Coeliac Disease- what it is (and isn't)

Did you know, according to Coeliac UK, that 1 in 100 people suffer from coeliac disease, but only 24% of people who have the condition have actually been diagnosed? This means there are nearly 500,000 people who have the disease but don’t yet know, right here in the UK.

 

What coeliac disease is (and isn’t!):
Coeliac disease is a digestive condition, which is caused by an adverse reaction of the immune system to gluten. It isn’t a gluten intolerance or a food allergy, but an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks itself and damages the lining of the small intestine when gluten is eaten.

 

Signs and symptoms:
The signs and symptoms of coeliac disease vary from person to person and can last anywhere from a couple of hours, to one or two days. Symptoms may include bloating, stomach pain, ulcers and feeling sick and tired. Failure to thrive, muscle wasting and loss of appetite are also all common symptoms of coeliac disease in children and babies. For a full list of symptoms click here.

 

Diagnoses Process:
If you think you are showing some of the symptoms of coeliac disease always visit your GP and discuss your concerns. They may take a blood test to check for antibodies which are common in people with coeliac disease and if they are found, you may be referred for a biopsy to double check and confirm the diagnosis.

 

Alleviating Symptoms:
At the moment, there is no cure for coeliac disease but Coeliac UK are researching ways to develop a vaccine. Currently, people treat the condition and ease their symptoms by simply following a gluten-free diet to prevent damage to their gut.
So, what is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, so foods containing these should be avoided. It’s not as bad as it sounds though, you can still have rice, potatoes, meat, fish and loads of other tasty things.

 

And for the times when you don’t have time to cook for yourself, why not pick up a quick and convenient Kirsty’s ready meal? Our meals are all naturally healthy as well as being free-from and fabulous! Find your nearest stockist here.