Around one in 100 people in the UK suffers with coeliac disease. However, approximately 500,000 people are believed to be living in the UK undiagnosed.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition which means the immune system (the body’s defence against infection) attacks healthy tissue. In coeliac disease, the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them. This damages the small bowel, disrupting the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
Symptoms of coeliac
Eating foods that contain gluten can trigger a range of symptoms including:
- Stomach aches
- Bloating and Flatulence
Coeliac disease can also cause more general symptoms, including
- Fatigue – caused by not getting enough nutrients from food
- Weight loss
- Nerve damage
- Delayed puberty in children
Coeliac disease is caused by an adverse reaction to gluten, which is a dietary protein found in three types of cereal:
These cereals are found in foods such as:
- Breakfast cereals
- Certain types of sauces, like brown, Soy and bread
Our Nutritional Therapist Dominique Ludwig says:
On average people in the UK have to wait 13 years from first symptoms to diagnosis of coeliac disease. It is astonishing that this autoimmune condition is taking so long to be diagnosed. One of the reasons is because the symptoms may not always be classic.
It is no longer the case that people with coeliac disease are always diagnosed in childhood with symptoms such as weight loss, failure to thrive and diarrhoea. We are now seeing adults with normal weight, sometimes no gastrointestinal symptoms but a number of niggling health problems for which no root cause can be found.
While most people present with stomach pain, bouts of diarrhoea, bloating, weight loss or even vomiting; others may develop crippling fatigue, constant mouth ulcers, joint pain, headaches, anaemia, skin rashes, difficulty in falling pregnant and severe malnutrition.
It is mostly people that present with the latter symptoms that find it the most difficult to become diagnosed, but also we have to acknowledge that with so many people now suffering with irritable bowel syndrome it can be tricky to tell the two apart without diagnostic testing at a short GP appointment.
At Meyer Clinic, our consultations are tailored to your needs. We give you the time required and we offer gold standard Cyrex testing to diagnose coeliac disease, non-coeliac gluten sensitivity as well as gluten cross-reactivity.
Cross-reactivity is where a food is confused by the body as being gluten, even though it contains no gluten itself. This is because of something called molecular mimicry. The body spots a chain of amino acids that look a little like gluten and continues to make antibodies to them. Common foods in this category can be cows dairy or even egg. Identifying cross-reactive foods can be a game changer in those who are not responding as well as they should to their gluten-free diet post diagnosis.
If you think you may be suffering with coeliac or would like to know more about the disease, book in for a consultation with Dominique. Call 01243 771455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Coeliac Disease, visit Coeliac UK