What is Celiac Disease?
A person with Celiac Disease (also spelt Coeliac Disease), has damaged intestines from eating gluten that has unknowingly destroyed their gut. Celiac is an auto immune disease, in which ones body reacts to gluten and cannot absorb it. This leads to atrophy of the small intestines where absorption takes place. Most people before diagnosed with Celiac Disease, don’t know what is wrong with them, or what foods are causing the problems, because the gut is so badly damaged, that whatever foods they eat it causes an irritations.
They then think that they might be allergic to everything, or intolerant to a whole lot of other things, when in fact, the main culprit is the Gluten. It can seem overwhelming when you are not well and everything you seem to eat, makes you sick.
What happens when you are not absorbing nutrients well in your body, there is a disruption in your bowel flora, which can lead to Candida. Candida also causes fatigue, headaches and sugar imbalances. You may have even been told you have a “leaky gut”, which means you do not absorb nutrients into your system; they pass through the walls of your intestines and receive none of the nutrients.
No matter how well you eat or how many supplements you take, if you are not absorbing properly than you will not get well. I find the term “leaky gut”, very misleading, because, my question is what is the cause of your leaky gut? Surely you cannot just have a leaky gut? I was told as a child I had a leaky gut, but nobody tested me for Celiac Disease (Did you know Celiac Disease is one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses?)
A Celiac Diagnosis is made, by having a blood test for blood tests for anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTGA) and anti-endomysium antibodies (EMA). These are the markers for the antibodies that are produced in response to gluten in a body with celiac. If these tests are positive, then one will have to undergo a gastroscopy and a small biopsy is taken of the lining of the small intestine to see whether there is damage to the villi. Even if blood tests are negative, a biopsy may still come back positive.
So here are some of the Symptoms of Celiac Disease:
-Alternating Constipation and Diarrhoea
-Anemia, of unknown cause
-Foul smelling stools
-Vomiting and Nausea
-Acid Reflux or Indigestion
-Blood Sugar Imbalances
If you have had enough with not feeling well and not knowing why, get your doctor to test you for Celiac Disease. For more information on the Disease and following a Celiac Diet, see my blog. I too have undergone these same problems and now am healthy and well.