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Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease is a condition that affects some people whereby they cannot digest gluten (or its by-product alpha-gliadin). Gluten is the protein component in certain grains that baker’s love as it enables the dough to rise. When someone who is coeliac consumes gluten, it damages the intestine wall causing reduced absorption of nutrients. Commonly, people present with fatigue, digestive disturbances and anaemia, and through thorough investigation, are able to be diagnosed appropriately. Interestingly, it is commonly diagnosed in women during their 30’s as is believed that stress during this decade can tip them over. Whilst 1 in 15000 Australians are believed to be suffering from coeliac disease, thousands more are believed to be subclinical.

If you are coeliac, you will need to avoid the following grains as they contain gluten – wheat (including pasta, bread, crackers, pastries, semolina, couscous), spelt, rye, barley, triticale (a hybrid of rye and wheat) and oats. Gluten-free grains include rice (and rice based products), corn (and corn based products including polenta), potato, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, millet and legume based flours such as chickpea (besam flour). All fruits, vegetables and legumes are all gluten free.

To repair the damaged digestive system important treatments include the amino acid glutamine, vitamins A, E, D, K, C; minerals Zinc and Iron especially; probiotics (acidophilus and bifidus species); slippery elm and aloe vera and herbal bitters to increase digestive enzymes. Obviously stress management is also key.