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Should you avoid gluten if you have Coeliac disease but no gut symptoms?

A lot of people associate Coeliac disease with gut symptoms. There is a misunderstanding that in

the absence of such symptoms, it may not be necessary to go on a gluten free diet. That is incorrect, and let us tell you why.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks and destroys the microvilli of the small intestine, where we absorb our nutrients and vitamins.

Gluten is the MAIN (but not necessarily the only) trigger for Coeliac disease.

When someone has coeliac disease and consumes gluten, they likely trigger a severe immune reaction against their small intestine microvilli which may take days if not weeks, or months, to subside and for the microvilli to heal.

Untreated coeliac disease leads to a greater risk of complications such as anaemia, osteoporosis, neurological conditions such as gluten ataxia and neuropathy, and an increasd risk of small bowel cancer and intestinal lymphoma.

Many people with undiagnosed Coeliac disease do experience gastrointestinal symptoms when consuming gluten, but many don't. Some may experience chronic anemia, skin rashes or neurological symptoms.

However, once someone is diagnosed with this condition, they should absolutely adhere to a strict gluten free diet for life, and consider cross reactive foods to gluten (such as dairy, yeast, oats, rice, corn, millet) if their symptoms (whatever their symptoms are) do not resolve on a gluten free diet only.


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