The Hidden Epidemic?

Coeliac Disease (pronounced Cee-Lee- Ack) is being coined the Hidden Epidemic by professionals.

I thought I would help explain what Coeliac Disease is. Here in Australia we have just completed a national Coeliac Awareness Week. From the 13th to the 20th March each year The Coeliac Society holds the Coeliac Awareness Week to bring light onto this often confusing dis-ease. Symptoms have previously been ignored or tolerated and with what is estimated to be 1 in 100 Australians affected by this, awareness is essential for a high quality of life.

Coeliac Disease:

An hereditary condition, coeliac disease is a permanent, autoimmune disorder where gluten, found in wheat, rye, barley and oats, causes the body to produce antibodies which damage the lining of the small bowel. Inflammation of the bowel occurs which in turn makes it hard for people to absorb nutrients from the food they eat. As a result, one of the first signs can be unexplained tiredness and a general lack of energy or get-up-and-go. The body is essentially producing antibodies that attack its own tissues.

Tiny, finger like projections in the bowel (the villi) which absorb nutrients, become inflamed and flattened in people with untreated coeliac disease. So imagine a shag pile carpet versus a threadbare carpet and you have a good idea of what happens to the villi in untreated coeliac disease. Damaged in this way, the villi are unable to absorb the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients we all need for healthy growth and bodily function.
Children as well as adults can have coeliac disease.
Sufferers become ‘starved’ and as a result, their bodies can’t function properly.

Undiagnosed coeliac disease may result in:

  • Unexplained anemia
  • Nutritional deficiencies such as iron, folate or B12
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance such as flatulence, abdominal distention, diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unintentional weight loss/gain
  • Delayed growth or delayed general development in children
  • Headaches
  • Liver problems
  • Multiple unexplained fractures
  • Irritability or failure to concentrate
  • Education outcomes that are not as good as they might be

There could be a higher risk of having coeliac disease if you have:


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  • A family history of coeliac disease
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Unexplained osteoporosis
  • Infertility or multiple miscarriages

Coeliac disease may affect at least 1 in 100 people, or nearly a quarter of a million of the population. Currently fewer than one in five has been diagnosed. Many people may have a GLUTEN INTOLERANCE, which is NOT an allergy. Coeliac disease is. They can both exhibit similar symptoms so it is important, easy, fast and painless to get the facts right by making a quick visit to your chosen health professional.

All Designer Physique products are currently Gluten Free. I personally live a gluten free lifestyle as I have gluten intolerance myself. I find bread, pastas, wheats etc act like glue in my body resulting in gas, bloating and difficulty digesting. Choosing Gluten Free foods wherever possible makes life so much easier for someone like me who has gluten intolerance.

To those with Coeliac Disease however, it is essential to avoid gluten entirely. The body reacts negatively and if undiagnosed, this disease does not go away. It gets worse as you get older.

Many people who are Coeliac or gluten intolerant should avoid dairy due to the lactose found in all dairy produce. The Designer Physique Pea Protein Isolate is the best protein of choice for such people. It is gluten free, dairy and lactose free, soy free, and contains a pH level of 7.5 which means it is an alkalising protein. The chocolate and vanilla taste amazing just in water as well.

We serve a number of clients who have Coeliac Disease and gluten intolerance. From their testimonies we hear that the Designer Physique range is digested with ease. We take care to produce the highest grade for our entire range and will continue to do so. A couple of testimonies, (more under ‘testimonies’ on this page):

“Fantastic feedback from another person with autoimmune disease. They started on Tony Sfeir Designer Physique protein based upon my recommendation (no nasty artificial sweeteners and gluten-free!) She says: “Well, I finally purchased some of the Designer Physique Whey Protein Concentrate in Swiss Chocolate and whoa! Yummo. Even made with water, it was thick and tasted like…wait for it….chocolate. No artificial aftertaste. Nothing….I am now converted. Thank you soooo much for recommending them.”

“If we even get the smallest amount of gluten, it causes so many problems. I’m trying to teach my children to eat well and build stronger bodies (since being unable to eat gluten also). Without Tony Sfeir’s products; I start to get run-down and have flares. I found his Digestive Boost to be SO valuable. We had a nasty stomach bug and it helped to neutralise it. My little girl was so happy to have it and felt relief almost immediately.

Coles and Woolworths also sell a great range of Gluten Free produce these days. So if you have any doubt, go and have the test done. If you have been unexplainably tired, bloated, lethargic, sleepy, or getting diarrhea/constipation particularly after eating carbs – it is worth getting checked.



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