The Problem

Working together to halt the first step of gluten intolerance

Celiac Disease is a serious, and often debilitating, autoimmune disorder where the consumption of gluten activates the immune system and causes damage in the small intestine.

Gluten is a complex group of proteins found in barley, wheat, and rye. In Celiac disease, gluten fragments stimulate the immune system and lead to damage of the small intestine lining. These immunogenic fragments also play a role in the pathology of Non -Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, a distinct syndrome typified by the expression of intestinal and systemic symptoms following the ingestion of gluten – containing food.

About 1 in 100 people suffer from Celiac Disease. This rate significantly increases within families since Celiac Disease is hereditary. People with a parent, child, or sibling with Celiac Disease have a 1 in 10 risk of developing the condition. Based on these rates, it is predicted that about 30 million individuals are affected by this disease worldwide. In addition, incidence rates are increasing across Europe and the US.

Celiac disease affects individuals differently, which can make it difficult to diagnose. In addition, there are more than 200 identified symptoms, adding to the complexity of the disease.

  • The most common gastrointestinal -related symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, indigestion, constipation, and vomiting (usually only in children).
  • More broad symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, nutrient deficiencies, difficulty getting pregnant, peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, and oedema.

Some patients might not have any symptoms but test positive for the Celiac Disease blood test. Others may test negative on the blood test but have positive intestinal biopsy results. Regardless of the symptomology, all patients with Celiac Disease are at risk for developing other chronic health conditions.

For Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, the incidence rate is 6-10 times larger than Celiac Disease. Common gastrointestinal symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhoea. Systemic manifestations such as ‘foggy mind’, headaches, bone or joint pain, chronic fatigue, and depression are also linked to this condition. It is estimated that about 150 million individuals worldwide are affected by Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

Currently, there is no effective pharmacological treatment for Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Instead, the only option is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet.

Individuals on a gluten-free diet cannot consume wheat, rye, and barley, which are common ingredients in foods like bread, pasta, cereals, baked goods, and beer. In addition, gluten is used as a thickener so many sauces and soups need to be avoided.

Ingesting even small amounts of gluten, like crumbs from a cutting board, can activate an immunogenic response, so patients must be careful during food preparation in their kitchens. In addition, it can also be especially challenging to adhere to a gluten-free diet while eating out since cross-contamination is common in most restaurants.

Undiagnosed or untreated Celiac Disease can lead to a variety of chronic health conditions such as:

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia
  • Infertility and miscarriage
  • Gall bladder malfunction
  • Central and peripheral nervous system disorders