I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease and sIgA deficiency a year ago. The first thing for me to do after that, was to have my children tested. One of them tested negative but the test results for my older son came back positive plus sIgA deficiency.
The doctor recommended we do a biopsy, so we did. The biopsy showed no damage to the small intestine. Yet!
Our doctor recommended we keep the gluten in his diet and do another test 6 months later. My son has always suffered from constipation from the time he was a toddler but no other major issues, health wise. During that period he started to have more frequent periods of constipation as well as complaining from aching muscles, nausea and stomachache more and more every time after he had pasta or large amounts of gluten.
So we did another blood test and it came back negative (to my complete surprise) but still sIgA deficient!!!
He continued to complain from stomachache, nausea and constipation. At that point my husband and I decided to go for Genetic testing at XY clinic on Al Wasl Rd (as far as I know, this is the only place you can have those done and they are actually sent abroad for analyses).
The test came back positive showing gluten hypersensitivity and predisposition to Coeliac disease.
The awareness I would like to bring to everyone’s attention is, that not everyone has the same symptoms. Some children grow normally and look very healthy, yet that doesn’t always mean they do not have gluten hypersensitivity or even Coeliac disease.
I feel happy and relieved that we have an answer. He is now on a gluten free diet and never has to suffer the way I have (my Coeliac was detected when I was 35y.o. after numerous visits to different specialists).
-by Daniela Maitland-Walker
This must be one of the questions I get the most. And the answer is SO long, and not always easy to understand. Celiac Disease is a complex auto immune disease that can show in so many different ways in different people. But just incase you (like I often do) need the short version, here you go (once you are done reading it, hit the F or T at the bottom and share it on Facebook and twitter, more awareness = a better life for Celiacs :)
Celiac (Coeliac) disease is an autoimmune disease. When someone with Celiac disease eats gluten, the immune system triggers a reaction and releases antibodies, the antibodies cause damage to the villi in the small intestine. The villi in the small intestine is responsible for soaking up all the nutrients in our food, so once it is damaged a whole range of issues can follow.
Symptoms of celiac disease vary from person to person, some researchers say there are around 200 symptoms associated, others go as far as saying over 300 symptoms! Some people may have only 1-2 symptoms, others will have 10, or many many more.
The more common symptoms are:
Bloating / Cramping
Abdominal discomfort / pain
Diarrhea or constipation (or both)
Weight Loss (or sometimes weight gain)
Failiure to thrive (in children)
Dental and bone disorders (such as osteoporosis)
There is currently no cure or medical treatment for Celiac (Coeliac) disease. The only treatment is to go on a life long gluten free diet. Once on a gluten free diet, symptoms will clear up and the villi will heal. It is important to watch out for small amounts of hidden gluten in foods, as even minute amounts are enough to cause a reaction, and if the exposure is frequent there will (again) be damage to the villi.