Coeliac disease is an immune-mediated disease caused by various gluten found in wheat, rye and barley. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, their body will produce antibodies against the lining of the small intestine. This results in the malabsorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Celiac disease is a chronic illness and life-gluten elimination is the only treatment.
Here a quick-easy video to understand what is coeliac disease and how to diagnose it.
What celiac disease is not?
Celiac disease is not food intolerance and neither a food allergy. Gluten consumption has long-term consequence and does not induce IgE secretion but antibodies.
Celiac disease in New Zealand
Like worldwide, celiac disease in remaining underdiagnosed. One kiwi over 70 may have celiac disease. It is estimated that only 20% are diagnosed. According to Coeliac New Zealand there could be up to 100,000 people in NZ with coeliac disease.
Symptoms are non-specific and similar to other conditions such as IBS. Thus, one people over 4 with celiac disease have been previously treated for IBS. As we’ve seen before, gluten consumption has long-term consequence and gluten elimination is the only treatment.
Self IBS-diagnosis is not recommended. If you suffer from diverse symptoms: gut issues, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, bone and joint pans, skin rashes, nutrient deficiencies talk to your GP about celiac disease.
If you suffer from digestive issues and/other non-specific symptoms and reducing gluten from your diet helped talk to your GP about celiac disease. Keep in mind that IBS should be diagnosed by your doctor who will first rule out for other diseases and check the Rome IV criteria, beforehand.