What causes coeliac disease and what are the common symptoms?
Coeliac disease occurs when your immune system develops intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein that is found in barley, wheat, and rye. Eating gluten damages the lining of the small intestine wall, which in time can affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. It’s an autoimmune disease so the body begins to attack healthy tissue, as it has mistakenly marked the substances within gluten as dangerous. It’s not entirely proven what causes coeliac disease, but it’s thought to be a combination of the environment and genetic make-up.
There is no cure for coeliac disease, the most successful form of treatment is to adopt a completely gluten-free diet. By removing gluten from your diet, you should start to see results and feel more comfortable after eating food. Doing this has been found to help keep symptoms under control and will prevent long-term damage from the disease such as cancer. Even if you have very mild reactions to gluten, it is still recommended that you remove it from your diet, as it can lead to more severe symptoms. After giving up gluten, it should take around two years for your body to completely recover and your intestines to heal.
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