Doctor explains symptoms and effects of Coeliac disease
Some health conditions and diseases are more successfully diagnosed than others.
This is often dependent on how obvious, and well known, the symptoms are.
Therefore, a GP spoke with Express.co.uk about the signs of a certain condition that is severely underdiagnosed.
She urged people to seek medical help if they notice any signs of coeliac disease – an intolerance to gluten.
Doctor Asiya Maula, GP at medical centre The Health Suite, said: “Only 36 percent of people who have the condition have been diagnosed, meaning nearly half a million people are living with the symptoms but don’t know it.
READ MORE Five lesser-known symptoms of coeliac disease to discuss with your GP
“Symptoms of low level gluten intolerance include bloating, diarrhoea and stomach pain but the symptoms below may indicate coeliac disease – the most serious form of gluten intolerance.
“If you are experiencing these symptoms, we highly suggest booking a blood test with your GP to test for coeliac disease.”
She warned that about 10 percent of people with the condition will experience peripheral neuropathy – numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.
“Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye,” she said.
Woman’s increased stool frequency revealed three underlying conditions[INSIGHT]
‘Pale’ and ‘foul-smelling’ poo could signal digestive disorder[INFORMER]
Caroline Quentin mistook coeliac disease symptoms for stress[CELEBRITY]
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
“A surprising symptom of gluten intolerance is neuropathy, which involves numbness or tingling in the arms and legs.
“This may be due to the fact that gluten intolerance can result in vitamin B12, D and E, and folate and iron deficiencies which can affect nerve function and contribute to symptoms like limb numbness.
“With more extreme gluten-sensitivity cases, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. This immune response can lead to inflammation, including in the peripheral nerves.
“According to a study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, about 10 percent of people with coeliac disease experience neurological symptoms like peripheral neuropathy, it is less clear as to how many people with gluten intolerance have neurological symptoms.”
She continued: “Peripheral neuropathy can significantly impact a person’s daily life. It can present as pain, tingling, or a ‘pins and needles’ sensation, along with the numbness.
“This can make it difficult to perform tasks that require fine motor skills, like buttoning a shirt or typing.
“It can also affect balance and coordination, making it harder to walk or run. In severe cases, it can even lead to muscle weakness.
“Gluten ataxia is another, relatively rare neurological condition that can develop in some individuals who have coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity.”
Why does it occur?
Dr Maula explained: “It is caused by an immune response to the ingestion of gluten that damages the cerebellum, the part of the brain that’s responsible for muscle coordination and balance.”
Symptoms will occur if someone has consumed gluten, which is found in foods containing wheat, barley or rye.
Common signs include:
- Diarrhoea, which may smell particularly unpleasant
- Stomach aches
- Bloating and farting (flatulence)
It can also cause:
- Tiredness (fatigue) as a result of not getting enough nutrients from food (malnutrition)
- Unintentional weight loss
- An itchy rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
- Problems getting pregnant (infertility)
- Disorders that affect coordination, balance and speech (ataxia).
Source: Read Full Article