Gluten is a group of proteins
These proteins are commonly found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley, and it is also often a hidden ingredient in many other foods and even some supplements. These gluten proteins have toxic effects on people who have celiac disease.
What foods are gluten free?
There are a large number of naturally gluten free foods available. Some of these include rice, potatoes, corn, nuts, seeds, lentils, dried beans, quinoa, tapioca, soy.
Why can’t some people eat gluten?
People who are affected by celiac disease, which can also be referred to as gluten-sensitive enteropathy or celiac sprue. What happens in celiac disease is that the immune system has an abnormal reaction to gluten, and then this causes damage to the inside walls of the small intestine. Usually the small intestine absorbs food and takes in lots of nutrients, and if the lining of the small intestine is damaged, this can mean that some important nutrients are not absorbed. There is no cure for celiac disease, but by having a gluten free diet, people who have celiac disease can prevent further damage to the lining of their intestine and the problems with absorption that can happen as a result. These problems include osteoporosis (weak bones), iron deficiency anaemia, diabetes mellitus, thyroid problems, skin disease, nervous system problems and liver disease.
Why do people avoid gluten if they don’t have celiac disease?
Some people choose to eat gluten free even though they do not have celiac disease. Often the reason for this is that they feel more energetic on a gluten free diet and have a general sense of improved health and wellbeing. However, for people who are not affected by celiac disease, in general, most people can safely eat gluten without feeling sick or having it effect their health.
How do I know if I have celiac disease?
If you are concerned that you have celiac disease, feel free to come in to see one of our friendly doctors and discuss your concerns. You can book an appointment by calling 8269 6000. The doctor may ask you questions such as whether you have been having any diarrhoea, weight loss, discomfort in your abdomen and excessive gas. They may also ask you more specific questions about the symptoms of nutritional deficiencies. The symptoms of celiac disease can range fromvery mild to more severe, and are also similar to a lot of other conditions. Luckily, there are tests available to check if you have celiac disease, such as a blood test. This blood test only works properly if you are still eating gluten, it won’t show accurate results if you have cut gluten out of your diet. So your own diet changes could impact the test result.
So if you are worried that you may have celiac disease, contact our clinic on 8269 6000 to book an appointment with one of our friendly doctors and discuss your concerns.
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Meyer D, Stavropolous S, Diamond B, et al. Osteoporosis in a north american adult population with celiac disease. Am J Gastroenterol 2001; 96:112.
Fasano A, Berti I, Gerarduzzi T, et al. Prevalence of celiac disease in at-risk and not-at-risk groups in the United States: a large multicenter study. Arch Intern Med 2003; 163:286.
Rubio-Tapia A, Hill ID, Kelly CP, et al. ACG clinical guidelines: diagnosis and management of celiac disease. Am J Gastroenterol 2013; 108:656.
Thompson T, Lee AR, Grace T. Gluten contamination of grains, seeds, and flours in the United States: a pilot study. J Am Diet Assoc 2010; 110:937.
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