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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.

What You Don’t Know about Coeliac Disease CAN Hurt You

Coeliac disease, also known as celiac or celiac disease, is much more than just an allergy to gluten – it can be a life threatening condition if not properly treated. In this article we’ll discuss the symptoms of coeliac disease, the recommended diet and a few helpful tools to make transitioning to a gluten-free diet easier. By the end of this article you’ll have a better idea of what coeliac disease is and how it can be treated.

Coeliac Disease Symptoms
While there is no definitive list of symptoms, most patients complain of one or more of the following in varying degrees of severity:

  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps or pain
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate or foggy headedness
  • Bloating
  • Gas

Other symptoms that point to an inability to properly absorb nutrients, like anemia for example, can also point to coeliac disease. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, or notice something that occurs every time you consume gluten, you should check with your doctor for celiac disease diagnosis.

Coeliac Disease Diet
The first step in treatment is usually to start a strict gluten free diet. Gluten is found in several grains including wheat, barley and rye. Many patients notice that by eliminating gluten from their diet they see a substantial decrease in symptoms – though it can take weeks or months.

Helpful Tools
To get started on your path to a gluten free diet, it’s a good idea to get off to the right start. First, make yourself a plan so you don’t get overwhelmed. Make a list of 2-3 breakfasts, 3-4 lunches and 5-10 dinners that you enjoy that do not include any kind of bread, pasta or other gluten containing substance. Then, list 5 meals that you love that do include gluten. Make a point of finding a recipe for each of those 5 sometime this week and then cooking at least 2 of them. Slowly expand your repertoire of gluten free recipes rather than trying to do too much all at once.

A good binder or recipe box is a must and it’s also a good idea to invest in at least a couple of gluten free cookbooks. Start with a gluten free cookbook that has basic recipes and then expand into specialty cookbooks depending on your food preferences.

Also check into local coeliac disease groups or investigate the Coeliac Society, an organization with great resources.

If you’re concerned that you may have coeliac disease, see your doctor promptly. If you do start a gluten free diet, remember to make a plan and take it one step at a time. There are lots of online resources available to help you, including lots of great recipes. With a few modifications to your diet you’ll be feeling better in no time.