Tag Archives: celiac disease

Coeliac Disease Symptoms – FAQ

If you’re curious about coeliac disease and related symptoms, read on. In this FAQ we’ll cover the most common symptoms of coeliac and other common questions.

Q: What is coeliac disease?
A: Coeliac disease (also known as celiac disease) is a disease of the intestines. In people suffering from this disease, there is an autoimmune reaction when the intestines come in contact with a form of protein called gluten.

Q: What is gluten?
A: Gluten is a protein found in some cereal grains namely wheat, rye and barley. Oats are generally also included in this category because they are processed with gluten-containing grains. There are some mills that now produce non-gluten containing oats.

Q: What are some common coeliac disease symptoms in adults?
A: Unfortunately there is no common list of symptoms. Some people suffer from a long list of symptoms and others report no symptoms at all. Here is a list most often categorized as celiac disease symptoms.

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Nutrient deficiencies and related disorders such as anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Mental fogginess
  • Elevated liver levels in blood tests
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain (due to extreme hunger caused by lack of nutritional absorption)

Q: What are the coeliac symptoms in children?
A: Most often the symptoms reported in children are a classification of ‘failure to thrive’ in infants and in older children stunted growth can be an issue.

Q: What is the best treatment for coeliac symptoms?
A: The best and most widely recommended treatment program is a gluten free diet. The best way to stop the reaction happening with the intestines is to halt the consumption of gluten. This is accomplished by replacing wheat, barley and rye products with other grains. At first this can be an overwhelming task but there are a huge number of gluten free foods available. It is important to note that in order for symptoms to improve, it is often necessary to follow the gluten free diet for many months. It takes time for the damage to the intestines to heal so don’t expect miraculous results in just a day or two.

Q: Can people with coeliac disease still eat bread and baked goods?
A: Absolutely! There are many gluten free recipes available for bread, cookies, cakes, pastas and other foods traditionally made with wheat. Some of these recipes are better than the wheat-containing counterparts. You can also still enjoy gluten free alcohol! In addition to making your own foods there is a growing selection of pre-made gluten free products available at most grocery stores. As you learn more, make your own gluten free foods list to take with you when you shop.

If you think you may be suffering from coeliac disease, consult your doctor for a full diagnosis and recommended treatment plan. Coeliac disease is serious and it is treatable – so there is no reason to suffer needlessly.

What is Coeliac Disease?

Coeliac disease is one of the less-used terms for what is essentially an extreme form of gluten intolerance. Gluten is a protein found in some grains like wheat, barley and rye. In some people gluten causes damage to the intestines which can result in the inability to absorb nutrients and can, in some severe instances, lead to death. In this article we’ll cover the basics of this disease, some other names that it’s known by, the common symptoms along with the diet that is generally recommended for treatment.

What’s in a Name?
Coeliac disease is just one of the names given to the condition where the intestines are damaged by gluten. Other names that are often used in conjunction with this condition are celiac disease, gluten intolerance, coeliac sprue, endemic sprue, gluten enteropathy or gluten-sensitive enteropothy. All of these terms essentially mean the same thing – damage to the intestines by gluten.

Coeliac Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of coeliac disease vary widely, but there are some common themes. Depending on the severity of the disease, patients report some or all of the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Bloating
  • Lethargy
  • Inability to Concentrate
  • Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Cramping
  • Moodiness

Some people with coeliac disease have very few symptoms. If you think you may have coeliac disease, or find that you have side effects any time you consume wheat, rye or barley products, make an appointment with your doctor. There are some simple blood tests that can be done. If warranted your doctor can also perform a straightforward intestinal biopsy.  With your physician’s help you can get started immediately on a treatment program designed specifically for you.

Recommended Coeliac Disease Diet
The primary treatment recommended for patients suffering from coeliac disease is to adopt a strict gluten-free diet.  After adhering to the diet for 6 months, patients are reevaluated. Generally people find that the majority of their symptoms disappear after a few months of following a gluten-free lifestyle. What exactly is a gluten-free diet? Gluten is found in any products that contain wheat, rye, barley or other grains that were manufactured alongside gluten containing grains. By avoiding these grains by substituting other products like rice flour and corn coeliac disease can be well managed.

If you notice that you have a gluten sensitivity, consult with your physician. While a gluten-free diet may sound difficult to maintain, the health benefits are well worth it. With the introduction of a wide variety of gluten-free products you can still enjoy favorites like spaghetti, waffles and muffins. Gluten-free living can be tasty and satisfying – and contribute to a life of happiness and well-being.

Celiac Disease Diet

The first step in creating a celiac disease diet plan is to know your options. In this article we’ll give you some key insight into recipes,  and go into depth on the types of items that are specifically not allowed. By the end of this article you’ll have a good idea of what you will need to create a celiac disease diet menu.

Celiac Disease Diet Recipes
There are many gluten-free recipe books available at your local bookstore or on Amazon. You can also find a great deal of wonderful recipes online. Pick a day a week to try new recipes (breakfasts, lunches, dinners and gluten free snacks) and before you know it you’ll have a recipe box full of new favorites.

What’s Not Allowed
Celiac disease diet restrictions are straightforward on the surface: avoid any products containing wheat, rye, barley. Essentially the rule is to avoid all gluten. On some levels this is easy because of the variety of foods that naturally do not contain gluten. Where it gets more complicated is when you want to eat out in a restaurant or you select processed foods at the supermarket.

