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Myths about Coeliac Disease

Research into Coeliac disease is being carried out all the time. Recent years have clarified and defined what Coeliac disease is,how it affect us and blown nonsesne myths out of the water - here we clarify a few things!

'Coeliac disease is rare' ~ MYTH
It is thought that Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK and many people do not know they have the disease. Some of these people may have no symptoms and ome may have a few symptoms.

'Coeliac disease is a food intolerance' ~ MYTH
Coeliac disease is not a food intolerance or a food allergy. Coeliac is an autoimmune disease, the body's immune system reacts to gluten by attacking its own tissues. In coeliac disease, eating gluten causes the lining of the gut (small bowel) to become damaged and may affect other parts of the body.

'Children cant get coeliac disease' ~ MYTH

Coeliac affects anyone at any age. It can present symptoms at any time. Coeliac disease may first appear for babies when they are weaned onto cereals that contains gluten. Often coeliac disease is not easy to diagnose and may take several years. The recent blood test to screen for antibodies makes diagnosis much more effective and a biopsy can be carried out to confirm diagnisis.

'Children and people with Coeliac disease are underweight' ~ MYTH
Some children and adults are underweight but many are of normal weight at diagnosis.

'People who are overweight cannot have Coeliac disease' ~ MYTH

Some people are actually overweight at the time of diagnosis [Thanks to Alex Gazzola @HealthJourno)

RESEARCH: The Celiac Disease Centre of Columbia University in New York (from 1981 to 2007) found in their research of 369 people with Coeliac disease, 60.7% were normal weight, 17.3% were underweight, 15.2% were overweight and 6.8% were obese.

'A negative biopsy means i havent got Coeliac diease' ~ MYTH

This is hopefully the case, but if the child or adult being tested for Coeliac has not consumed gluten containing foods, then their body will not have been producing the antibodies. It is essential before any blood test that gluten is in the diet in some form to ensure a false negative test result doent occur.

'Coeliac disease affects the gut' ~ Myth
Coeliac disease can affect many parts of the body. Symptoms can be mild, affect the bowels, stomach and skin etc.

'Children 'grow out' of having Coeliac disease' ~ MYTH
Coeliac disease is a life-long condition which can only be controlled effectively by comsuming a gluten free diet. It is tempting for children and teenagers to think they have'grown out' of the disease because they have no symptoms. If gluten is reintroduced to the diet, the body will react again and the intestines become damaged.

'Villi in the intestines are permanently damaged for people with coeliac diseae' ~ MYTH

Fortunately, this is not the case and the villi will regrow and be able to take on nutrients again. A gluten free diet will help remove the unpleasant symptoms of coeliac disease and allow the gut to repair.

'The odd normal sandwhich wont hurt' ~ Myth

Coeliacs should avoid gluten at all times and even a crumbs will cause an immune reaction. being 'glutened' or accidently exposed to gluten is going to happen from time to time. Inevitably, the symptoms are going to occur but continueon the gluten free diet asap! Try to avoid cross contamination wherever possible - take a look at our page about avoiding cross contamination.

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