Kate Morland and Vicki Martin, Nutritionists
Coeliac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity are two different conditions. However in both cases, ingesting gluten can trigger symptoms like fatigue, bloating, headaches, cramping and other bowel discomfort. Going gluten free needn’t be a chore!
Gluten is a natural protein. When you wash starch away from a grain, gluten is left behind. It acts like a ‘glue’ to bind foods together. Think about when you’re making bread dough and the mixture sticks to your fingers, that’s the gluten doing its job. Once eaten, gluten can be very resistant to digestion.
Coeliac disease, is a gastro-intestinal disease that results from an abnormal immune system reaction to gluten. It is identified when there is evidence of damage to the small intestines which are lined with finger-like protrusions called villi. Villi are needed to absorb nutrients, and they become flattened and damaged from this autoimmune response gluten. Your body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients becomes impaired. Coeliac disease is a hereditary condition that results in a lifelong intolerance to dietary gluten. Both genetic and environmental factors play a part in the development of Coeliac Disease.
Gluten sensitivity is slightly different. Individuals who are sensitive to gluten may share many symptoms with Coeliac Disease sufferers, however, these symptoms are due to difficulty digesting gluten rather than an immune response to gluten.
Classic symptoms are similar between the conditions, therefore you can not differentiate between them by symptoms alone. Blood tests or a biopsy are the only ways to get a clear diagnosis. We recommend you visit your doctor to discuss your symptoms before removing any food group from your diet.
Common symptoms may include:
Healtheries has a great range of tasty and nutritious gluten free products suitable for those with Coeliac Disease or an intolerance to gluten. These products have no detectable traces of gluten and are approved by Coeliac New Zealand. Each of these products will display Coeliac New Zealands crossed grain logo.
Superfoods and Superfood blends
For someone with Coeliac Disease, even trace amounts of gluten can be too much and may result in symptoms or damage to the intestine. It is important to understand what changes need to be made to your diet by speaking to a qualified healthcare professional. For other advice or further support, you can also contact Coeliac New Zealand - www.coeliac.org.nz