What is coeliac disease?
Coeliac Disease (pronounced see-liac) is a lifelong autoimmune condition which is triggered by an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains wheat, rye and barley.
It is estimated that 1 in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease. It is thought only 10-15% of this estimate is diagnosed with coeliac disease.
Coeliac disease was considered a childhood disease but Coeliac UK reported in 2010 that 86% of newly diagnosed coeliacs were adults, many of them pensioners.
What is gluten?
Gluten is the protein that is present in certain cereals, such as wheat, emmer, kamut, spelt, rye, triticale and barley. The main function of gluten is to act as a binding agent, which gives baked goods their characteristic structure and texture.
Some people with coeliac disease may also not be able to tolerate ingredients such as Codex wheat starch or oats, the best thing to do is to ask your gastroenterologist or dietitian if you can include them in your diet.
What's happens if I eat gluten food?
If you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease then when you eat foods that contain gluten you will probably get typical coeliac disease symptoms such as bloating, constipation or diarrhoea. Eating gluten also means it will start to damage the lining of your gut, as gluten damages villi, the finger-like projections in the small intestine, which is responsible for absorbing nutrients from food. When the villi are damaged, the body cannot absorb all the nutrients the body needs to thrive. These increase the surface area of the intestine for the absorption of food.
If left untreated (not continuing with a gluten free diet) then it may result in weight loss and vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as anemia, or even infertility, oesteoporosis and cancer in the digestive system.
Click on the links below for further information about coeliac disease:
What are the symptoms of coeliac disease?
Coeliac disease can affect men and women of all ages, and can sometimes start in infancy, during weaning. However, it is most frequently diagnosed in adults. We also explain some of the most recognised coeliac disease symptoms.
How can I get diagnosed with coeliac disease?
If you think you may have coeliac disease symptoms then this page explains what you should do now.
What care can I expect now I have coeliac disease?
Once you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease it is essential you should stick to a gluten free diet. Once you have been diagnosed by your GP and at the hospital that you have coeliac disease, then there is a typical process you will go through.
Starting a gluten free diet
Sticking to a gluten free diet is essential so we provide some essential facts on starting a gluten free diet.
Do I need to avoid Codex wheat starch in my gluten free diet?
Find out what Codex wheat starch is.
Coeliac Disease and Healthy Eating
When you are diagnosed coeliac there are a number of extra key nutrients you must include in your gluten free diet.
How can I tell if a product is gluten free?
A new legislation has been announced in the UK will help you when shopping for your gluten free diet.
Eating or travelling as a coeliac?
We have some essential tips as a coeliac for when you are out having a meal or travelling gluten free abroad or in the UK. You can also find over 600 restaurants that are suitable for coeliacs on our gluten free restaurant finder.
Coeliac Disease and Osteoporosis
If you are diagnosed with coeliac disease then find out what osteoporosis is too
Coeliac Disease and Diabetes
Coeliac disease and Type 1 diabetes are common auto-immune conditions and share many genetic and environmental risk factors.
Coeliac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis
Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a skin condition associated with coeliac disease that you may like to read more about.
Coeliac Disease and Pregnancy
Pregnancy has no greater risk for women diagnosed with coeliac disease than those without, but it is important to stick to a strict gluten free diet to avoid pregnancy complications.
Find out why Cross Contamination is important to a coeliac when eating in or out.
Gluten free prescription
If you have coeliac disease then find out more about a gluten free prescription.
Find out more about Coeliac Disease in our Frequently Asked Questions
To find out in more detail on how to manage your coeliac condition and to discover whether you need a follow up with your GP or dietician, then you can find this information by joining Glutafin's Love Food club for free today
If you have any further questions about coeliac disease why not ask our gluten free dietitian?