Could you have coeliac disease? Special report

Coeliac Disease Info Guide

Could you have coeliac disease?

It is estimated that 500,000 people in the UK are living with undiagnosed coeliac disease without realising it. There are a range of symptoms including mouth ulcers, fatigue, stomach pain, regular bouts of diarrhoea, anaemia and weight loss.

Coeliac disease (pronounced see-liac) is a lifelong autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – depriving the body of the nutrients it needs.

Coeliac Awareness Week runs from 11 to 17 May 2015. As a professional member of Coeliac UK, I want to show my support for coeliac awareness week by sharing with you my interview with dietitian Gemma Sampson from dietitianwithoutborders.com, plus you can access a free downloadable coeliac disease information guide.

Interview with Gemma Sampson

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Gemma Sampson is the face behind Dietitian without Borders. Gemma is an Aussie Dietitian currently living and working in the United Kingdom. Gemma is passionate about helping others to live healthier lives, clearing up some of the confusion out there about nutrition.

I have recently had the privilege of interviewing Gemma for my research paper on coeliac disease.

Kim:  Gemma, as a dietitian, what sort of a daily diet would you recommend to a coeliac sufferer?

Gemma: There isn’t such a thing as a perfect diet for anyone – with or without coeliac disease so any recommendations would be specifically tailored towards their background, lifestyle and food preferences. Of course, I would provide them with advice about how to follow a strict gluten free diet, ways to avoid gluten contamination, tips to help with gluten free baking, eating out, ideas on where to get recipes etc.

General healthy eating advice applies to people with coeliac disease, just like the general population. So I would be encouraging wholegrain gluten free carbohydrates, plenty of fruit and vegetables, lean meats and meat alternatives (like beans and legumes). Some people may be under weight after an initial diagnosis, so I might include additional information about healthy weight gain during the initial period but this would be tailored to the individual.

Kim:  If people can’t eat gluten, what foods can they eat to get enough fibre? 

Gemma: Gluten free wholegrains and seeds like buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, teff, amaranth and sorghum are good to incorporate within a gluten free diet. Also making sure they are eating plenty of whole fruit and vegetables, and using beans, legumes and lentils is also a great way to add fibre. Psyllium is also a really useful for gluten free diets – it’s high in fibre so good to sprinkle on cereal, yoghurt or add to smoothies, plus when used in gluten free baking it really helps to improve the texture.

Kim: Are there particular nutrient that coeliacs should include in their diet?

Gemma: Calcium requirements are higher for people with coeliac disease, so I’d make sure that they are including plenty of calcium rich sources of foods in their diet such as dairy products or suitable fortified dairy alternatives. There may be some nutrient deficiencies, especially when first diagnosed so I’d recommend including additional sources of those – e.g. with iron, including lean red meat, legumes, fortified cereals or drinks. Each person would have different recommendations which would be made upon a nutritional assessment.

Kim: Would you recommend the taking of supplements?

Gemma: Not routinely, I would only recommend a supplement if they had blood tests and were found to be deficient in a specific nutrient (e.g. iron) and their requirements were higher than what they could physically eat through food. I’d always recommend food before supplements and would always be tailored after I’d conducted a thorough nutrition assessment.

Kim: thank you Gemma.

Coeliac disease – free info guide

This information guide covers the signs and symptoms to look for if you suspect you have coeliac disease, how a simple blood test can test for the disease and how to transition to a ‘gluten-free’ diet.

If you suspect you may have coeliac disease, it is really important that you continue to eat gluten until all medical tests have been completed – otherwise you may get a false negative result. In order for accurate blood test results, you need to be eating gluten in more than one meal per day for at least six weeks prior to testing.

Once coeliac disease has been confirmed, then you need to eliminate all gluten from your diet. Gluten can be unsuspecting products such as some processed meats, soya sauce and beer. It can also be in found in some medications, make-up and shampoos.

This information guide includes a table to assist you to easily eliminate gluten from your diet without having to compromise on taste and cooking.

If after testing, you don’t have coeliac disease but you would like to reduce the amount of gluten in your diet, then this information guide can assist you with that too. It provides a full list of alternative gluten-free grains and flours that you can add to your diet.
Coeliac Disease Info Guide
If are struggling with your diet and would like further support and guidance, contacting a dietitian or nutritionist is a great place to start.

Take Action:

1. Download your free guide and

2. share with your friends on Facebook.

 

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Enjoy a sneak peek of chapter one
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This Breakfast ebook is perfect if you’re looking for:

+ 20 gluten-free & dairy-free recipes
+ Nourishing smoothies, Juices, Breakfast & Brunch
+ An overview of smoothies vs juices
+ Time saver tips to set you up for success
+ A bonus printable shopping list to get you started.

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