Coeliac disease is an example of a food sensitivity at its extreme.
It is a result of immune reaction (without the IgE antibody) to gluten and is often referenced as an auto-immune disease. Gluten is the main protein in wheat, rye, barley and oats, and related grains such as kamut, triticale, durum wheat or semolina, and spelt (farro).
Coeliac sufferers experience symptoms such as nausea, wind, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, fatigue, skin conditions, etc. Because Coeliac disease damages the lining of the bowel, the only real way to treat it is to avoid all gluten - which, similar to other food allergies, means a substantial change to the sufferers diet long term.
It is important to confirm a diagnosis of Coeliac disease and not self-diagnose. The disease can cause malnutrition, loss of muscle mass, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Test generally involve a blood test, followed by a gastroscopy (endoscopic examination of the upper gut).
There is a much greater awareness of gluten and Coeliac disease now with gluten free food featuring on menus and being sold in must grocery stores, large supermarkets and even chemists.
Coeliac disease is also known as Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy and Celiac disease in other parts of the world.