Category Archives: Celiac Disease

The Coeliac Society – A Great Resource

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with coeliac disease, finding all the resources you can is important to learning about your condition. The coeliac society is one of the organizations that you should become familiar with as they are a tremendous source of information and support. In this article we’ll give you a quick overview of this great organization along with some contact information and tips for getting involved.

What is the Coeliac Society?
Coeliac Society is a UK based charity dedicated to helping people who have been diagnosed with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). They provide a great service in the UK offering support, research and campaigning. Anyone who has been diagnosed by their physician with coeliac disease or DH can join the charity. They currently have over 50,000 members and hundreds more join each month.

The coeliac society is a great resource for individuals in the UK (and also out of it) when it comes to finding information on gluten free foods, gluten free recipes and following a gluten free diet. In addition to all of the support they provide their members, they’re also very active in raising money for much needed research. One of the great benefits of being a member is the monthly updates they send out on the research and advancements that are being made in treating coeliac disease.

Types of Coeliac Society Support
For £20 per year, you can join the coeliac society if you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease or DH. You can also join if you are the parent or guardian of someone who has been diagnosed. There are significant benefits of becoming a member of the coeliac society. Some of those benefits include:

  • Food and Drink Directory – Their gluten free products list is amazing. Over 10,000 products are listed and the directory is updated each month. It’s available online.
  • Food and Drink Hotline – This live help hotline can provide information on the ingredients of foods and drinks.
  • Dietician Hotline – Speak to a dietitian about your condition. You can also ask submit questions via an internet form.
  • Crossed Grain Magazine – Their 3x yearly magazine provides information and inspirational stories.
  • eXG – A monthly online newsletter that gives the food and drink directory updates along with news and medical advancements.

Coeliac Society Contact Information
High Wycombe office
3rd Floor
Apollo Centre
Desborough Road
High Wycombe
Bucks
HP11 2QW

http://www.coeliac.org.uk/

Switchboard: 01494 437278
Fax: 01494 474349
Helpline: 0845 305 2060

Being diagnosed with coeliac disease or DH is a life changing experience. By joining groups like the Coeliac Society you can draw on a huge wealth of knowledge. Having knowledgeable people to call or email can make a world of difference as you’re trying to learn all you can about this serious condition. You’re not in it alone and the Coeliac Society can help.

Receiving a Celiac Disease Diagnosis

If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from celiac disease, it’s important to seek the guidance and advice from your family doctor.  Celiac disease is a dangerous and potentially life threatening condition that should be treated as quickly as possible. In this article we’ll discuss a few of the likely methods that may be used to diagnose celiac disease.

Celiac Disease Diagnosis in Adults
The most likely celiac disease diagnosis test that your doctor will perform is a blood test. A celiac disease diagnosis blood test will be able to determine if you’re having an adverse reaction to gluten. Most of the available blood tests will measure antibody levels. Keep in mind that for these tests to be accurate you must have been consuming gluten on a daily basis for at least six weeks. So don’t begin a gluten free diet before getting tested as it will impact the results of the test.

If the blood test does not give enough information for a conclusive celiac disease diagnosis, your doctor may request an intestinal biopsy. The biopsy will be able to determine whether or not your intestines are being damaged by a reaction to gluten.

Celiac Disease Diagnosis in Children
Testing for children is much the same as it is for adults. The only difference is that most doctors do not request an intestinal biopsy unless there is no other way of obtaining a diagnosis. The doctor may request a stool sample to test for nutritional malabsorption and tests for vitamin B, D and E as well.

Celiac Disease Treatment
The only effective treatment known is to follow a strict gluten free diet. Gluten is found in certain cereal grains – wheat, rye and barley. It is also found in oats (except gluten free oats) because oats are typically processed along with gluten containing grains. In order to eat gluten free it is necessary to remove all foods that contain gluten from the diet. In general this will include breads, pastas, cereals, cookies, cakes and other foods with gluten. However, there are gluten free substitutes of all of these products available. Made with gluten free flours like teff flour, sorghum flour, rice flour and tapioca flour, gluten free baked goods are also delicious.

Symptoms will not disappear immediately after adopting a gluten free diet. It typically takes up to 6 months of eating gluten free for symptoms to diminish. It takes the body time to recover and symptoms will slowly ease over a period of months.

See your doctor right away if you’re concerned about celiac disease. He or she will be able to provide you with a celiac disease diagnosis – possibly with just a blood test. Once you know for sure you will be able to begin a treatment plan and be on your way to better health.

Celiac Disease in Children

Celiac disease is a serious condition for adults and children alike. In children it is particularly distressing because it can difficult to detect as young children are less able to explain their symptoms. In this article we’ll give an overview of celiac disease and how it presents itself in children, as well as  likely treatment scenarios.

What is Celiac Disease in Children?
Celiac disease is a disease of the intestines. When the intestines come in contact with gluten, there is an autoimmune reaction which causes the intestines to swell and become irritated. Over time the lining of the intestines can break down which leads to nutrition absorption problems.

With celiac disease in children symptoms don’t generally develop until 6-12 months of age because that is the period of time when table foods containing gluten are introduced.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease in Children
Symptoms in children can vary in intensity. Some children experience severe symptoms while other children appear to have none. Here are some of the more common symptoms found in children:

  • Diarrhea
  • An extended or bloated abdomen or belly
  • Weight loss or inability to gain weight
  • A “failure to thrive” description from a physician
  • Anemia
  • Excessive gas

Some children with celiac disease may develop problems with their permanent teeth. Grooves or pits may develop in the teeth and they may also have enamel discoloration. Another possible symptom in children is bone weakness and thinning due to a lack of vitamin D absorption. All of these symptoms can be resolved by following a proper treatment protocol.

