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Coeliac disease – how it impacts health and also fertility

Coeliac disease – how it impacts health and also fertility

This is definitely not the first time we have written on the topic of coeliac disease, but since the condition is seemingly becoming more widespread and common, we feel it’s an important subject to write about. Coeliac Awareness Week is coming up (13th-20th March), so we wanted to shed a bit more light on the subject and support a good cause.

Symptoms of coeliac disease vary considerably – some people experience severe symptoms while others are asymptomatic, meaning they have no obvious symptoms at all.  Symptoms can include one or more of the following:

  • gastrointestinal symptoms eg. diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, flatulence, cramping, bloating and abdominal pain
  • fatigue, weakness and lethargy
  • iron deficiency anaemia and/or other vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • failure to thrive or delayed puberty in children
  • weight loss (although some people may gain weight)
  • bone and joint pains
  • recurrent mouth ulcers and/or swelling of mouth or tongue
  • altered mental alertness and irritability
  • skin rashes such as dermatitis herpetiformis
  • easy bruising of the skin

People who experience any of the following should also be screened for coeliac disease:

  • early onset osteoporosis
  • unexplained infertility
  • family history of coeliac disease
  • liver disease
  • autoimmune disease eg. type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid condition

If you’d like to read our previous communications about coeliac disease, please click here and here.  We’d also like to include a link to a Victorian Government run website which gives a good description of coeliac disease including the symptoms, risk factors and some good ways to manage it.  Please click here.  In addition, the Coeliac Australia website provides a long list of other medical conditions that may be associated with coeliac disease (you might be shocked) – including infertility.  Please click here to read this information.  As the website says, “Coeliac disease can affect most systems in the body. The following medical conditions occur at higher frequency in people with coeliac disease. These complications are thought to result from the abnormal immune response caused by gluten. You should speak to your doctor if you have any concerns or questions about these conditions for which there are specific treatments. Early diagnosis and treatment of coeliac disease can greatly reduce the risk of most of these problems ever occurring.”.

More and more people are being diagnosed with having coeliac disease and as mentioned above there is actually an unfortunate link between coeliac disease and infertility.  If this is an issue for you there are many ways in which this can be addressed.  Naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture can all help.

If you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease or feel you have a gluten sensitivity, Erin Hunter naturopath is the expert to see.  Erin herself has been diagnosed, and she is a specialist in the field of digestive issues – in particular, coeliac disease.  Erin can help you overcome many symptoms and educate you on the condition and how to better manage the disease.  She is offering 15 free health checks – if you feel you might be at risk or you would like to know more, please act quickly to secure your place.

Alternatively (or in conjunction) Dr. Merna El-Cabaan (doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture) has a special interest in fertility and women’s health and would also be a wonderful practitioner to consider seeing.

If you have any queries or would like to make a booking with either Erin or Merna please call the clinic on 9437 9555.

This week’s recipe is for Chocolate Spiders (they’re gluten free, of course) and is from Wholefood SimplyClick here to view online or follow the simple instructions below:

1 tablespoon cacao or cocoa

3 tablespoons honey or rice malt syrup

3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

2 cups shredded coconut

Place the first three ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix until well combined.

Add one cup of the shredded coconut, mix to combine.

Add the remaining coconut, mix until well combined.

Use your hands to roughly press the mixture into rustic balls.

Place the balls into a container and into the fridge to set.

Enjoy.  Makes 10.

Lastly (but still very importantly) it was recently Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day (25th February 2015).  This day is known as teal ribbon day.  We feel this is a good opportunity to share some information on ovarian cancer including the risks and symptoms.  For more information please click here.

Please share our communications with people you feel will benefit from receiving them.  If you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease please share your tips on how you best manage your condition – we would love to hear from you.

Yours In Optimum Health
Dr. Dina Culcasi
Clinic Manager, Owner & Osteopath

The advice/information contained in our communications is intended to be of a general nature and should under no circumstances be substituted for medical advice from your health care provider.  We strongly recommend you seek individual medical advice should you require it.