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Coeliac Testing

If you have been suffering from fatigue, diarrhoea, low iron levels, vomiting, skin rashes, constipation, breathlessness or irritable bowel symptoms, these could be due to Coeliac disease.
Celiac Testing
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If you have been suffering from fatigue, diarrhoea, low iron levels, vomiting, skin rashes, constipation, breathlessness or irritable bowel symptoms, these could be due to Coeliac disease. Some people suffer severe symptoms, while others may have no symptoms at all. If you have symptoms you may want to investigate further through some simple test. 

What is Coeliac Disease?

Coeliac disease is a digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients. People who have coeliac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in most grains including wheat, rye, oats, spelt, kamut and barley. Gluten is found mostly in foods but may also be found in products such as medicines, vitamins, and lip balms.
When people with coeliac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging or destroying villi (the tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestine). Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, you become malnourished, no matter how much food you eat.
Coeliac disease can be triggered after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or severe emotional stress, it is often genetic, meaning it runs in families.

What are the symptoms of coeliac disease?

Symptoms of coeliac disease vary from person to person. Symptoms of celiac disease don’t just occur in the digestive tract, but can affect the skin, respiratory system, joints and muscles.

Symptoms in Children

  • abdominal bloating and pain
  • chronic diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • weight loss
Irritability is another common symptom in children. Malabsorption of nutrients during the years when nutrition is critical to a child’s normal growth and development can result in other problems such as failure to thrive in infants, delayed growth and short stature, delayed puberty, and dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth.

Symptoms in Adults

Adults are less likely to have digestive symptoms and may instead have one or more of the following:
  • Unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Bone loss or Osteoporosis
  • Depression or Anxiety
  • Tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • Seizures
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Infertility or recurrent miscarriage
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis
People with coeliac disease may have no symptoms but can still develop complications of the disease over time. Long-term complications include malnutrition, which can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, and miscarriage, among other problems liver diseases, and cancers of the intestine.

How Do I Test if I Have Coeliac Disease?

Coeliac disease can often be hard to diagnose by symptoms alone as they are so similar to many other diseases. Coeliac disease is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome, anemia, diverticulitis, intestinal infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety and depression, viral infections and more. On average it’s often 5 years from the onset of symptoms until someone is diagnosed with Coeliac disease. As a result, coeliac disease has long been under diagnosed or misdiagnosed.
At Vitalchi we arrange a simple blood test to determine if you have autoantibodies for coeliac disease.  The test is only accurate if you have been eating gluten in the weeks leading up to the test. In some cases the results may be negative for coeliac disease even if the disease is present.
If you and your naturopath still think that you may have Coeliac Disease then your naturopath will refer you for further testing such as a bowel biopsy or gene testing. In some cases a severe gluten sensitivity that will not show up on any of the standard tests for coeliac disease will cause the same symptoms and the same damage as Coeliac disease. In these cases a Food Sensitivity Test will show if you have a sensitivity to gluten or not.

What Do I Do If I have Celiac Disease?

If you have Coeliac disease, or even a gluten sensitivity, you will have to stop eating gluten. Foods that contain gluten include:
  • Meat products: Any products prepared with breadcrumbs or batter, sausages and other processed meats or small goods (unless labeled gluten free), thickened soups, meat pies and frozen meals.
  • Dairy products: Malted milk, some cheese spreads, ice cream in a cone and some soymilks.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Canned and sauced vegetables, textured vegetable protein (found in some vegetarian products) and fruit-pie filling.
  • Cereal and baking products: Wheat, wheaten corn flour, semolina, couscous, wheat bran, barley, oats, porridge, breakfast cereals containing wheat, rye, oats or barley, corn or rice cereals containing malt extract, some icing sugar mixtures and baking powder.
  • Pasta and noodles: Spaghetti, pasta, lasagna, gnocchi, hokkein noodles, soba noodles and two-minute noodles.
  • Bread, cakes and biscuits: All bread, cakes and biscuits prepared with flours from a gluten source.
  • Condiments: Malt vinegar, some mustards, relishes, pickles, salad dressings, sauces, gravy and yeast extracts.
  • Snacks: Liquorice, some lollies and chocolates, packet savory snacks and some flavored potato and corn chips.
  • Drinks: Cereal coffee substitutes, milk drink powders.
  • Alcoholic drinks: Beer, stout, ale, guinness and lager, most beers contain gluten unless marked gluten free.
Your naturopath will work with you to ensure that you are aware of the foods that contain gluten and what foods you can and cannot eat. Your naturopath will also help repair any damage that has been made to your small intestine, improve your immune function, and your nutritional status, that will be altered due to damage cause to the villi of the small intestines. Long term your naturopath can provide ongoing dietary support and treat any underlying conditions that may have contributed to the onset of celiac disease, such as stress and viral infections, as well as to prevent any further complications arising as a result of the disease.

Make an Appointment to detect Coeliac disease

Book an Appointment here . Or phone us on (03) 9894-0014. Our clinic in Blackburn, Melbourne, is open six days a week.