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Coeliac disease or gluten intolerance?

By July 18, 2017 Blog

These days avoiding gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats) has become very trendy (and often comes with a big price tag). Although some people report feeling less bloated and generally better when they avoid gluten containing foods like bread and pasta, there is a very big difference between someone with Coeliac Disease and someone with Gluten Intolerance.

Gluten Intolerance is often used to describe a person who suffers Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). People with IBS have no medical reason for their gut issues (like pain, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation), but it is something they may suffer on a regular basis when eating certain foods. If you are simply diagnosed with IBS, consider seeing an Accredited Practicing Dietitian to do a low FODMAP diet for a few weeks to work out which exact foods are the one likely to be causing you gut symptoms!

The reason people with IBS suffer gut symptoms is due to having an extra sensitive gut. Luckily for those with IBS, eating foods that cause gut symptom doesn’t actually damage the body, it just causes uncomfortable symptoms. In someone suffering Coeliac Disease however, eating even a crumb of gluten containing foods can damage their bowels and cause long term issues such as osteoporosis, infertility, miscarriage, depression, liver disease, poor dentition and some forms of cancer.

Coeliac disease(pronounced seel-ee-ak) is an autoimmune disease. The only treatment is a strict gluten free diet for the rest of their lives. For those with Coeliac Disease, Sinchies are perfect as they help eliminate any cross contamination of gluten containing products (coeliac sufferers shouldn’t even use the same toaster as regular bread if there is any chance of crumbs left behind). If you have a Coeliac sufferer in your house, I always recommend using separate chopping boards, knives, storage and utensils to prepare their meals. I recommend using Sinchies Re-usable Lunch Bags to store slices of gluten free bread in the freezer. By storing a loaf of gluten free bread in sets of 2, you will always have access to fresh gluten free bread, free from contamination. That way, if the rest of the family chooses regular bread, there will be much lest waste and much better taste, without causing damage to the body. The re-usable 80ml pouches are also perfect so that Coeliac’s can always transport their own dressings/sauces that are gluten free (especially when eating out), and the snack packs are great to store gluten free snack alternatives such as nuts, roasted chick peas, yoghurt and fruit (especially for school where there are lots of temptations for gluten containing foods).

For more information on coeliac disease and IBS, see your GP and get a referral to a Dietitian. You can also ask me questions on Instagram @whatadietitianactuallyeats

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