Coeliac Disease

“If you are not ready to alter your way of life, you cannot begin to heal.” – Hippocrates (460-377 B.C). You will find here information, articles and books addressing the positive holistic approach to Coeliac Disease.

Coeliac Disease

Symptoms and Treatment of Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease (or celiac disease) is a digestive disease in which the small intestine becomes damaged and prevents the absorption of nutrients from food. Coeliac disease sufferers will experience an abnormal intolerance or reaction to gluten, wheat, rye and barley.

When a celiac disease sufferer consumes food, vitamins or products such as lip balms containing gluten, their immune system will respond to this by damaging the small protrusions located on the outer surface of the small intestine called villi. The function of villi are to allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Therefore when these villi become damaged, regardless of how much food the sufferer consumes, they will become malnourished.

Symptoms of celiacs disease will vary and can occur in either the digestive system or within other parts of the body. The symptoms can also cause great discomfort. Digestive symptoms may include abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation, foul-smelling or fatty stool and weight loss. Due to lack of nutrients absorbed into the blood stream you may also experience higher levels of irritability. Symptoms which affect other areas of the body can include iron-deficiency or anaemia, fatigue, bone or joint pain, arthritis, bone loss or osteoporosis, depression or anxiety, tingling sensations or numbing of the hands and feet, missed menstrual periods, ulcers or sores inside the mouth from a lack of vitamin C absorption. It is possible for sufferers of coeliac disease to experience no immediate symptoms but they may develop complications of the disease over time. Long-term implications can include malnutrition which can lead to anaemia, osteoporosis, miscarriage, liver diseases, and cancers of the intestine.

The factors which determine symptoms can vary depending on your age and the degree of damage to the small intestine. It is possible to have celiac disease for a number of years before the symptoms emerge and the disease therefore diagnosed. The longer a person goes undiagnosed and untreated however, the greater the chance of developing long-term complications.

It is often difficult to diagnose coeliac disease as the symptoms can be similar to those of other diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anaemia or iron deficiency caused by menstrual blood loss, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal infections, and chronic fatigue syndrome. As a result, coeliac disease can often be misdiagnosed. Recently improved and developed blood tests however are the most reliable and accurate method a GP will use to diagnose coeliac disease. Sufferers will maintain higher than normal levels of particular auto antibodies which are proteins that react against the body’s own cells or tissues and these auto antibodies will show in their blood tests.

The most effective way to treat coeliac disease is by undertaking a gluten-free diet which for many, can mean a drastic diet and lifestyle change. The sufferer will be required to eliminate many ‘staple’ foods such as bread, cereal, pasta and processed foods which can be difficult to give up. Even the smallest portion of gluten will cause damage to the small intestine therefore it is vital that it is completely eliminated. Many foods containing gluten are actually unbeneficial for a non sufferer of coeliac disease and it certainly does not mean you cannot maintain an enjoyable and healthy diet. There are many gluten free alternatives available in supermarkets and health food shops and the awareness of coeliac disease has increased rapidly over recent years. Following a gluten free diet will relieve symptoms, heal existing intestinal damage, and prevent further damage. The cure is of course a gradual process but one that will eliminate discomfort, increase your feeling of well being and ultimately, keep you healthy.

At Last... A Step-by-Step Guide Showing You How To Successfully Manage The Fustrations of a Gluten Free Diet!

The Essential Gluten Free Guide

The book The Essential Gluten Free Guide reveals the secrets to living well, despite a gluten intolerance. Packed with both practical help and factual information for anyone suffering from a gluten intolerance, particularly those diagnosed with celiac disease.

"I read through the book and really enjoyed it, especially the last parts about change techniques. I think most people looking for help in this age of the internet are inundated with information about what they should do - when what they really need is help doing it. Your book provides that."

Roberta Tripp RD, LDN. Inpatient Clinical Nutrition Manager

Learn about the history and explanation of celiac disease.

Understand why it's so important to get the correct diagnosis , and how to ensure this.

Discover some great travelling tips!

The DO's and DON'Ts to make eating at home and at restaurants easier and safer.

And much more...

Discover how to put together the perfect Gluten-Free diet

Author Information

Last seen: 8 years 44 weeks ago
Joined: 10/22/2008