the condition varies considerably, from mild to severe, and can develop gradually or can be triggered by stress or gastric infection. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Gassiness
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Dramatic weight loss

What’s the treatment?

If you’re diagnosed with coeliac disease, the simplest and most effective course of treatment is to change your diet. You’ll need to adopt a life-long gluten-free diet avoiding all foods that contain any trace of gluten. Symptoms can start to clear within a matter of days or weeks for some people, but for others, it can take slightly longer – anything between six months and five years – for gut damage to completely heal.

If you want to find out more about which foods you can and can’t eat, visit Coeliac.org.uk

How do you get a diagnosis?

If you're concerned about coeliac disease, the best course of action is to visit your doctor, but if you want to check your symptoms make use of Coeliac UK’s handy symptom checker to see if you’re at risk.

Get tested by your GP and if your results do come back positive there are simple ways to change your diet, without causing too much of an impact to your lifestyle. Take a look at our top ten tips for a gluten-free diet to get you started.
 

Visit NHS.co.uk for more information.

 

 

 

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