Coeliac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity
Coeliac Disease (celiac disease), is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by eating a family of proteins known as Gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye.
We see two major issues surrounding coeliac disease currently. It is woefully under diagnosed. Once it has been diagnosed, many people’s health does not improve with a gluten-free diet alone.
Coeliac disease is actually the most common chronic disease, in Europe and the USA, but it is estimated in the UK, that for every person with a positive diagnosis, there are 7 that have the disease, that have not been diagnosed.
CD is characterised by specific damage to the small intestine, and traditionally, gastrointestinal symptoms were associated with CD. Now we know, that only approximately 1 in 8 of those with coeliac disease have predominantly GI symptoms, and we need to consider coeliac disease in association with symptoms occurring anywhere in the body or the brain. Some common symptoms include, but are certainly not limited to: Fatigue, anaemia, frequent colds or infections, headaches and migraines, ADD and learning issues (in adults or children), depression, schitzophrenia, skin rashes, hair loss, IBS symptoms, ataxias, hormonal imbalances and related issues, infertility or recurrent miscarriages.
The medical treatment of coeliac disease, begins with the complete elimination of gluten from the diet and from household products such as make-up, skincare and cleaning products. This avoidance of gluten is necessarily lifelong, and requires absolute compliance and meticulous attention.
Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity has been more recently recognised, and it is understood not to cause the same damage to the gut that characterises Coeliac disease.
NCGS however, may elicit the same immune reaction to gluten, that affects other tissues in the body and the brain.
Gluten Reactive Disorders is the blanket name given to any issue where removal of gluten from the diet and environment creates an improvement in symptoms or quality of life. Dermatitis Herpetiformis is the best known of these disorders.
On removing gluten, many people with CD, GS, or GRDs experience a remarkable improvement in their health. However, there are also many people who are very compliant with the gluten free diet, who still suffer from ill health, or in some cases, notice new symptoms arise after beginning the gluten free diet.
At Functional Health, we look comprehensively at the gut environment, to restore healthy function. We also look beyond the gut, to address any tissue, organ or system that has been affected by the inflammation and immune response to gluten, and to correct dietary deficiencies or insufficiencies that result from having inflammation in the gut.
We look at the whole body, to understand how coeliac disease fits into the picture of your health, so that you can move away from the symptoms that may have plagued you for years, towards the most vibrant health you’ve ever had.