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What Is Coeliac Disease

Jun 8, 2008
Coeliac disease is very simple to explain, is when your body reacts to gluten, this leads to both irritation and inflammation of your bowel. The majority of nutrients are absorbed through the lining in your small intestine, gluten damages this lining, which leads to mineral and nutrient deficiencies. Coeliac disease is often hereditary.

The only treatment for coeliac disease is the complete removal of gluten from your diet. This means avoiding gluten in all its forms for life, which sounds difficult. You will need to change all your recipes for all your meals, and be vigilant when eating out.

When you are first diagnosed with coeliac disease, you should go to see a dietician or nutritionist, who will work out a diet plan for you. Although it will be difficult to stick to this diet plan, and you will need encouragement, it is imperative that you follow it stringently.

Most baked goods will contain gluten, as it is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Unfortunately this means that you will longer be able to eat cakes and pastries, biscuits, bread and pies. If you enjoy having a beer that will be scratched off the list too as barley is used in the brewing process.

Gluten is also found in processed foods where wheat flour is used as a binder, filler or processing aid. Wheat starch is processed to remove the protein, but still contains some traces of gluten as it is not possible to remove all protein. When flour is used as a processing aid, or as part of another compound, it does not have to be declared on the label. If you are unsure, check with the manufacturer or with your local coeliac society.

Beans, rice, and some cereals are naturally gluten-free, however, some cross contamination may occur during processing. Meat, fish, and eggs are also gluten free, as are all fruit and vegetables.

There are gluten-free flours available to use as a substitute for wheat flour. Included in this category are rice flour potato flour, and maize flour. You can use a mixture of these flours instead of wheat flour for all your baking and cooking.

It is not advisable to substitute a single gluten-free flour in the place of wheat flour, you should use a blend of two or three different gluten-free flours instead. Some gluten-free flour, such as pea flour or buckwheat, have strong flavours which may not taste very nice in some recipes.
About the Author
If you suffer from Coeliac Disease, or think you might, come and join our community at celiac survivor.com. We are a relatively new group with a great social networking site, which has lots of information about how to live with Celiac Disease.
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