Hi, this website has been developed to try and make life a little simpler when dealing with Celiac Disease in an everyday busy family situation.
My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2010, and this new restriction on her diet was going to have a huge impact on the whole family. I soon hit the internet and found out loads of information which was great but often too medical explanations were difficult to understand (Check out our simple guide to celiac disease). I then trawled the kitchen cupboards and found that actually, many things were absolutely fine for her to eat....phew (Find out about being Gluten Free). I then went to the supermarket and was delighted by the range of gluten free products and thought... this isnt so bad.
BUT what has dawned on me over time is that many of the products contain perservatives and last for weeks - I still want to give her fresh healthy foods - BUT I havent got the time to bake everyday or the required skills. My mission is to create an area on the internet where 'we' (that includeds you!) can develop a resource bank of quick, healthy, nourishing and gluten free meals with the odd coulinery master piece. The theory is... if the food is tasty, nutricious and gluten free, one meal, one cake, one loaf of bread will feed the whole family and limit cross contamination, the feeling of isolation and cooking a different meal for everyone.
The shock of her diagnosis has encouraged me to write a few articles based on my own personal experiences - hind sight is a great thing and I have certainly reviewed my dealing of this situation.
Please visit our forum to use the free resources, share your experiences and add your recipes. All information is free to use and is added in good faith.
FAQ for Coeliacs / Celiacs
Our FAQ is a quick reference info snippet and you can find more details about the signs and symptoms of Coeliac diseae on our main Coeliac Pages
What is Coeliac Disease?
Coeliac or celiac disease is NOT a food allergy or a food intolerance. Coeliac disease is a condition that causes inflammation in the lining of the small intestine resulting in damage to the villi (in the gut). It is an autoimmune response to gluten, which means that the immune system (which normally protects the body from infections) mistakenly attacks itself. The lining of the small intestine contains millions of tiny tube-shaped structures called villi. These help food and nutrients to be digested more effectively into the body. In Coeliac disease, thes villi are flattened due to the inflammation of the lining of the gut and therefore food and nutrients are not readily digested into the body.
Who gets Coeliac Disease?
Anyone can get Coeliac disease, adults or children, though it is thought that genetic predisposition is a factor. Coeliac disease can be triggered at a time of stress, viral infection or traumatic event.
Dermatitis herpetiformis is a rash found on the skin and is associated with Coeliac disease.
If I have a wheat allergy, do i have Coeliac disease?
NO. A wheat allergy is very different to Coeliac disease, though may display similar symptoms. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease and therefore uf gluten is consumed antibodies are produced and attack the body..
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. For some people oat gluten can also cause an autoimmune response. It is also worth noting that oats are often used on a production line or in a factory where wheat is used and therefore cross contamination can occur.
What happens if i get 'glutened'?
Eating gluten by mistake or eating something that ha been cross contaminated can have a different effect on different people. The reaction will never be anaphylatic shock but symptoms can be bloating for a few hours or sickness or diarrhoea and lethargy. Symptoms can last a few hours or several days. Being 'glutened' once is not going to destry the villi in your intestines, this happens over a sustained period of time
How will I know what foods are safe to eat?
Food packing is increasingly becoming more Coeliac-friendly. Look for 'gluten' free on packaging or 'suitable for Coeliacs/celiacs'
Who is funding CoeliacKids.co.uk?
The website Coeliackids.co.uk is run for non-profit. The website has a few useful links to manufacturers and book sellers of useful Coeliac related useful. Any purchases made from links to other websites results in a small cash back to us at no cost to you. So feel free to follow links and purchase if of use or ignore if not wanted.
Coeliac Disease or Celiac Disease is an auto immune disease. The auto immune reaction is triggered by gluten, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats (some ceoliacs (celiacs) may be able to tolerate oats that have not been cross contaminated in the production of foods). Eating foods that contain gluten causes the body to attack itself resulting in damage to the intestines and interferes with the absorption of nutrients into the body. Some professionals suggest children should not eat oats at all.
The Effects of Coeliac Disease
When people eat products containing gluten their immune system responds by damaging the villi in their intestines. Villi are tiny protrusions within the intestines which are responsible for absorbing nutrients through the intestinal wall into the blood stream. This leads to the person becoming malnourished.
Celiac Disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy.
Is Coeliac Disease hereditary?
Evidence suggests that Celiac Disease is hereditary and runs in families, but it can also be triggered by surgery, viral infection, stress, pregnancy or child birth.
