Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease is a condition where your immune system attacks your own tissues when you eat gluten. This damages your gut (small intestine) so you are unable to take in nutrients. coeliac disease can cause a compass of symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal annoyance and bloat. Coeliac disease is caused by an adverse reaction to gluten, which is a dietary protein found in 3 types of cereal :

  • wheat
  • barley
  • rye

Gluten is found in any food that contains those cereals, including :

Reading: Coeliac disease

  • pasta
  • cakes
  • breakfast cereals
  • most types of bread
  • certain types of sauces
  • some ready meals

In addition, most beers are made from barley .

What causes coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition. This is where the immune system ( the body ‘s defense against infection ) mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In coeliac disease, the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them. This damages the come on of the humble intestine ( intestines ), disrupting the body ‘s ability to take in nutrients from food. It ‘s not entirely clear what causes the immune system to act this means, but a combination of genetics and the environment appear to play a contribution .

Treating coeliac disease

There ‘s no cure for coeliac disease, but following a gluten-free diet should help control symptoms and prevent the long-run complications of the condition. even if you have mild symptoms, changing your diet is still recommended because continuing to eat gluten can lead to serious complications. This may besides be the case if tests show that you have some degree of coeliac disease evening if you do not have detectable symptoms. It ‘s authoritative to ensure that your gluten-free diet is healthy and balanced. An increase in the range of available gluten-free foods in holocene years has made it possible to eat both a goodly and vary gluten-free diet .

Complications of coeliac disease

Complications of coeliac disease merely tend to affect people who continue to eat gluten, or those who have not so far been diagnosed with the condition, which can be a common problem in balmy cases. potential long-run complications include :

  • weakening of the bones (osteoporosis)
  • iron deficiency anaemia
  • vitamin B12 and folate deficiency anaemia

Less common and more unplayful complications include some types of cancers, such as intestine cancer, and problems affecting pregnancy, such as your pamper having a low birth weight unit. Find out more about the complications of coeliac disease

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Who’s affected

Coeliac disease is a condition that affects at least 1 in every 100 people in the UK. But some experts think this may be underestimated because mild cases may go undiagnosed or be misdiagnosed as early digestive conditions, such as excitable intestine syndrome ( IBS ). Reported cases of coeliac disease are about 3 times higher in women than men. It can develop at any age, although symptoms are most likely to develop :

  • during early childhood – between 8 and 12 months old, although it may take several years before a correct diagnosis is made
  • in later adulthood – between 40 and 60 years of age

People with certain conditions, including type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, Down ‘s syndrome and Turner syndrome, have an increased risk of getting coeliac disease. First-degree relatives ( parents, brothers, sisters and children ) of people with coeliac disease are besides at increased risk of developing the condition .

Diagnosing coeliac disease

everyday testing for coeliac disease is not done in England. Testing is normally merely recommended for people who have an increased risk of developing coeliac disease, such as those with a family history of the condition. First-degree relatives of people with coeliac disease should be tested. See diagnosing coeliac disease for more information about when testing for coeliac disease should be done .

Help and support

Coeliac UK is a UK jacob’s ladder for people with coeliac disease. Its web site has utilitarian resources, including information about a gluten-free diet, local anesthetic groups, volunteering and ongoing campaigns.

You can besides call the Coeliac UK helpline 0333 332 2033, open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm .
Community content from HealthUnlocked

page final reviewed : 03 December 2019
Next review due : 03 December 2022

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category : Health

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