When those with celiac disease (sometimes known as coeliac) consume gluten, their immune systems mistake a protein in gluten, called gliadin, as a threat. This triggers antibodies to attack gluten molecules in the small intestine.
Around 1% of the population has celiac disease. It’s caused by a genetic predisposition, so if someone in your family has celiac, you’re more likely to develop the condition.
Celiac disease causes uncomfortable digestive symptoms and inflammation, and if unmanaged can go on to cause more serious long-term issues. If you think you have celiac, our naturopaths can help diagnose this disease and support you in managing your condition moving forward.
Digestive discomfort when you eat gluten products like wheat, flour-based pasta, rye, barely and products made from these ingredients.
Digestive discomfort may include pain, bloating, diarrhoea, vomiting, wind and constipation.
Celiac disease affects the brain when gluten is consumed, causing fatigue, cognitive impairment, depression or anxiety.
The condition may also cause headaches and migraines, skin rashes, joint pains, missed periods, weight loss, mouth ulcers, and cold sores.
In childhood, celiac disease can also cause ADHD, damage to tooth enamel, developmental delays including poor growth and late onset puberty.
If you’re consuming gluten and have celiac, this can damage the lining of your small intestine, preventing it from absorbing nutrients and causing deficiencies.
Due to its genetic factor, celiac disease often runs in families. If you have a close relative (sibling, parent) with celiac, you’re more likely to develop the condition.
It’s believed that celiac is triggered by an environmental factors.
Infections like rotavirus and enteroviruses are associated with the development of celiac.
Introducing gluten into your baby’s diet before they’re 3 months old may also increase their risk.
Certain conditions, like type 1 diabetes, thyroid conditions, ulcerative colitis, epilepsy, Down’s syndrome and Turner syndrome are linked to an increased occurrence of celiac disease.
Gluten intolerance is a sensitivity to gluten, rather than an autoimmune reaction to the substance.
It's much more common that celiac, and can cause similar symptoms, like digestive discomfort, brain fog, fatigue and headaches.
Though different, gluten intolerance also requires management in order to reduce its effects.
Our naturopaths can help you diagnose celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity. These two conditions are very different but both require careful management in order to reduce the inflammation they can cause.
The first step in treating celiac is diagnosing the condition. We offer several tests which can identify whether you have either celiac or a gluten intolerance.
The second step in treating celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is cutting gluten and any related products from your diet.
Our naturopaths and nutritional therapists can recommend alternatives for gluten and any supplements which may be required to heal your gut, or fill any nutritional gaps which may be caused by malabsorption of nutrients.