QUES­TIONS BURN­ING

IT’S THE SOURCE OF MANY CON­DI­TIONS – FROM THE MILDLY IR­RI­TAT­ING TO THE MORE SE­VERE. WE EX­PLAIN WHAT CAUSES IT, HOW TO RECOG­NISE IT, AND SHARE DIET AND LIFE­STYLE CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE TO HELP TACKLE IN­FLAM­MA­TION IN YOUR BODY

Good Health Choices - - Be Informed -

It hap­pens when we sprain our an­kle, cut our fin­ger or have a fever. In­flam­ma­tion is trig­gered by the im­mune sys­tem when it picks up signs of an ir­ri­tant or dam­age. It’s the body’s clever way of heal­ing and pro­tect­ing us from viruses, bac­te­ria and in­jury. But there’s an­other type of in­flam­ma­tion go­ing on un­seen in­side our bod­ies, which is caused by dam­age to our cells from our diet, life­style or en­vi­ron­ment. Chronic in­flam­ma­tion is like hav­ing a fire burn­ing in your body. It causes all kinds of dam­age, and if there’s one thing that’s mak­ing you sick and over­weight, this is prob­a­bly it. In this health book, we look at how it de­vel­ops, how it makes us more sus­cep­ti­ble to dis­ease and how you can start to put out the fire.

It's like hav­ing a fire burn­ing in your body

Who gets it? Ac­cord­ing to Coeliac New Zealand, coeliac dis­ease af­fects ap­prox­i­mately 60,000 to 70,000 Ki­wis (1 in 70). How­ever, up to 80 per cent of those are un­aware they have the con­di­tion.

What hap­pens? The im­mune sys­tem re­acts ab­nor­mally to gluten, a pro­tein found in wheat, rye, bar­ley and oats, caus­ing small bowel dam­age. It is a dis­ease of chronic in­flam­ma­tion in the small in­tes­tine and can oc­cur in other or­gans like the skin, joints, bones, liver, pan­creas, thy­roid gland, ner­vous sys­tem and re­pro­duc­tive tract. When coeliac dis­ease re­mains un­di­ag­nosed or un­treated for an ex­tended pe­riod of time, the in­flam­ma­tion can cause com­pli­ca­tions such as osteoporosis, in­fer­til­ity and liver dis­ease.

How is it treated? A strict, gluten-free diet is the only med­i­cal treat­ment. The long-term con­se­quences of un­treated coeliac dis­ease are re­lated to chronic sys­temic in­flam­ma­tion, poor nu­tri­tion and mal­ab­sorp­tion of nu­tri­ents.

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