Archive for the 'Coeliac (Celiac) Disease' category

Explainer: What is Gluten Intolerance?

By Gary Adams, University of Nottingham and Stephen Harding, University of Nottingham

Gluten intolerance covers a range of gut problems caused by ingesting proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and in some cases, oats. The three main groups affected are those with a direct sensitivity to gluten, coeliac disease and people who are allergic to wheat. Although symptoms can appear similar and the terms are often used interchangeably, gluten intolerance isn’t the same as coeliac disease.

Coeliac disease is a serious life-long autoimmune condition of the small intestine, in which the body’s immune system attacks itself when someone with the condition eats gluten. This damages the healthy lining of the small intestine and stops nutrients being absorbed from food.

Gluten intolerance is also a permanent condition that damages the small intestine every time gluten is consumed, regardless of whether symptoms are present or not, but it is unclear whether the immune system is involved. Read the rest of this entry »

Coeliac Awareness Week 2013 – Gut Feeling Week

Gut Feeling Week logo

Gut Feeling Week

As I’m sure you know, this week is Coeliac Awareness Week 2013 and runs until this Sunday, May 19th. Coeliac UK have named it Gut Feeling Week and are focusing on the proper diagnosis of coeliac disease by encouraging more people to check their symptoms.

Their website has lots of useful information about the work they will be doing this week.

Check out some of the links below.

Leave It Out! Gluten free dining just got easier

Not sure which restaurants in your area serve gluten free foods? Or which ones have a good choice of vegan dishes? Or are nut-free? Wonder no more. Because we’ve recently come across, an all new specialist eating out online guide.

Whether you have a food allergy or intolerance, are vegetarian or vegan or even need to find a child-friendly venue or a place with disabled access, Leave It Out can help.

Simply enter your post code, click which intolerance you have and Leave It Out will show you your nearest restaurants.

You can even win dinner for two at a restaurant of your choice by writing a review or sending the site a new listing. Got a fantastic local restaurant you want to talk about? Just register here (it takes about 30 seconds) and write a review. Or if you want to see your favourite local restaurant listed just contact the Leave It Out team.

You’ll also find lots of informative articles on the site written by Medical Consultant Dr Adam Fox and Dietician Tanya Wright, such as Coeliac Disease And Malt Extract and When And How Can Wheat Allergy Occur?

We think this site is going to be a great resource. Remember to get your reviews and recommendations in. And you might be enjoying a gluten free pizza free of charge at the end of the month!

‘Cure’ for coeliac sufferers?

An interesting article appeared in the Los Angeles Times this week.

Dr Robert Anderson, a gastroenterologist based in Melbourne, Australia, is working on a vaccine or pill to prevent or switch off a person’s reaction to gluten.

Currently there are two types of treatment being developed. One would work alongside a gluten free diet and protect sufferers from the occasional ingestion of gluten. The other would train the immune system to accept gluten and would enable a sufferer to follow a regular diet.

The first system uses enzyme therapy which breaks gluten down into tiny particles and therefore doesn’t cause inflammation of the intestine.

The second system uses immunotherapy and allows patients to eat a regular diet by stopping the immune response in the gut.

Phase 1 of the trials are due to be completed in 2010 and Anderson says that patients would receive a series of injections of the vaccine, followed by occasional maintenance doses.

Are you coeliac sufferer? How would your life be different if you could take a pill before a meal or receive regular shots to stop your reaction to gluten? Is it something you’d do?

Read the full article in the Los Angeles Times.

Coeliac disease: signs and symptoms

People often think that a having a wheat intolerance is the same as having coeliac (or celiac) disease. Not so.

In fact, coeliac disease is actually an autoimmune disease where your body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Not nice. And if you’re someone who’s suffering from coeliac disease this reaction is triggered by gluten – the wheat protein found in wheat, barley and rye. (Sufferers may also be sensitive to oats.)

So how do you know if you have coeliac disease? Signs and symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mildly irritating and uncomfortable to downright debilitating. And of course, some of the signs and symptoms of coeliac disease are also really similar to irritable bowel syndrome; wheat intolerance; stress; anaemia; chronic fatigue syndrome; and too many nights on the town!

One coeliac disease sufferer may have bloating and diarrhoea. Whilst another may have irritability and nausea. And of course it’s entirely possible to have no signs or symptoms of coeliac disease at all. But if not treated a sufferer will ultimately suffer malnutrition as the disease stops nutrients being absorbed.

So what are the some of the signs and symptoms of coeliac disease?

  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Wind
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Tiredness
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Joint ache and bone pain
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Itchy skin

If you think you have coeliac disease or have any of the signs or symptoms above we recommend you seek medical advice from your doctor as soon as possible.