Eating out presents its own unique challenges. Foods that you would not ordinarily associate with gluten – like steaks for example- may be prepared with gluten containing ingredients. A steak can be marinated in soy sauce, which contains wheat. The best bet when dining out is to either a) choose a gluten-free restaurant or b) discuss your needs with your server. In most cases, a clear and open conversation with your server is the easiest way. Most restaurants are happy to try to accommodate.

When shopping at the supermarket the best way to avoid gluten is to read labels. At first it will take some time to recognize what kinds of ingredients contain gluten. Any time you run across words like ‘starch’ or ‘malt’ or even ‘flour’, be aware that ingredient could be a gluten containing substance. Check with the manufacturer, or find a gluten-free version of the product to be on the safe side. Some foods do not have any gluten in them, but wheat is used in the manufacturing process. For example, chewing gum is often dusted with wheat to keep it from sticking to the wrapper.

The best way to avoid gluten, especially in the early stages of your gluten-free lifestyle is to do your own cooking and research products one by one until you have established a large list of foods that are safe. Some websites contain a great deal of information about what foods are safe and which are not and can be an extremely valuable resource.

Gluten Intolerance FAQ

If you’ve just been diagnosed with gluten intolerance, or think that you may be suffering from a reaction to wheat or gluten containing grains, take a look at our FAQ. We’ll cover the basics of gluten intolerance, the symptoms, diagnosis and recommended diet.

Q: What is gluten intolerance?
A: Gluten intolerance is an adverse reaction to gluten which is a protein found in some grains such as wheat, barley and rye. In severe cases gluten can cause intestinal damage and can disrupt the ability to absorb nutrients.

Q: How is gluten intolerance diagnosed?
A: There are several methods for diagnosis. The best gluten intolerance test is a combination of a series of blood tests along with an easy to perform intestinal biopsy. This type of test will determine the type and severity of your gluten intolerance. Another method of celiac disease diagnosis is to remove all gluten from the diet for approximately 6 months to determine if symptoms disappear. Some doctors then reintroduce gluten to see if symptoms recur. If so, a complete diagnosis can be made.

Q: What are the symptoms of gluten intolerance?
A: Typical gluten intolerance symptoms include diarrhea, stomach pain or cramping, fatigue, weight loss and other symptoms related to nutritional deficiencies. Some patients report issues with mental fogginess, moodiness and inability to concentrate.

Q: What is a gluten intolerance diet?
A: A strict gluten intolerance diet requires that no gluten be consumed. On the surface this is relatively easy to achieve as there are many foods (vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy products) that do not contain gluten. However, there are many hidden sources of gluten found in commercially processed foods and in nearly all restaurant prepared foods.

Q: What is the best method of achieving a gluten free diet?
A: The first step is to not get overwhelmed. Make a diet plan and as you learn more about gluten intolerance you’ll be able to expand your foods list. Remember that the majority of available food does not contain gluten. When in doubt eat fresh fruit, vegetables and meats. Most grocery stores carry gluten-free baked products as well – so don’t feel like you will have to give up breads and pastas.  It’s best to start out by cooking your own foods, avoiding eating at restaurants and also avoiding processed foods. Then slowly introduced processed foods after giving yourself time to learn how gluten can be “hidden” in processed foods.

If you’re concerned that you may have gluten intolerance, in addition to seeing your doctor, why not try avoiding gluten for a period of time? You may find that your symptoms dissipate and you will have an increased sense of health and well-being.

What Is Gluten?

If you are concerned about gluten intolerance or gluten allergies, this is the article for you. We’ll explain gluten intolerance, discuss what gluten free means and what a gluten free diet consists of, explore places to purchase gluten free food and also discuss the other health risks that being gluten intolerant can pose. Read on to learn more about gluten!

What is gluten intolerance?

Gluten intolerance is when an individual cannot consume gluten without an adverse reaction. Symptoms can vary from individual to individual. Common symptoms include diarrhea, bloating and gas, abdominal pain and mental fogginess to name just a few. One way to determine if gluten is causing your symptoms is to eat a gluten free diet for a period of several weeks to see if the symptoms dissipate.

What does gluten free mean?

Gluten free means a food that does not contain gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. While oats do not technically contain gluten, it is generally categorized as a gluten containing food because it is processed with other grains that do contain gluten and becomes contaminated.

What is a gluten free diet?

Eating gluten free consists of avoiding all foods that contain wheat, rye, barley and oats – and any derivative of those grains. At first glance it seems simple enough, until you discover that many ingredients contain a wheat, rye or barley byproduct. Cooking your own food is the best way to begin a gluten free diet, and then slowly add processed foods in while being vigilant about checking labels.

Where can I buy gluten free food?

Fortunately gluten free food is widely available. Most grocery stores carry at least a few gluten free products and health food stores are an even better bet. The best selection of all can be found online. There are hundreds of products and lots of retailers who carry specialty items from gluten free pasta to pizza dough – all just a few clicks away.

Does being gluten intolerant have any other health implications?

It can. Some people who are sensitive to gluten have an allergy or a reaction that causes symptoms that are irritating but not life threatening. Others have a more serious disease called celiac disease. Individuals with this disease cannot eat gluten at all because it actively damages their small intestines which leads to nutrient loss and in extreme cases can be life threatening. If you’re concerned that you may have celiac disease be sure to see a healthcare professional right away. (For more information on this topic, be sure to read our article on celiac disease symptoms.)