DOES HAVING COELIAC DISEASE MEAN YOU’LL BE ILL MORE OFTEN?

January 19, 2017

Do you ever wonder if you get more colds than other people?

For the second Xmas in a row, I spent the entire holiday being sick as a dog. Apart from seeming exceedingly unlucky, I spent a fair amount of time shivering in bed wondering why this had happened.

Have you ever linked the idea with being Coeliac?

It’s a problem I’ve turned over for many years. After my diagnosis (and the euphoria of being well again on a gluten-free diet had worn off) I realised I was getting a cold every month. Yup, every month! And it would last around a week. I went to the doctor about it and was told “some people are more prone to getting colds than others”.

It wasn’t a very satisfying response. Nor was it one I believed.
So I wasn’t surprised when ‘flu jabs started being offered to Coeliacs.

According to the NHS website, the spleen doesn’t function as well in some Coeliacs, which makes them more susceptible to infection than others (click below to see more):

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Coeliac-disease/Pages/Treatment.aspx
My screenshot from the NHS website

If you then check the Coeliac UK website, they confirm the same message, but also add a rather disappointing note about whether Coeliacs should be entitled to a ‘flu jab:

https://www.coeliac.org.uk/coeliac-disease/medications-and-vaccinations/vaccinations/
A screenshot from Coeliac UK

In other words, there are some places in the UK where Coeliacs are all offered a ‘flu jab and some where you’d need to prove you had a spleen problem (i.e. show that you’re hyposplenic, and I dread to think what that involves). This may explain why you’ve not been offered a ‘flu jab by your doctor but your friend in another county has.

But is it always about coeliac disease?

Despite the issues highlighted above, I must confess I’m not convinced being Coeliac is detrimental to my everyday health. No, when I compare myself with others, I no longer feel as though I have a worse time than they do. The being ill dilemma went away a number of years ago when I changed lifestyles. When the stress factor decreased, so did my sick days.

So given that the only time I’ve been ill this year was actually at Xmas, it rather makes me think I’ve been quite fortunate. Well, with the exception of sneezing my way through the serving of the Xmas pudding, of course.

What have your experiences as a Coeliac been? Have you got good health? Do share your story below!

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