Ok so this “Would You Say Being Coeliac/Celiac Is Considered A Serious Illness?” was asked recently in the FreeFromGluten Facebook Group its free to join CLICK HERE if you want to join.
The post received a lot of comments both for and against, what it highlighted to me was that even within our group there were passionate views on this subject and to show the case for and against I have collated the responses below.
What do you think leave a comment below?
YES IT IS SERIOUS
“Personally I would say yes if not managed correctly because of the damage it can do to your gut. Plus some people get really ill from just a small amount of Gluten.”
“Yes if not managed. It damages the villi in intestines and impacts absorption of nutrients. People have died as a result of misdiagnosis and not following a gf diet.”
“I would say yes, but it’s often not treated as one by the general population.”
“It can cause autoimmune issues”
“Yes as it can lead to many other things”
“yes.colon cancer is a big risk for us.”
“Yes but only if you dont stick to a strict diet as it can cause serious damage.”
“It’s not considered serious by most. However, it absolutely is. I do all the right things, am extremely careful & cautious, yet still get sick due to external forces. It stinks; sadly, a bubble isn’t an option.”
“Long term damage from not receiving proper treatment is what makes is serious”
“And even typically serious disease can be managed by lifestyle choices (diabetes for example) which doesn’t make them any less serious. The seriousness is can it cause secondary diseases? The answer there is yes. Can it cause serious damage if left untreated? The answer is yes. And can it cause risks for cancers, etc to skyrocket? The answer is yes. And is there a cure? The answer is no, which means that even if you take all of the lifestyle choices there is still a significant chance of being contaminated somewhere along the line. I think if we don’t all push for it to be taken as a serious disease, then it will forever be considered a ‘fad’ or something hipsters do, and not a real illness. We have to be our own advocates.”
“Exactly. Some people say “you know, she’s on that gluten free diet”. Um no, diet is a fad, not a lifestyle change.”
“It’s really bothering me people saying it’s not because it can be managed… like… you can literally need surgery to take out dead sections of your intestines due to this. It’s serious. Just because it can be managed doesn’t make it any less serious.”
“Yes but everyones story is different some suffer a lot more than others no two cases are the same”
“Its an autoimmune disease that causes severe complications and conditions, including cancer. So yes.”
“No not to outsiders as if you haven’t got it, you know nothing about it, but to us who have it yes, it can lead to other things if you continue to eat gluten, so just for me it is serious”
“My son is still seriously ill and they are checking him for non responsive CD so my answer would be yes as a normal day is praying there’s no pain or fatigue so he can go play out pushing medicine and weight gain shakes down his throat, carrying half our clothes in case we can’t find a toilet out, hoping there’s no vomiting so we’re not up all night ? and hoping that today is a good day so he can go to school! So yeah in my opinion it is serious as he doesn’t have a “standard childhood”
“Yes I had to have my gallbladder removed and so did my mom”
“My daughters doctor reassured us it is not a life threatening disease.”
“I cannot fathom why anyone who has it would say no 🙁 before my diagnoses I was so sick and malnourished that I was down to 107 lbs and lost my hair and teeth and my nails started peeling off my fingers…all problems the doctors thought was because of pancreatic cancer…I still have to take a lot of vitamins because of the damage caused and even though I have been gf for about 3 yrs I still have not “healed” and probably never will!!”
“it is autoimmune. if any autoimmune disease is not well controlled it can lead to other autoimmune diseases to appear. My daughter is type 1 diabetic.. who also has celiac disease. she could have other autoimmune diseases arise over the years if both are not controlled. so yes.. it is serious.”
“Some cases of CD cannot be controlled by diet alone it’s uncommon but it is a thing so in that sense it is serious”
“Well we are 40% more chance of getting bowel cancer so yes I would say it’s serious”
“Gluten caused celiac disease, ruined gut flora and immune system, gave me 14 years of migraines, brain fog, neurological symptoms, muscle issues, Hashimoto’s antibodies and killed my thyroid. It would probably have given me more autoimmune disorders had I continued to eat it.”
