Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition which causes the immune system to adversely react to the ingestion of gluten. If gluten is consumed by those living with coeliac disease, the lining of their small intestine will become damaged, which can result in bloating, nausea, tiredness, painful abdominal cramps and irregularity of bowel motions. If coeliac disease is left undiagnosed, it will cause significant health problems. As it becomes a challenge for the body to absorb sufficient nutrients from foods, vitamin and mineral deficiencies will develop and one’s overall health will be greatly affected.
Once a doctor has confirmed the diagnosis of coeliac disease, gluten-containing foods must be avoided for life. Therefore, eradicating all gluten-containing ingredients in the diet becomes paramount. A new diagnosis of coeliac disease, and the prospect of sticking to a strict gluten-free diet, must be very daunting. Gluten can be present in more foods than just bread and cakes, so reading food labels is a must. Gluten can also be found in pasta, biscuits, crisps, beer and many processed foods, gravies and ready-meals.