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If you're constantly battling fatigue, coeliac disease could be the culprit. Here are the reasons why undiagnosed coeliac disease can make you feel so tired all the time.
Fatigue is described as a constant feeling of physical and/or mental tiredness. If you feel like you’re never on top form despite adopting good lifestyle habits (such as sleeping 8 hours a night, staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet), then it could signify a health problem such as coeliac disease.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your stomach lining when you eat gluten. This can cause a variety of symptoms, from obvious reactions such as diarrhoea and bloating to more subtle signs such as “brain fog” and fatigue.
1 in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease, but only 30% of them have a diagnosis.
If you have untreated or undiagnosed coeliac disease, eating gluten can damage the villi in your intestines. This affects your ability to digest food properly, leading to various vitamin and mineral deficiencies which in turn can make you feel run down and tired.
Common deficiencies caused by coeliac disease include calcium, iron, B12, vitamin D, zinc, and copper. In particular, anaemia caused by iron deficiency is a cause of fatigue and tiredness.
If you’re dealing with an extreme lack of energy, it’s best to book in with your GP to find out the cause of your fatigue.
A doctor may suspect coeliac disease if you’re experiencing fatigue and are deficient in essential vitamins. Your GP will arrange a simple blood test to check for antibodies that are common with coeliac disease. If the blood test is positive for coeliac disease, you will be referred to an outpatient clinic for a biopsy.
In the biopsy, a small section of the bowel is taken, and a Gastroenterologist will assess the results. It’s essential to keep eating gluten while being diagnosed with coeliac disease – otherwise you might not get accurate test results. The only treatment for coeliac disease is a strict lifelong gluten free diet, which will stop damage to your intestines and allow you to recover.
If you already have a coeliac disease diagnosis but are still struggling with fatigue, it’s still important to get medical advice. It can take time for your intestines to recover after adopting a gluten free diet, and you may need additional support from a dietitian to address long-term deficiencies.
Our range of gluten free food is available on prescription to people diagnosed with coeliac disease. Made especially for coeliacs, our range of everyday staples are fortified with essential nutrients and vitamins to help you feel your best again.
We're committed to helping coeliacs every step of the way. So, once you've been diagnosed with coeliac disease, apply for free Juvela Starter Pack to get a fresh start. We'll send you samples of our products to give you a taste of why we're the UK's leading provider of gluten free food on prescription.