Know the Facts about Coeliac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity
With as many as 1 in 71 Australians suffering from coeliac disease, it is important to know a little more about this lifelong condition. To say that it is merely a sensitivity to gluten is not giving enough credence to the severity of the disease and just what it can do to your general overall health. Coeliac disease is a very real and potentially life-threatening illness.
What Exactly Is Coeliac Disease?
Coeliac disease is categorised as an immune disease which is specifically caused by a sensitivity to a protein, gluten, found in certain grains including:
- Triticale – hybrid of rye and wheat
When someone has a sensitivity to gluten, an immune response is triggered in the small intestine. The intestinal lining is damaged which, in turn, prevents the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Symptoms to Be Aware of:
Most of the symptoms of coeliac disease are common to adults and children, but there is some amount of variation. Following are symptoms noted by age: Common symptoms in children include, but are not limited to:
- Chronic anaemia
- Bowel movements that are foul smelling
- Abdominal bloating often accompanied by pain
- Delay in growth and/or puberty
Common symptoms to be aware of in adults (but again not limited to) are:
- Weakness, fatigue, lethargy
- Weight loss and sometimes even weight gain
- Bloating, sometimes resulting in flatulence
- Nausea, vomiting, pain and cramps in abdomen
Note that the above mentioned symptoms may be indicative of some other ailment so you can’t always assume that you suffer from coeliac disease if one or more of these symptoms are present.
How Do I Know If I Am Suffering from Coeliac Disease?
The above mentioned signs and symptoms aren’t always indicative of coeliac disease so the best course of action is to consult with your doctor or gastroenterologist. The only way you can be 100% sure that you are suffering from this disease is through an endoscopic procedure wherein a small instrument (endoscope) is passed through to the intestines so that a biopsy of intestinal tissue may be obtained.
A Positive Diagnosis Has Been Made – How to Treat Coeliac Disease
There is no cure for coeliac disease and it is a lifelong condition. Because of this, you must alter your eating habits to avoid the above-mentioned grains that contain gluten. Even the tiniest of amounts can cause an immune reaction that results in further damage to the small intestine and digestive process.
Here are some steps to take in order to ensure that you are following a gluten-free diet:
- Totally abstain from any product that contains rye, wheat, oats, barley or triticale.
- Learn to read labels to ascertain that none of the above grains are used in the pre-packed product. (Government regulations are quite strict in regards to labelling but gluten may not be listed as an ingredient. Keep those 5 grains in mind when learning to read labels.)
- Learn acceptable substitutions, such as rice or millet flour in baking.
- Locate and study literature from Coeliac Australia and/or the Dieticians Association of Australia.
Above all else, memorise this checklist of important facts:
- Gluten is the underlying cause of coeliac disease.
- Symptoms are inconclusive – a proper diagnosis must be made through an endoscopic biopsy.
- Even a few molecules of gluten can cause major damage to the small intestine’s lining, thereby disrupting the proper absorption of vital nutrients.
- The absence of symptoms does not mean that damage isn’t occurring. If you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease, you must avoid the intake of foods containing gluten for the rest of your life.
- Although there is no cure, coeliac disease can be managed with a proper gluten-free diet.
- A well balanced and gluten-free diet is possible so learn all you can about acceptable substitutions for ingredients and foods containing gluten.
Although there is no cure for celiac disease, a proper gluten-free diet can alleviate the symptoms and go a long way towards healing damaged tissue on the lining of the small intestine.
How does Alive Radiant Therapies assist a Coeliac Sufferers.
Reflexology on the feet and hands can assist with the proper functioning of the Digestive system from assimilation to elimination. The Endocrine System can be boosted in the Adrenals for exhaustion, Pineal Gland to assist sleep patterns, Solar Plexus to recharge your battery and the Pituitary gland to calm the mind and clarify your intent and vision.
Remedial Massage is used to release any anxiety, depression and trauma built into tight muscles and relax the overall systems of the body.