Coeliac disease is a pretty tricky disease that makes the body attack itself when you eat things like bread and pasta - scientifically defined as an autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten. Its diagnosis levels are still low and more needs to be done to raise awareness on the subject.
Coeliac UK, for example, estimates that one in every 100 of us suffer from the disease, yet only 24 percent of those are actually diagnosed, and it takes an average of 13 years to get the diagnosis. Part of this can be due to the fact its symptoms are so poorly understood.
So you don't miss a beat, here are 10 symptoms of coeliac disease that you might not be aware of.
1. Deterioration of tooth enamel
Surprisingly, coeliac disease can impact your teeth. If children whose teeth are developing suffer from coeliac disease, this can possibly cause abnormalities in the dental enamel.
2. Nerve problems
Coeliac UK explains that patients can develop neurological problems such as issues with balance or tingling in hands and feet.
In a recent survey by Coeliac UK, 45 percent of newly diagnosed patients suffered from severe headaches.
Mental health is a complex area, but those with coeliac disease do more commonly report depression.
5. Dermatitis Herpetiformis
Dermatitis Herpetiformis is a skin condition that’s linked to coealiac disease. It presents as red, raised patches with severe itching.
6. Liver problems
Coeliac UK report that liver abnormalities can also be a possible symptom of coeliac disease. Typical symptoms of liver problems include jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin).
7. Lethargic in youth
In young children, failure to thrive can suggest coeliac disease. Other symptoms in children include lethargy and abdominal distention.
8. Other autoimmune diseases
It's worth noting that if you have one autoimmune disease, you’re more likely to have another. Four to nine percent of those with Type 1 diabetes, for example, also have coeliac disease.
If undiagnosed, coeliac disease can cause osteoporosis to develop. This is because many patients don’t absorb calcium correctly when the disease is uncontrolled. Your bones then get weak.
10. Fertility issues
Once coeliac patients follow a gluten-free diet, they’re not at any risk of infertility. But if the disease is undiagnosed or untreated, it can be a potential cause of unexplained fertility.
If any of these symptoms occur get yourself checked out by a medical professional to be sure. If it turns out you do indeed suffer from the problem and are dreading the idea of not having bread and pasta, do not worry, there are plenty of alternatives out there. Take a leaf out of Kourtney Kardashian's book.