Saturday, January 15, 2011

Don't Stop Eating Gluten ....

I'm writing this post because I have had a few conversations with people both online and offline lately where they suspect that they have coeliacs disease or are gluten intolerant or they test positive to the coeliac blood test and they state that they will trial going gluten free.

So my response is DON'T STOP EATING GLUTEN NOW!!!!!

Eat lots of gluten and have all of the coeliac tests first including the biopsy. The general consensus is that you need to eat at least four slices of wheat based bread (or equivalent) each day for 6 weeks prior to the biopsy. It's important to know properly because it's a serious autoimmune disease which can lead to other health problems including malabsorption of nutrients, osteoporosis, infertility, miscarriage and small bowel cancer. Also, if you are not eating enough gluten you might get a false positive for the blood test or the biopsy.

The other thing is if you simply decide that you are gluten intolerant without getting tested you could be doing some damage. Since most gluten intolerant people are not as strict about avoiding gluten as you need to be with coeliacs disease. Imagine spending a lifetime eating tiny bits of gluten and then find out you have caused other issues.

Also I'm trying to save others from the situation I was in where I went g/f for a few months didn't feel better then returned to eating gluten and felt worse than I ever had. I then spent a few months feeling really horrible, had horrible fatigue and was constantly sick. I wished someone warned me and then I would have just continued eating gluten.

For more info, see the Coeliac Society of Australia's info here. Rant over, hope you all know it was well meaning!


  1. so i've heard this and i have to disagree. as much as i would love six week of pure gluten eating bliss i have to wonder: why eat things which make you feel bad?
    if not eating it makes you feel super, why continue to suffer just so a dr. can apply a neat label to you? coeliac or intollerant, if gluten makes you feel crap, don't eat it, right? if i understand it properly, the only complications from coeliac are if you eat gluten, so if you don't eat it you can't get complications.

    p.s. hi :)

  2. Hollypop, because coeliac disease is not simply a label it's an automimmune disease, which is often associated accompanied with other autoimmune diseases like diabetes. From a genetic perspective, it's good to know so that other family members can also get tested. Many coeliacs don't have any symptoms, I didn't have many typical symptoms until after I went g/f and then returned to eating gluten.

    Also, because people with gluten intolerances don't tend to be as strict as they need to be. On the other hand it also seems silly to be super strict when you believe you have an intolerance when you might not actually have any issues. For example, you might simply have a wheat intolerance.

    If you do have it, doctors tend to also investigate other things. For example i'm had my bone density checked and am lucky that i don't have low bone density or osteoporosis like lots of other coeliacs. Yes if you stick to g/f eating then the symptoms should stay away but the damage might have already been done!

    When they do the biopsy through a gastrocopy they also look at your general stomach area. This was helpful in my case but I have other unrelated stomach issues which means that I have continue to take medication to reduce the amount of acid in my stomach.

    The point of this post is to actually prevent people from going gluten free, and instead to continue with eating as normal and then have the tests. I found that my symptoms were way worse after going g/f. If you have been sick for a while then 6 weeks is really not that long!

    You don't need to take my word for it though, check out these articles: