Today sees the start of Coeliac awareness week. 1 in 100 people have Coeliac disease , but only about 15% have been properly diagnosed. That are a lot of people with unexplained symptoms. If you or a member of your family is one of them, make an appointment today!
Now this is a subject I am passionate about as I have many of the symptoms of the disease, but cannot be tested properly as I have not eaten gluten for 5 years. My Gastro specialist said I had a ‘classic Coeliac history’, But he and I were not happy for me to attempt to put gluten back in my diet as my symptoms were so severe. I am still anaemic and on iron tablets and am slightly under weight. When I am ‘glutened’ the weight just falls off me.
I remember having symptoms from the age of about 12 when we moved home to a new area and I had to change schools etc. It was a very stressful time for me.
When I do accidentally eat gluten through cross contamination I become very ill and the symptoms last for many weeks. I will probably never have a definite diagnoses. But I will now always follow a gluten free diet.
I recently however have been diagnosed with Crohns disease an inflammatory bowel disease ( after an endoscopy and colonoscopy ) but recognise less of the symptoms of this disease in me.
From what I understand Gluten comes from the Latin Gluten “glue” a mixture of two proteins gliadin and glutenin found in cereal grains wheat inc spelt also barley and rye, and oats through cross contamination.
Some Coeliacs are intolerant to all oats even gluten free oats.
Gluten is found in flour, bread, pastry, biscuits,cakes, cereals, many pre prepared meals and hidden in so many other things including drinks. Always check labels.
I feel very strongly that if you are suffering from any of the following symptoms ( list taken from Coeliac UK website ) Don’t take Gluten out of your diet make an appointment with your GP , to rule out Coeliac disease
Severe or occasional diarrhoea, bloating, recurrent stomach pains, cramping, constipation, sickness, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, Excessive wind
Tiredness and or head aches, Brain fog ( not feeling sharp )
Tooth enamel problems
Joint and or bone pain
Skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis )
Nerve problems such as ataxia ( poor muscle coordination ) and neuropathy ( numbness and tingling in hands and feet )
Iron, vitamin B12 or Folic acid deficiency
Depression, Anxiety, Mood swings
Amennorrhoea ( lack of periods in women )
Coeliac Disease is a life long autoimmune disease causing damage to the lining of the small intestine. Causing a range of mild to severe symptoms.
From my own experience many years ago I had severe tiredness, brain fog, weight loss, anaemia, stomach cramps, nausea, joint pain and later fertility problems I was told I had IBS and given no advice.
Removing Gluten and other food intolerances from my diet has made an enormous difference to my health.
These days you should be given a simple blood test by your GP to check for antibodies, these can indicate Coeliac disease Do not remove Gluten from your diet
You will then be referred to a Gastroenterologist for a gut biopsy Continue to eat Gluten
For me, this process took 30 years! Fortunately things have moved on and GP’s are far more aware of symptoms.
I found that keeping a food, drink and symptoms diary helped me to find out what was causing my problems. It also could be useful to show your Doctor.
It would also be good for Coeliacs and those with Inflammatory bowel disease who continue to have some symptoms after gluten is removed. I for example am intolerant to yeast ( vinegar, wine ) onions , garlic and paprika. These now give me similar symptoms.
Here is a printable food and symptoms sheet for you to print off
Remember to write everything done on your sheet including snacks and drinks
Click on link and print PDF
More information about Coeliac disease twitter @coeliac_uk
I also found out a lot of information about the disease following fellow Coeliacs on Twitter
follow me @nels3 Gluten free Helen
I am currently finding out more about ‘Leaky Gut’ Intestinal permeability Which seems to be linked with Coeliac disease , Crohns disease, Colitis etc
I try to avoid all grains and refined sugar to help heal my gut as well as taking good bacteria.
Follow Specific carbohydrate diet – @scdlifestyle
Follow Dr Josh Axe on Facebook