Symptoms can be acute or few and far between. Symptoms vary from one person to another, with some having cronic symptoms and others having none.
Children often display digestive problems or growth problems. Symptoms may cause failure to thrive, delayed growth, shortness in stature. In children the malnutrition may lead to problems later in life such as irritable bowel syndrome, bowel cancer or osteoporosis, but early detection and correction of the diet can reduce these risks. Some symptoms may include:
abdominal bloating and paindiarrheavomitingconstipationpale, foul-smelling, or fatty stoolweight loss
Adults may live without symptoms but it is important to be diagnosed to ensure enough nutrients are absorbed. Adults who have had celiac disease for many years may have an increased risk of osteoporosis, anemia, intestinal cancer, liver disease and even liver disease.
unexplained iron-deficiency anemiafatigue / excessive tirednessbone or joint painarthritisbone loss or osteoporosisdepression / anxietytingling numbness in the hands and feetseizuresulcers inside the mouthan itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis (usually with small blisters)missed menstrual periodsinfertility or recurrent miscarriage
How is Coeliac Disease Diagnosed?
Coeliac Disease is not easily diagnosed as many symptoms are similar to other conditions. Doctors are becoming more aware of the varied symptoms Coeliac Disease presents and blood tests have become very accurate in diagnosing the condition.
A blood test will be taken to identify high levels of anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTGA) or anti-endomysium antibodies (EMA). It is important to eat your normal diet before any blood tests as the antibodies are only produced when the gluten is eaten.
If the blood tests indicate there is a possibility of Coeliac Disease, then it will be suggested that an intestinal biopsy is taken to assess the damage to the intestines. During the biopsy a small sample of the intestinal lining will be taken. Again, it is important to continue with your normal diet prior to the biopsy as the intestines will start to repair once the antibodies are not being produced by the body. It is important to get a correct diagnosis.
Dermatitis Herpetiformis is a small itchy rash with small blisters. Often people with Dermatitis Herpetiformis do not experience digestive symptoms of and Coeliac Disease. The rash can be treated but it is important that a gluten free diet is still followed.
In the UK and US, Coeliac Screening is not taken routinely but if there is a family history or direct connection with someone who has Coeliac Disease, it is worth having the blood test. It is thought that there is a one in ten chance of having Coeliac Disease if there is a direct family member with the condition.
There is only one treatment for Coeliac Disease and it is the complete abstinence of foods, medicines and cosmetics containing gluten. This will be mean checking every product, used or digested.
Why are celiac disease symptoms so varied?
There is extensive research going on into why some people develop coeliac diseae. People and children display a range of symptoms but don't necessarily experience all of them.
Research is studying how long a person was breastfed, they feel there are three key factors - How long a person was breastfed, the age a person was weaned, the quantity of gluten contained food is consumed.
Some studies have shown, that the longer a person was breastfed, the later the symptoms of celiac disease actually appear.
Older people may have had the disease for decades and this may influence the damage of the intestine. It is thought the longer a person has undiagnosed Coeliac disease the more risk of other complications arising!
The good news
... about having Coeliac Disease is that it is controllable, it maybe inconvinient, and the damage caused to the intestines will repair. The sooner the diagnosis, the sooner the diet can be changed and long term damage avoided. It is however, a total abstainance of all foods and products that contain gluten - cereals include wheat, barley, rye and oats.
The bad news
... about having Coeliac Disease is that you will be forever checking ingredients on packaging, asking restaurant waitresses if the chips are coated in flour and scouring your cosmetics boxes for the dreaded contents
And for children with Coeliac Disease
... going to a friend's house for tea, will always need to be catered for and possibly planned in advance BUT with the more and more products appearing at supermarkets, gluten free fish fingers and twirly pasta is easily stored.
Checkout our forums for great recipes and store cupboard essentials!
Branded products suitable for Coeliacs
More and more well known supermarkets and brands are claiming the Coeliac-friendly status, it's no longer a special trip to the health shop.
Welcome to the Coeliac Kids website, we help site for parents of children and teenagers with Coeliac Disease. Whilst CD can be a worrying diagnosis, following a strict gulten free diet, Coeliacs can be lead happy, healthy lives without symptoms.
If you have anything to add to our website, then please email us, we'd love to receive your recipes and share them in our Recipes pages.
The Gluten Free Ingredients Lists are produced by manufacturers and give you guidance on foods that are gluten free or/and wheat free. From Heinz to Galaxy, simply print the lists so when you are out and about you know what is safe!