Celiac disease and gluten intolerance

celiac 1

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is classified as an autoimmune disease where there is a hypersensitivity to the protein gluten. When a person has celiac disease, there is a 1 in 22 chance that the immediate family (brothers, sisters and grandchildren) might also be a celiac patient and should be checked frequently for celiac. These patients should follow a gluten free diet for life because there is no cure for this disease and even a little bit of gluten can have a bad reaction.

Gluten intolerance

Gluten intolerance is a gluten sensitivity that occurs after repetitive consumption of gluten containing foods over a long period of time. Gluten intolerance can vary from mild to serious. Depending on the severity of the intolerance gluten should be avoided from one to 12 months. Reintroduce gluten products after the exclusion period in the following way: eat for example one slice of bread per day for three consecutive days and then observe for four days for any symptoms that you had before the exclusion. If you had symptoms – then exclude for six months and then retry.


GlCeliac-Disease-Is-Not-An-Allergyuten suppresses the immune system in the Celiac as well as the gluten sensitive patient. It also damages the villi in the digestive track and can lead to mal-absorption of nutrients.

Common symptoms in the Celiac and gluten sensitive patient

Symptoms can vary from patient to patient as well as the intensity.

  • Obesity
  • Deficiency in nutrients
  • Irritable bowel syndrome – bloating, cramps, constipation and winds
  • Diarrhoea
  • Depression
  • Pain in joints
  • Headaches
  • Eczema
  • General fatigue
  • Inflammation of the stomach lining
  • Bad smelling stools
  • Floating stools – increase of fat in stools
  • Infertility
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Water retention
  • Osteoporosis
  • Nose bleeds
  • Urine red in colour
  • Skin rashes
  • Numbness in tingling in the extra mites

gluten freeFoods you can eat on a gluten free diet

  • Fresh fruit (if on an anti-yeast diet, eat only fruits that can be peeled, no more than 2 per day)
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Dried fruit (without sulfites)
  • Coconut (without sulfites)
  • Potato chips (read labels – some have wheat and starch)
  • Potato sticks (same as above)
  • Popcorn (not buttered)
  • Rice cakes (read ingredients, some are not GF)
  • Rice crackers
  • Fresh meat, poultry, fish, shellfish and game
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Teff
  • Rice and rice products (rice pasta, rice four bread, etc.)
  • Quinoa, noodles and flour
  • Amaranth
  • Potato (fresh)
  • Buckwheat flour and groats (kasha)
  • Soy (unless intolerant)
  • Corn flakes (if GF)
  • Yams, sweet potatoes
  • Sorghum flour
  • Corn meal and polenta
  • Most nuts (if not allergic)
  • Eggs (if not allergic)
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Tapioca

Foods you cannot eat on a gluten free diet


  • Wheat
  • Bulgar
  • Durum
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Oats, oat flour
  • Barley, barley flour
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Couscous
  • Wheat pasta
  • Baking powder (unless GF)
  • Soy sauce (unless GF)
  • Bouillon cubes or powder
  • Starch, vegetable starch
  • Sauce mixes (read labels carefully, often contains wheat)
  • Malt, barley malt
  • Modified food starch
  • Rice syrup (unless GF, it contains barley enzymes)
  • Spices and herbs (buy only those specified free of wheat fillers)
  • Artificial colours

Items made from wheat or flour

  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Pretzels
  • Cake
  • Cookies

Testing for celiac disease

A home test can be ordered from:-


Molecular Diagnostics Services (Pty) Ltd

Practice No. 050 000 0235660

6 Ribston Place, Westville, 3629, Pvt.Bag X20, Westville, 3630, South Africa

Tel: +27 31 267 7000, Fax: +27 31 267 7005,

Email: nutrition@wellpro.co.za

Website: www.wellpro.co.za


Kits will be couriered to you. Rapid tests provide immediate results thus are able to be done at home. Based on the results, medical professional advice is recommended for further investigation.


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