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.
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Nutrient deficiencies and related disorders such as anemia
- 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.