In Ireland we have a high incidence of the gene that increases your risk for coeliac disease, rising to over 50% of the population in the west of Ireland.
When you should get investigated for Coeliac Disease
- chronic diarrhoea (or constipation)
- bloating, wind, distended stomach
- pain, cramping
- unexplained anaemia
- unexplained osteoporosis
- family history of gluten intolerance, thyroid conditions, type I diabetes
In addition, there may be a large number of people who are sensitive to gluten, now termed ‘Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity’ or NCGS. The article cited below discusses how we need more research into this condition and as of yet the mechanism, cause or incidence is largely unknown. Common symptoms can include (and some of these may occur in true Coeliac disease also)
- headache or migraine
- fibromyalgia-like joint or muscle pain
- leg or arm numbness
- ‘brain fog’
- dermatitis or skin rash
Excluding gluten from your diet can be a bit of a challenge. Without proper nutritional direction, it may leave you at risk for deficiencies. Iron and calcium absorption can be reduced or altered in coeliac or gluten sensitivity and therefore you may already be at risk without further restricting your diet. In addition, true Coeliacs are at increased risk for osteoporosis and bowel cancer. Excluding gluten before a true diagnosis of Coeliac disease may lead to reduced monitoring of other conditions that may arise.
If you have are considering excluding gluten talk to us first. You need to be eating a gluten-containing diet for approximately 6 weeks before you can accurately test for Coeliac disease. If you are excluding gluten, we can ensure that your diet is well balanced.
Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity: piecing the puzzle together
Full article available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406911/
United European Gastroenterol J. 2015 Apr; 3(2): 160–165.
Biesiekierski & Iven
The avoidance of wheat- and gluten-containing products is a worldwide phenomenon. While coeliac disease is well-established, much remains unknown about whether gluten can be a trigger of gastrointestinal and/or extra-intestinal symptoms in patients without coeliac disease. In this article, we discuss the latest scientific evidence and our current understanding for the possible mechanisms of this largely ambiguous group, termed ‘non-coeliac gluten sensitive’ (NCGS). We can conclude that NCGS should be regarded as an independent disease outside of coeliac disease and wheat allergy, and that the number of patients affected is likely to be limited. Many questions remain unanswered and it needs to be verified whether the elimination of dietary gluten alone is sufficient for the control of symptoms, and to understand the overlap with other components of wheat.