Coeliac Disease is a combination of factors which results in the degeneration of little finger-like projections in the first part of the small intestine that provide a means of absorption of an abundance of nutrients, hence it is considered a mal-absorption syndrome.

An intolerance to the protein part in most grains, called gluten, manifests itself in large, foul smelling, bulky, frothy, pale colored stools containing much fat.

It appears that Coeliac Disease is hereditary in many cases, usually diagnosed first in young to middle-aged adults, however, sometimes the symptoms can be traced to early childhood.

Patients may display fluid retention, abdominal distension, severe malnutrition, extreme weight loss, deficiency of Vitamins B, D & K and loss of vital elements in all body fluids.

Elimination from the diet of all gluten containing foods often brings immediate results of remission of symptoms, but others may have to wait months before the bowel re-establishes normal function.

Strict avoidance of the following foods is essential to recovery:-   wheat, barley, rye, oats, textured vegetable protein, malt, breadcrumbs and batters for fried foods, packaged sauces, gravies, instant coffee, mono-sodium glutamate, beer, gin, Scotch and Bourbon whiskey.

Rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, chickpeas and their flours and potato and soya flour are well tolerated.

Gluten free bread mixes are available at the supermarket, also gluten free spaghetti, pasta, biscuits and cracker biscuits.

A gluten free flour can be made combining 2/3 cup arrowroot, 1 cup cornflour, 2 cups rice flour, 2 cups soya flour and 3 cups potato flour.  Reduce cooking temperature by 20 degrees Celsius and increase the baking time.

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