Recently my wife and I were checking out the Gluten Free items on offer in the Free From section of our local supermarket when we were joined by another customer who asked if we were looking for Gluten Free products.
That started a conversation in which the young lady explained she had been diagnosed as Coeliac about one year ago, found the diet “difficult” and knew she was not as strict at eating Gluten Free as she should be!

The gluten-free diet can feel isolating, frustrating, difficult to follow and a lot of Coeliacs feel like they miss out at social events like parties, weddings and other family gatherings!

And travelling as a Coeliac is a whole new ball game!!

Now, we know the only treatment option for Coeliac Disease is to follow a strict gluten-free diet but what happens if we don’t and is the effort worth it? What are the Risks and Consequences

If you choose not to follow a strict gluten-free diet, are there serious enough risks and consequences that might convince you to take your gluten-free diet seriously despite the difficulties the lifestyle change brings?

Here’s what happens if you continue to eat gluten despite needing to be on a medically diagnosed gluten-free diet:

(1) You continue to experience painful symptoms and they may well get worse!

There are many symptoms associated with Coeliac Disease and gluten disorders, from digestive issues to skin conditions and brain disorders. Many of the symptoms are painful and typically grow more problematic with time when you continue to eat gluten despite having Coeliac Disease.

Long-term consumption of gluten will equate to long-term symptoms that worsen before they turn into even more serious issues and likely damage your body beyond repair.
(Please note that if you follow a gluten-free diet already, and you accidentally eat gluten, you may temporarily experience the symptoms you were trying to manage with the gluten-free diet, but your body should bounce back quickly.)

(2) You damage nutrient intake and absorption

Gluten is the trigger food that sets off an autoimmune reaction in the body of someone with Coeliac Disease
When a person with Coeliac Disease eats gluten, the body’s immune system launches an attack on what it perceives to be a foreign invader.
This attack on the small intestine is significant because the small intestine has the job of keeping the body healthy as it’s responsible for absorbing nutrients from food and then distributing those nutrients to every cell and organ in the body.
If the small intestine is impaired by gluten, various symptoms start to emerge. Many of the symptoms aren’t a big deal at first, but they worsen over time and will eventually cause great damage if left unattended.

(3) You create widespread inflammation.

People with Coeliac Disease will be negatively affected by continued gluten exposure as their immune systems are already triggered by gluten.

Gluten is difficult to digest, so when it enters the digestive system, large, undigested particles often end up inside the small intestine.
Gluten causes significant health concerns in individuals with an intolerance or sensitivity. Research shows gluten can increase intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut, in people with Coeliac Disease and possibly IBS.

For some people, their weak link might be their stomachs, for others, the weak link may be in the joints, brain, muscles, thyroid, skin, etc.
Even people with silent Coeliac (also known as asymptomatic Coeliac) eventually experience symptoms due to the slow drip attack going on inside of their bodies.
They may not have common digestive issues, but they experience other widespread symptoms that percolate over time until the full-blown Disease is in motion.

(4) You fuel more autoimmune Diseases and possibly cancer!

If you continue to eat gluten despite having Coeliac Disease, then you are continuing to feed – and fuel – the Disease.
Additionally, the risk of developing life-threatening cancers increases when Coeliac Disease is unmanaged or if a person with Coeliac Disease hasn’t been diagnosed early enough.

(5)  People won’t take your Diet seriously.

If you don’t take your diet seriously, how can you expect others to take it seriously? If you want people to take your diet seriously, you should take it seriously at all times. No cheating.
Also, some folk go strictly gluten-free, resolve their symptoms, think they’ve been “cured,” and then start eating gluten again.
The truth is, once someone with a gluten disorder starts eating gluten again, the damage will reemerge
(6) You’ll Undo All Your Progress

Why bother putting yourself through a strict gluten-free diet in the first place if you’re going to eat gluten from time to time?

It’s not worth it.

Until a real Coeliac Disease cure is discovered you are on the Gluten Free diet for life!

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