This is my second post for Coeliac Awareness. In the first post, I talked about 8 things you may not know about coeliac disease. Today’s post does the opposite: rather than tell you what coeliac disease is let’s talk about and make clear what it is not.
Coeliac disease is NOT….
- An allergy to gluten.
- An intolerance.
- Something Gwyneth Paltrow invented.
- Something that you can ‘grow out of’.
- Something that has an instant cure.
- Something that means you can have a ‘small amount of gluten’ or follow ‘a low gluten diet’.
- Just about having an upset stomach. In fact, some patients can go undiagnosed for a long time since they don’t have this ‘classic symptom.’
- Always resolved by a gluten-free diet (See my post on why many coeliacs suffer from milk intolerances and this one on other possible food that you may find difficult if you are a coeliac. There is also something called Refractory coeliac disease in which patients do not feel better after a strict gluten free diet.
- Something where ‘you feel a bit bloated’.
- Something that only skinny people have.
- Something that helps with weight loss.
- Rare- 1 in 100 people have it (but since only 24% are diagnosed; it’s likely to be a lot higher)
- Easily diagnosed (Nope! The average time taken for diagnosis is 13 years)
- Diagnosed by the patient following a gluten-free diet (In fact, the opposite is true- you need to eat gluten consistently for six weeks for it to work)
- Resolved by cooking food at high temperatures- yes I’ve actually heard that one!
Make sure you share the right information: coeliac’s disease is an autoimmune disease that has a range of symptoms. It is a lifelong condition but unfortunately, only 24% of people are diagnosed– leaving many sufferers out there unwittingly eating gluten every day. Find out more about coeliac awareness week here.