“Yes and it can be deadly. Eating gluten for celiacs will eventually destroy your intestines and bowels. I don’t know about you, but I consider needing surgery to remove pieces of my insides as pretty serious. It’s autoimmune and very much unlike the “diet” and “fad” people have recently turned it into.”
“Yes, delay in diagnosis has resulted in husband’s osteoporosis☹️”
“Yes, five years strictly gf and I still have a seriously damaged bowel. Sensitive way beyond the 20ppm that is the usual gf range. My son has inherited and in the brief six months he was exposed he stopped speaking, went backwards on the weight scale and was in almost constant discomfort. While being misdiagnosed I spent many weeks in hospital with unexplained stomach issues, seven miscarriages, a body covered in scars from the dermatitis herpetiformis, and bouts of anxiety and depression that left me almost crippled.”
“YES, it’s a slow killer. Not like a peanut reaction where you could die straight away, and I think that’s why people don’t take it as seriously. They just don’t understand it.”
“Yup. It not only messes with you digestive system but it can also cause issues with other areas like insomnia, depression, and skin issues that aren’t as deadly but still when a disease can destroy multiple parts of you it’s pretty bad, I would say!”
“Celiac Disease is serious, but being gluten sensitive can be very destructive. I have gone GF for 3 years now and I feel a ton better!!!! I can’t even tell you how miserable I have been. Now I only get sick if I have cheated. Cut out as much processes food as possible, Gluten is everywhere.”
“It is not considered serious by many, including sufferers but is deadly serious if people don’t follow the strict diet! People have gone undiagnosed and died as a result!”
“It’s serious if you continue to eat gluten, as you’ll almost certainly end up with bowel cancer! However also it’s an indication that a persons immune system is off kilter, and usually we either end up with further autoimmune diseases, if we haven’t already got any, I have several myself”
“Yes. It is an autoimmune disease and like any other autoimmune disease such as diabetes, hypo/hyperthyroidism and lupus, is very serious and if not managed can lead to even more serious issues. Education is the key here and many think it is just another dietary fad by those who do not have a diagnosis of coeliac disease.”
“To me, the majority of the population doesn’t take celiac serious enough. In that sense I mean cross contamination etc.
A lot of people think it’s a “diet” or a “fad”
With more awareness out there, the more people will understand how serious celiac disease can be.”
“Seriously? ! Lol. Yes!!!!
Although some medical professionals don’t seem to think so…also some chefs and some of the general public don’t either! I have seen the serious consequences of not sticking to 100% gf diet.”
“It is a disease that needs to be taken very seriously. I’m tired of people thinking it is an ‘allergy to wheat’. It is an auto-immune disease that can be controlled by a gluten free diet. If that isn’t followed strictly there are very serious consequences.”
“If you got it. It feels BLOODY serious”
“Yes. It can affect so many parts of your body, from the GI tract to your skin, from your bone density to your reproductive health, from your nervous system to your joints… some kids on the Autistic spectrum are treated with gluten and caseine free diet, and are showing great progress.”
NO IT IS NOT SERIOUS
“Nope because with the correct diet you can be totally symptom free.”
“No ….it is controlled by diet and lifestyle. Definitely not”
“id say its not a serious illness as long as it is taken seriously and cared for properly”
“Compared to the many thousands of diseases, conditions and disabilities that people all over the world suffer from that are incurable/unmanageable/terminal we are extremely lucky. It’s not a case of ‘some people have it worse so you should be lucky’ but i still think in the grand scheme of things we do have it very lucky (as long as we know we have it and its being managed. undiagnosed/unmanaged coeliac is a different thing!).”
“Exactly. One of the only diseases that is best managed by diet , no medication. The ladder has side effects”
“Personally i’d say no, once it has been diagnosed that is (easier said than done) Stick to a gf diet, end of problem. IBS on the other hand is a serious pain in the …..”
