Treating Coeliac Disease by Going Gluten-Free

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Although passing gas, and having issues defecating, may not be something you wish to discuss, if you have frequent diarrhoea, always feel fatigued, and have unexplained weight loss, you should talk to your doctor. While there are many medical conditions with these symptoms, you may have coeliac disease, which requires a change in diet.

How Coeliac Disease is Diagnosed?

Coeliac disease is sometimes misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome and not treated correctly. As a result, the bowel can become severely damaged because coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease, so the body attacks itself. To diagnose the disease, doctors will do a blood test and they may recommend you see a gastroenterologist. If necessary, a biopsy of the bowel will be conducted to correctly diagnose the illness.

How Coeliac Disease is Treated

After coeliac disease has been confirmed, you will be told to remove gluten from your diet, as it triggers the symptoms of the disease. People just diagnosed with coeliac disease may be recommended to a dietician to learn how to substitute foods containing gluten with gluten-free varieties. Gluten is a protein contained in grains like wheat, barley, rye, couscous, spelt, and many others.

It is important to have medical supervision when on a gluten-free diet and, unless you’ve been diagnosed with coeliac disease, you shouldn’t go completely gluten-free. Those who have been diagnosed with the disease need to refrain from foods containing gluten for the rest of their lives and, if they follow a strict diet, the damage to their body can be repaired and the symptoms will clear up. Since these grains are used in a variety of processed foods, it is important to read labels when you are grocery shopping.

Foods without Gluten

Fresh vegetables and fruits, meat, fish, beans, nuts, and dairy foods are usually gluten-free, so diets used to treat coeliac disease are rich with these options. However, there are grains which are also gluten-free and used to make breads, pastas, soups, and baked goods which usually contain gluten. These grains include:

  • Rice
  • Almond and other nut flours
  • Coconut flour
  • Millet
  • Arrowroot
  • Kasha, or buckwheat groats
  • Quinoa
  • Oats

With oats, it is very important to read labels when you buy it. Oats are often processed in the same factories as wheat, so even though it is naturally gluten-free, processed oats can contain gluten. When buying oats, look for labels specifically indicating the oats are gluten-free or pure.

While most beverages are gluten-free, if you like ale, you should give it up unless it is gluten-free. Ales, lagers, malt beverages, and even malt vinegars, are made with grains which have gluten in them, so they shouldn’t be consumed. Wine, juices, tea, coffee, spirits, ciders, sodas, and sports drinks are all gluten-free.

As soon as you’re diagnosed, it is important to learn about foods containing gluten, especially processed foods, and eliminate them from your diet. Many companies are not making gluten-free options, so read all labels carefully, and look online for companies offering gluten-free foods for those with coeliac disease.