According to WebMD, researchers estimate that only 1 in 5 people throughout the world that develop Coeliac Disease ever find that they have it. It’s not known why people develop this disease or why the symptoms that people experience differ from mild to severe.
Randox Health believe that education & testing is the key to preventing risks of long-term internal damage and want to spread awareness to people on what Coeliac Disease is, the impacts it can have on our bodies and what we can do to detect it as early as possible.
What is Coeliac Disease?
As described by the NHS, it is an autoimmune condition where your immune system mistakes one of the substances making up gluten, known as gliadin, as a threat to the body. This causes damage & inflammation to your intestine which flattens the growths called Villi causing these associated symptoms.
The damage to your intestine however is very slow and if it doesn’t show any signs of getting better without ingesting Gluten this is known as refractory or nonresponsive.
Coeliac disease is significantly different to a food allergy/intolerance and as such the symptoms experienced differ massively. To avoid confusion between the condition and wheat allergy, the symptoms for both are as follows:
Coeliac Disease doesn’t have a definite cause, but it is known to be genetically passed down through families and linked to certain genes. Coeliac UK claim that if you have a family history of the disease, you have a 10% chance of contracting the disease or if you have an identical twin with it, a 75% chance. The disease is also most common among Caucasians as well as those with conditions such as:
Type 1 Diabetes
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Complications if Left Untreated
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above when including Gluten in your diet, its important to stop eating gluten as several serious complications can develop which range from awkward and uncomfortable to seriously life-threatening:
- Malabsorption – Leads to deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals which can cause conditions like Iron and B12 anemia and osteoporosis
- Malnutrition – Due to It causing your digestive system to deteriorate, severe cases can cause in us lacking a significant amount of nutrients causing fatigued, confused or weakness in muscles and joints.
- Lactose Intolerance – The impact that coeliac disease has on the Villi growths on the digestive system also can affect the way we digestive dairy products. We also provide in-clinic genetic testing for this which you can find here.
- Cancer – Cancers associated are small bowel cancer, small bowel lymphoma and Hodgkin Lymphoma however this is a very rare risk for those with Coeliac disease.
- Infertility/Pregnancy issues – poorly controlled coeliac disease whilst pregnant can cause pregnancy-related issues such as a baby being born with low birthweight.
Why Testing Early has Significance to Your Health
When encountering symptoms such as bloating, stomach pain or fatigue, we can be quick to diagnose ourselves to say it was food poisoning or even IBS without evening getting the symptoms checked out. Coeliac disease when unidentified not only provides serious health issues for yourself but can mean close family members may also experience it and have no idea.
With a Randox Health Genetic Coeliac Disease Test at our Liverpool & London clinics, we can specifically evaluate your risk of coeliac disease, act on those risks and ultimately protect your future.