Coeliac disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease, which is caused by a reaction to gluten. Gluten is the general name given to proteins found in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, faro, kamut, khorason, wheat and einkorn, rye, barley and sometimes oats). Even though some products don’t contain gluten they may be produced in factories where other gluten products are made and therefore for those with heightened sensitivity cross contamination is a risk, so once you have been diagnosed it’s very important to pay attention to food labelling. Of course, the healthiest foods don’t need much in the way of labels, such as fruit, vegetables and fresh fish, dairy produce, nuts, seeds and berries, and so it’s not hard to follow a healthy diet when out and about but obviously you have to keep to simple foods and it’s more difficult in restaurants. At home you can be much more experimental as there are so many substitutes for wheat, barley, rye etc these days.
It is estimated that one in a hundred people have the condition and symptoms include bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, wind, constipation, tiredness, sudden or unexpected weight loss, (not in all cases) hair loss and anaemia and even skin disorders. When someone with coeliac disease eats gluten, their immune system reacts by damaging the lining of the small intestine. Unfortunately, it’s thought that only 24% of the people who have the condition have actually been diagnosed, which means there are currently nearly half a million people who have coeliac disease but don’t yet know. If a first degree family member (such as mother, father, sister or brother) has the condition then the chances of you having it increase to one in 10, so if you have close family with the illness and exhibit some symptoms it’s worth getting it checked out.
Once diagnosed, the only treatment for coeliac disease is a gluten-free diet, which sounds difficult, and can be when you’re out and about, but there are now lots of options in terms of flour, rice flours, chick pea flour etc that are gluten free and some fabulous cookery books offering gluten free recipes. A number of shops also produce and sell gluten free ranges of every day food as well, so you can still eat some of the foods you love. There are also a lot of great books such as those by Ella Woodward that can help you to be imaginative about recipes. The good thing is that once gluten is removed from the diet, you should start to feel much better.
At the Nutritional Therapy Clinic we can help you develop a diet that keeps you healthy and gives you the necessary nutrients even though you have coeliac disease. It can be difficult to eat a healthy diet when such a large food group is excluded from your diet, but it is possible, and you can be and feel healthy again once you eradicate gluten from your diet.
Call now for a free no obligation chat, to find out how a nutritionist can help you eat well with coeliac disease, or if you have other digestive issues such as IBS. Appointments are available in Harley Street, London and Colchester, Essex, telephone 0203 907 6848 or email by clicking here
*Disclaimer: The information and advice provided by The Nutritional Therapy Clinic is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Any person suffering from conditions requiring medical attention, or who have symptoms that concern them, should consult a doctor. Testimonials on this site regarding weight loss and other issues are examples of what we have done for other clients and of what some of our clients have said about us. However, we cannot guarantee the results in any case. Your results may vary and every situation is different. Please see our disclaimer section for further information.