Coeliac disease: What's the big deal?

11.05.2016 Category: Dietitian Author: Ruth Kander

What is Coeliac disease anyway?

Coeliac disease is an auto-immune condition, defined as

a disease in which the small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten, leading to difficulty in digesting food.

We’ve all heard the term “gluten free” of late, something that has become synonymous with the fad diet of the moment, but for suffers of this fairly common disease, what does being a coeliac actually mean?

Gluten is a type of protein found in many types of food. Let’s be clear, being a coeliac does not mean that you have a gluten intolerance. When you are a coeliac, your immune system responds to the gluten in your food like it is a threat and attacks it. This in-turn damages the lining of the small intestine and hinders your body’s ability to digest nutrients from food properly.

What food can gluten be found in?

Any food containing:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye

The most common food with gluten in:

  • Pasta
  • Cake
  • Breakfast cereal/bars
  • Bread
  • Bottled sauces
  • Beer

What are the symptoms of coeliac disease?

There are many varied symptoms of being a coeliac but some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating and passing wind more regularly
  • Pains in your abdomen
  • Feeling tired all the time

How do you treat coeliac disease?

Although there is no cure for being a coeliac, you will need to follow a gluten free diet to appease the symptoms. With a little time and effort, most sufferers can follow the diet and carry on about their regular life with no further complications from the illness.

This can be tricky at first as there are so many products you would pick up from your local supermarket that contain gluten. It’s best to speak with an expert for advice on how to manage your diet. At Fleet Street Clinic we can screen for many food intolerances as well as assisting you in every step of the way should your tests coming back positive for an allergy.

If you have any concerns regarding coeliac disease or any other type of food intolerance, please book an appointment online. Or you can contact on 020 7353 5678 for more information.