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Published On: Wed, Nov 7th, 2018

Living with Food Intolerance

Being diagnosed with a food intolerance is truly a life changing experience. Living with Coeliac disease or a Lactose intolerance changes the way you eat and can enjoy food for the rest of your life.

What is Coeliac Disease?

Coeliac Disease is caused by a reaction of the immune system to gluten. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body cannot properly absorb nutrients from food. Coeliac disease is not actually a food allergy or intolerance, it is an autoimmune disease. It is also not the same as a wheat allergy which is a reaction to proteins found in wheat, triggered by the immune system and usually occurs within seconds or minutes of eating.

Campylobacter is associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry, raw milk dairy products, contaminated produce and contaminated water. Image/CDC

The skin manifestation of Coeliac is called Dermatitis Herpetiformis.

Symptoms of Coeliac Disease include bloating, diarrhoea, wind, constipation, nausea, tiredness, mouth ulcers, sudden weight loss, anaemia and osteoporosis.

The only way to effectively treat Coeliac is to live a gluten free diet. There is currently no cure for the disease, but there is ongoing research trying to create vaccine treatments.

What is Lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products.

Symptoms of Lactose intolerance include flatulence, diarrhoea, boating of the stomach or cramps and pains and feeling sick. These symptoms can also be caused, however, by IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or milk protein intolerance and it’s important, therefore, to clarify your diagnosis.

Am I a Coeliac or Lactose intolerant?

These conditions are life altering and should not be taken lightly. Those who suffer with Coeliac disease, for example, can do serious and lasting damage to their gut by eating a diet containing gluten. If you think you might be Coeliac or have an intolerance to Lactose, you need to speak to your health professional both for diagnosis and treatment or management options.

Where is gluten found?

Coeliac disease is not currently cureable but is managed by living a gluten free lifestyle. Gluten can be found in many ingredients so it is important to choose ‘free from’ products and to check other products for gluten information. Of course, the majority of wheat products, such as flour (including that made from wheat, rye or barley) and even couscous, porridge oats, and muesli contain gluten, so you will need to adjust your lifestyle and eating habits. Most meats, salads, fruits and many other foods do not contain gluten, however, and are safe to eat. If they are marinated or wrapped in breadcrumbs or batter, like fish might be, then you will need to check.

What treatment options are there?

As we have said, there is currently no cure for Coeliac disease but it is managed with the right dietary choices. You can use an over the counter medication containing the enzyme AN-PEP which can assist with gluten intolerance, however, but we would suggest getting advice from a medical professional or pharmacist on this.

For those with Lactose intolerance, there are lactase supplements which can also counteract some of the bloating and discomfort that comes with Lactose consumption.

For more information on these food intolerances, including advice and management guidance, you can visit uk.klarify.me.

Author: Lee Sadawski

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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