… Following a celiac diagnosis, I had begun to adapt my diet to gluten free. The most common misconception is that celiac is simply an allergy to wheat when it is actually an autoimmune disease. This means that the body is at war with itself …
White blood cells in our body are in place to fight off infections, disease, sickness. They are the front liners when it comes to keeping us healthy and free from sickness. In patients of autoimmune diseases, these white blood cells attack healthy cells instead. In the body of a celiac, consuming gluten causes a reaction in the body where the enzyme levels that heighten due to an allergy, increase rapidly. This then causes the colon and intestine to swell and become inflamed, causing pain.
Within the first week of diet change, the change was admittedly evident. Both internally and externally. There was however still significant pain. This would subside over the next few months as the swelling on the colon reduced. Bed rest, plenty of liquids and careful consumption was advised.
I had noticed that as my body adjusted to the new diet, I experienced intense migraines, consistent dizzying spells as well as the sudden onset of nausea. This was said to be normal as I underwent the transition.
Physically I begun to see the positive effects, my lower abdomen was no longer bloated, the skin was not taught and the tenderness had subsided. I found myself being positive and looking forward to what I suspected an uphill road to recovery.
Much to my dismay three weeks after diagnosis I found myself in hospital. Having vomited 6 times within a two-hour period, leading to dehydration and fatigue. Upon being admitted I underwent a mandatory COVID test, got placed into Quarantine, awaiting results. Once we received the negative result I was transferred to the normal ward.
The Specialist Physician explained that my white blood cell count (infection markers) was low, meaning that this was not caused by an infection in my body. In the past few weeks my body had to rapidly adapt to the intake of a complete wheat (gluten) free diet. This drastic change in diet is what caused the onset of my symptoms as my body was still adjusting.
Within our intestine, we find bacterium responsible for maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Lactobacillus and Escherichia coli, more commonly known as E.Coli are examples of what can be found in the lower intestine.
Wheat and products high in fibre are usually recommended to aid in the increase of this bacterium. In the case of a Celiac patient, this will do more harm than good. I was therefore prescribed probiotics for the duration of the next two months.
Probiotics are live microbes that directly influences our intestinal microbiome. In patients with celiac disease probiotics fortify the protective mucus layer that lines the gastrointestinal tract, dampening the inflammatory response caused by gluten ingestion, decreasing intestinal permeability. This cannot be used as treatment for the disease but does aid the transition phase.
If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and can relate to this post please contact your Doctor asking for advice.