First Up – What Is Coeliac Disease?
Coeliac disease occurs when the immune system does not react normally to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats) which causes malfunction of the bowel and intestines. As a result, less nutrients are absorbed into the body and symptoms develop relating to the digestive system.
The disease can hit at any time, both male and female. The reason for developing it is to do with genetics, so if someone in your family has the disease, you are at a greater risk. There are also certain environmental factors that can trigger symptoms.
Who Has It?
On average, 1 in 70 Australians are living with the disease, however only 20% of these people have been diagnosed. If the disease is left un-treated, further nutritional deficiencies can occur such as osteoporosis (weakened bones), anaemia (low iron), weight fluctuations, poor mood and having low energy levels.
The main way to manage this condition is through a strict, lifelong gluten free diet. Another adjunct to this is an overall balance lifestyle which involves exercise.
If you think you might be one of those suffering without ever having been diagnosed – you should get on to chatting with your doctor.
How Can Exercise Help?
The body is always in a process of healing and people suffering from coeliac disease need to give their bodies the best chance to heal. Making a healthy choice in one area can be contagious to another, for example, choosing to park further away from work to walk more, may lead to choosing a more healthy option to snack on. Making these decisions gives you a sense of control over your body, and counteracts identifying yourself as being sick.
The perfect exercise program for an individual should be specifically tailored to them. However here are a few general benefits:
- Weight bearing exercises can help reduce the ongoing weakening of bones and joints.
- Exercise suited to an individual can improve a poor mood which is common when dealing with a chronic condition. When the body is suffering physically, there is a direct impact on one’s mental state.
- By adjusting the volume and type of exercise, it is possible to boost energy levels and overcome the negative emotions associated.
- Finally exercise will improve blood circulation which will in turn, accelerate healing and function of the digestive system.
To tailor an exercise program to a condition that is specific to your life, book a consultation with one of our friendly physiotherapists at The Healthy Body Company.