Coeliac Disease: What is it and where did it come from?
Coeliac Disease was first recorded in the 2nd century by Aretaeus of Cappadocia and gained modern attention in 1856. It is a hereditary condition that causes some people’s bodies to initiate an immune response that attacks the small intestine when they process gluten (the protein found in wheat, rye and barley). The ‘villi’ that lines the small intestine and fosters the absorption of essential nutrients gets damaged and so the nutrients cannot be properly absorbed.
Although it is most commonly discovered in early childhood, this disease can develop in a person at any age, in response to any foods or medicines containing gluten. Because it is hereditary (passed on through family), someone with a close relative with coeliac has a 1 in 10 risk of also developing it. A lack of awareness means that an estimated 80% of cases remain undiagnosed.
Without proper care, the long-term symptoms of coeliac disease can be dangerous. This includes developing other autoimmune disorders like Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, rashes, anemia, infertility, miscarriage, intestinal cancers and neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines.
The only current treatment for coeliac disease is a strict gluten-free diet. Ingesting even the smallest amounts of gluten can trigger intestinal damage. So coeliac disease requires constant awareness and a willingness to commit to dietary requirements. After shifting to a gluten-free diet, intestinal damage can begin to heal within weeks
At Bakeworks, we pride ourselves on creating gluten-free foods that are tasty and accessible so that people with coeliac disease or others wishing to go gluten-free can do so smoothly.