September 2009 [ P r o n o u n c e d SEE LEE ACK ]
What is the Coeliac Condition?
When someone with the condition eats food that contains gluten, it damages the walls of their digestive system. This reduces significantly their ability to absorb essential minerals such as folic acid, iron and B12. Symptoms include lack of energy, inability to thrive (especially in children), rapid weight loss, anaemia and osteoporosis. In many cases the effect of eating gluten is painless, but some do suffer severe cramp and other unpleasant effects.
What is Gluten and where is it found?
Gluten is a protein found mainly in wheat, barley, rye and oats, but not in corn or rice. It is also found in other grains not so common in the western diet, such as spelt and triticale.
What’s it like, being a Coeliac?
Many foods are naturally Gluten Free and you can now buy a range of products that are, too.
Home Cooking – a number of products off the supermarket shelf may contain Gluten, in ingredients such as modified starch, soy sauce, tomato sauces, etc. Some things you’d think were sure to be OK might not be, including Ice Cream, mustard, corn chips, rice puddings, Coleslaw…..
Snacks – You need to know exactly what you are eating at all times, and that includes things that you wouldn’t dream contain gluten – M&Ms are OK, Smarties are not; some Mars Bars are OK, some not, some crisps are OK but others use wheat to stick the flavour on!
What’s the worst thing?