Coeliac Disease Is Not An Allergy. – It Is An Auto Immune Disease.
Celiac disease can effect every organ in your body. Lifelong adherence to the gluten-free diet is the only treatment for coeliac disease. Approximately 20% of people with coeliac disease do not respond to the gluten free diet. Luckily for me, I am seeing benefits since starting this ‘treatment’/diet. I am also receiving lots of questions relating to it.
‘What is it?’
I was guilty of hearing the word ‘coeliac’ and assuming it’s a person with an allergy or an intolerance to foods. I was wrong. It is an auto-immune disease, triggered by the ingestion of gluten & other similar proteins, all found in wheat, rye, & barley. Coeliac disease is distinct from both allergies and intolerances.
Basically, people with coeliac disease, their body has an immune reaction that gluten prompts. The body attacks itself, damaging the small intestine. It can also create a rapid inflammatory response that attacks other parts of the body, such as joints, skin & nerves to create coeliac symptoms around the body.
So, I have an auto immune disease that can be kept under control once I stay away from triggers. Gluten, is a trigger, not the cause.
Severe intestinal damage due to coeliac disease, can lead to poor absorption of nutrients. You can suffer from nutrient deficiencies which cause a host of other health issues such as, osteoporosis. fertility issues, rashes & anaemia.
‘How did you know something wasn’t quite right?’
Well, I had persistent symptoms which only got worse & worse over time. I was totally washed out & completely floored with constantly being ill.
- Unbearable stomach pain daily.
- I had awful fatigue. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open even after a nights sleep.
- Constant headaches
- A rash that over time became an all over body rash.
- Both vomiting & diarrhoea completely draining me.
- Joint pains, Leg Pains which I still suffer with & can keep me awake.
If you’re suffering with any problems, its best to listen to your body and speak to a doctor.
‘ Are you better now’
I am so much better than I was. My stomach feels somewhat normal again. Going gluten free has made a HUGE improvement. I still suffer with my legs & headaches. The goal is to feel better in any way you can. Ultimately the ‘goal’ is to heal the lining of the small intestine. This can take up to 2 years. I will get routine scopes and work with a dietician. The only ‘treatment’ for the disease is to avoid gluten for life.
But look, there’s always wine! One of the joys in life a coeliac can still have. haha!
Please note: going gluten free when not necessary can have a surprising effect of raising your risk of heart disease. This can possibly be because avoiding gluten means avoiding whole grains, which keep your ticker healthy. I did not know much about this, which is why its important to work with a dietician when altering diets etc..
I have answered a range of questions on my last post ( Click Here ) in regards to how I feel about it. I admittedly have to say, I was unaware as many are, until it was happening to me!
Ex Oh (xo)