Causes
Celiac disease in children occurs because of a genetic predisposition and exposure to gluten. A child could have inherited the genetic trait from one or both parents. The disease does not develop until exposed to a trigger – which is when the child begins to consume gluten. Celiac disease is different from a wheat or gluten allergy. An allergy typically produces symptoms like wheezing, swelling and hives which is significantly different from the signs of celiac disease in children.

Treatment Options
The only known effective treatment is to follow a strict gluten free diet. Gluten can be found in specific cereal grains – wheat, barley, rye and most oats (all except those specifically marked gluten free oats). In order to completely avoid gluten it’s necessary to learn the different ingredients that contain the gluten containing grains. While it sounds daunting at first, keep in mind that the vast majority of food available is naturally gluten free. Plus, in recent years there has been a tremendous surge of gluten free baked goods on the market. You can buy gluten free bread, waffles, cookies, baking mixes and more right from your local grocer. There will be an initial investment of time as you study the guidelines and learn to cook gluten free meals but the health rewards will be well worth it.

Do you Know the Symptoms of Celiac Disease? A Quiz

If you’re curious about celiac disease, take our short quiz to see how much you know about the lesser known symptoms.

Q: How do symptoms of celiac disease in children differ from symptoms of celiac disease in adults?
a) There is no substantial difference between celiac disease in adults and in children.
b) There is a difference between adults and children. Adults can have a host of symptoms, or show no symptoms. Children however will almost always show signs of weight loss or failure to thrive. Some children also experience abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
c) Children generally show no symptoms and can be difficult to diagnose. Adults almost always show the same set of symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight loss.
d) Celiac disease is only found in adults and not in children.
Answer: b) There is a difference between adults and children.

Q: Is weight gain one of the symptoms of celiac disease?
a) Yes, nearly every one with celiac disease gains weight.
b) No, celiac disease generally manifests itself as weight loss and emaciation rather than weight gain.
c) Weight gain can occur due to an increased appetite caused by the lack of nutrition being absorbed by the intestines.
d) a and c
Answer: c) Weight gain can occur due to increased appetite. While this does happen, it is not with everyone. Weight loss is a more often reported symptom with celiac disease than weight gain.

Q: Do symptoms of celiac disease in women differ from those in men?
a) Women do not get celiac disease.
b) Men tend to report more symptoms than do women and have a more serious condition.
c) Men do not get celiac disease.
d) Both men and women can be diagnosed with celiac disease and can have the same symptoms.
Answer: d) Both men and women can have celiac disease. Symptoms differ from person to person but do not typically change based on sex. Common symptoms include abdominal cramping, muscle aches, a chronic itchy rash, anemia, diarrhea, weight loss, weight gain, moodiness, osteoporosis, muscle wasting, inability to concentrate, moodiness and dizziness.

How did you fare? Did you learn something new? While celiac disease is a serious condition, it is treatable. Most patients find that adopting a gluten free diet they can completely eliminate the symptoms of celiac disease. If you believe you may have celiac disease, seek the advice of your family doctor to determine the right treatment plan. With some planning and a good attitude, you’ll be on the road to a gluten free lifestyle and improved health.

What is Celiac Disease?

Unless you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or know someone who has, it’s very possible that you’ve never heard of it. Most of us are familiar with the term gluten intolerant, but what does it really mean? In this article we’ll define gluten intolerance and celiac disease, take a look at some of the most frequently reported symptoms of celiac disease, and cover some of the basic treatment recommendations. By the end of this article you’ll have a better understand of celiac disease along with a few tips on how to combat it.

What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease, also sometimes referred to as coeliac disease, is a disease of the intestines. When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten their body has an autoimmune reaction where the intestines become irritated and swell. This swelling can damage the intestines leading to an inability to absorb nutrients. In severe cases celiac disease can be life threatening.

Celiac Disease Symptoms
Before we share with you the list of common symptoms, it’s important to note that not all those suffering from celiac disease exhibit all, some or even any of these symptoms. One of the most difficult parts of diagnosing celiac disease is the variance in symptoms. Some people suffer from almost all the symptoms – others have no symptoms at all for many many years.

  • Fatigue
  • Foggy thinking
  • Abdominal pain or cramping, particularly after consuming wheat or gluten containing products
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Anemia
  • Other vitamin or mineral deficiencies
  • Elevated liver counts on blood tests
  • Weight loss
  • Osteoporosis
  • Itchy rash that comes and goes

If you have several of the above listed symptoms, or if you suspect that you may have celiac disease, see your physician right away. There are simple tests that can be done to diagnose this disease and treatment is possible. Don’t spend another day in discomfort.

Celiac Disease in Children
In children, the disease can be difficult to identify at first. Most infants with celiac disease are given a ‘failure to thrive’ classification. In toddlers and older children a symptom can be stunted growth along with some of the other symptoms found in adults such as fatigue, rash and abdominal pain.

Treatment
Fortunately, there is treatment. The only known way to treat celiac disease is with a gluten free diet. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and most oats. By removing the source of the gluten the intestines will no longer trigger an autoimmune reaction. Over time the intestines can heal and normal nutritional absorption can occur. It may sound daunting to remove all wheat from your diet, but there are many gluten free substitutes on the market today.