Having attended my G.P. with stomach pain and diahorea, persisting over a period of three years, he referred me to a consultant who ordered a number of tests including a scope. The result of this was a diagnosis of celiac. I was referred to a dietician and a gluten free diet was organised.
I was on a gluten free diet for about 2 years. The symptoms still continued. I lost weight and felt awful (with stomach cramps and diahorea).
Having heard about The Amber Centre as my wife Mary attended I had made an appointment. After about 3 visits I can eat everything. I am not a celiac. My stomach cramp has gone. I have put on weight. My quality of life has improved totally. I thank The Amber Centre for this.
What is Coeliac Disease?
Coeliac Disease is a condition in which there is a persistently abnormal immunological reaction to dietary gluten, giving rise to tissue damage in the presence of gluten In order to follow a strict gluten free diet, a Coeliac must not eat foods that contain any form of gluten, which is found in WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE and OATS. Eating gluten causes the lining of the small intestine to become damaged thus reducing the coeliacs ability to absorb certain foods. The only treatment generally required is adhering to a strict gluten-free diet for life after a positive diagnosis has been made. Medicine or drugs are not required. The extent of the reaction to gluten and the degree of resultant damage is variable between and within individuals.
The exact cause of coeliac disease is unknown, but there is clear evidence of a genetic factor. It would seem that the abnormal reaction to gluten is triggered in susceptible people by some event – such as a virus.
In Northern Europe, between 1 in 200 and 1 in 300 people have coeliac disease, and the condition is thought to be especially common among the Irish population.
Symptoms can include:
• Chronic fatigue
• Weight loss
• Mouth ulcers
• Anaemia, due to poor absorption of iron
• Stunted growth in children.
When the intestine is damaged, the body cannot absorb all the necessary nutrients from food, so people with celiac disease may also suffer from various nutritional deficiencies, such as:
• Poor absorption of vitamin K, responsible for blood clotting, means that people with coeliac disease bruise easily
• Scaling skin, due to poor absorption of vitamin A
• Muscle spasms, due to poor absorption of vitamin D and calcium
• Osteoporosis, due to poor absorption of calcium and vitamin D.
If left untreated, other complications may arise. For instance, there is an increased risk of cancers of the intestine in unmanaged coeliac disease.