How do you explain to someone that it’s critical to avoid gluten if you don’t really get any symptoms?
It’s my personal belief that we are a society of symptom-lovers. We take a symptom, apply it liberally to an outdated belief system, take medications to instantly supress those symptoms and proceed. The main problem with this is that the underlying ‘key issue’ doesn’t get dealt with – we simply cover up the symptom and the general theory is, no feely, no worry.
In CD (I’m definitely not going to type coeliac disease every time so please, work with me) you might have absolutely no symptoms. How the heck do you even know that anything is amiss? Why would you address a problem thats, frankly, not a problem? You probably wouldn’t and that’s where you can land yourself in a great deal of trouble. Stay with me here.
When you have no symptoms that is referred to as being ‘asymptomatic’. So does it mean that because you don’t get symptoms, or like me your symptoms might not be deemed ‘serious’ that you shouldn’t manage your condition with the very same vigor and commitment as those who spend days vomitting or can’t physically get out of bed?
The answer is yes. And here’s why…
CD is an auto immune disease. Your body is (rather annoyingly) attacking itself and the part that it’s attacking is the villi on the surface of your small intestine. Now this is the hub of nutrient absorption and if enough of those villi are damaged you are literally not going to be able to absorb any nutrients from your food. You could be eating the finest organic produce and you might as well just flush it straight down the loo for all the good it will do you.
Here’s my advice. If you’re one of the lucky ones who only experiences mild bloating, maybe the odd antisocial fart, perhaps you get a bit cloudy in the head but that’s the extent of it, you need to know that your health relies on your strict avoidance of gluten. Even without the signs and signals that others get (it’s a good thing really) you are not off the hook and your immune system is still behaving in a self destructive manner.
Your symptom does not reflect the (potential) damage being caused by ingesting gluten. A little bit is not ok. If you’re symptom free and you have CD you need to adhere to your gf life like your life depends on it… because it does.
Please note all comments in this blog are my thoughts. You are in charge of your life and so you’re the boss of your choices. We have millions of chances a day to make a great choice – go for it!