“In comparison to other autoimmune conditions I’d say it’s not considered as serious by the General population. The side effects especially the long term ones aren’t as apparent or well known as say type 1 diabetes or arthritis. The fad celebrity dieters don’t help our cause.”
“I’m going to be honest and say no.. I’m wheat intolerant because I suffer from a disease called Ulcerative Colitis, which is controlled by infusions and lots of drugs that kill off my immune system. If uncared for, coeliac can be so damaging, but I so envy those who are able to control their illness simply through diet. I’m not saying coeliac is easy, but I will honestly say I’d trade colitis for coeliac any day!”
“I don’t think so, it can be controlled by diet which is a lot easier than some diseases. Yes it can cause other issues but most would only occur if left undiagnosed. My mam has Crohns and I think that is worse than Coeliac, she ended up having part of her small intestine took out.”
“No, a way of life like many other conditions”
“It has serious implications if not managed and can be associated and linked in because of other chronic Auto immune issues but Coeliac disease managed with a good outcome is not a serious illness however if you have refractory Coeliac disease then yes it is a serious illness. It’s all about how it’s managed and how it effects you. Over all the answer to your question is No. X”
“No lol.its only an illness before diagnosis. After its better because we are eating better”
“All diseases can be serious if not managed or treated properly; early diagnosis is the key…..But like all diseases if properly managed and treated the life can still be enjoyable….”
“I get extremely ill out of any exposure to gluten and still I refuse to treat myself like I have some kind of terminal illness! Yes it’s a pain in the arse and I’ve been hospitalised with complications countless times; I still just managed to pass a horrible flu in 4 days without pain killers (I’m allergic to non-steroidals AND paracetamol) by necking whisky toddies and chicken broth, I still walk 70 mins every day, work 45h, do zumba, insanity, kajaking and go out all night on the weekends…if I had some ‘serious illness’ I wouldn’t be able to do all that :)”
“I think you have to look at it logically in terms of the definition “serious illness”. A serious illness is one that is life threatening, think strokes, cancer, Aortic Aneurysms, etc. Coeliac Disease tends to be described as a common digestive condition as opposed to a serious illness, even by Coeliac UK.
Is Coeliac Disease alone life threatening? No, it isn’t.
Can the complications of undiagnosed Coeliac Disease, refractory CD or the non compliance of the diet lead to life threatening conditions? Yes.
Does the risk of these complications significantly reduce when on a GF diet? Yes.
So Coeliac Disease itself isn’t life threatening and therefore isn’t classed medically as a “serious illness”. It can lead to or be a contributory factor of a life threatening or serious illness, but that doesn’t mean it is one itself.
However just because it isn’t classed as a serious illness, doesn’t mean that it isn’t important and shouldn’t be taken seriously by health professionals. There are many conditions that you wouldn’t class as serious, but should always be classed as important to the person who has the condition.”
“No I don’t see it as serious illness as long as you care for yourself. But then again gluten and grains causes severe health problems even in healthy people who are not coeliac”
“I don’t consider it serious because you can have it and be well … it can be serious if not treated. I do think that we should take it seriously.”
“In itself it is not a serious condition, however it needs to be taken seriously when managing it to avoid potentially serious complications.”
“No. Cancer is serious. Celiac is not.”
“Let’s be very real here A broken leg can end up serious but generally it heals well if looked after and then it’s all ok.. CD can be monitored and treated without drugs that is actually pretty amazing.
Yes sometimes it is serious enough to warrant other treatment BUT that is not the case for the majority of CD suffers. And if it is it is usually until they get it under control then with a gf diet they are fine.
I have a CD child and an allergy child the allergy is more serious because it involves instant death the CD we monitor and work on and my child is healthy – so while it is taken seriously ( and should be) she is not is a serious condition.
You folk saying it causes cancer, please don’t be so alarming
it CAN cause cancer so can many things in the environment so can your genetics you can not blame CD for cancer.”
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below or join us in the Facebook Group.