Gluten & Celiac disease

April 28, 2016

What is celiac disease you might ask? Well, Webmd describes it this way; “Celiac disease -- also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy -- is a digestive and autoimmune disorder that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when foods with gluten are eaten. Gluten is a form of protein found in some grains. The damage to the intestine makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients, especially fat, calcium, iron, and folate.”

Many people are suffering from gluten sensitivity without knowing the real cause of their symptoms.

This is why proper diagnosis is so essential, so dietary and behavioral remedies can be put in place before more serious damage is done. Celiac disease is often associated with other diseases like enteritis and colitis, as well as various other autoimmune diseases that often result from non-treatment or lack of awareness of a Celiac condition

As with many autoimmune diseases, this is your own body attacking itself, and as such, it is very difficult to cure. Celiac disease does not have a known cure, and the only way to alleviate the painful condition is to restrict your diet to a gluten-free variety for the rest of your life. (1)

Gluten, can be found these days in almost everything we eat, from pasta, to bread, muffin, etc. So what to do if you have gluten sensitivity? Fortunately, there are now a great deal of information about Gluten sensitivity, and lots of restaurants and grocery stores offering Gluten free products.


What Causes Celiac Disease?

Normally, the body's immune system is designed to protect it from foreign invaders. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system forms antibodies to gluten which then attack the intestinal lining. This causes inflammation in the intestines and damages the villi, the hair-like structures on the lining of the small intestine. Nutrients from food are normally absorbed by the villi. If the villi are damaged, the person cannot absorb nutrients properly and ends up malnourished, no matter how much he or she eats(2)

What are the signs and symptoms of celiac disease?

A person may experience digestive signs and symptoms, or symptoms in other parts of the body. Digestive signs and symptoms are more common in children and can include

  • abdominal bloating
  • chronic diarrhea
  • constipation
  • gas
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting

There is a whole list of symptoms that can occur with gluten sensitivity, many of them can also be found on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website (3) for further information.

Celiac disease is a serious problem for many people, however with so many resources and choices in restaurants, grocery stores that offer gluten free food, makes it easier for gluten sufferers to live a normal life.

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