What is celiac disease?
Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder. When people with celiac disease consume foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs and the villi of the small intestine become damaged. Without healthy villi the body is unable to absorb nutrients and becomes malnourished. There is no cure for celiac disease, however it can be managed effectively with a gluten-free diet. Studies show that approximately 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease.
How is celiac disease treated?
There are no medications available for people with celiac disease to counteract the negative effects that gluten has on their bodies. As of right now, a gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac disease. Products like the Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping Guide, Easy 30 Day Gluten-Free Diet book, Gluten-Free Dining Out Cards and the Gluten-Free Mexican Cookbook make it easier to stick to a gluten-free diet. Strict adherence to a gluten-free diet can counteract the potential long-term effects of the disease, including damage to the small intestine, osteoporosis, intestinal lymphoma and bowel cancer.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
One of the complications of celiac disease is that its symptoms can easily be confused with other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Celiac disease often causes an individual’s stool to be loose and pale. Those with the disease may experience weight loss or an inability to gain weight. Abdominal pain, cramping and mouth ulcers are additional symptoms of this condition. Because celiac disease can prevent the absorption of some necessary nutrients, anemia, osteoporosis and abnormal bleeding may develop as a result of this condition. Here are possible symptoms of celiac disease.
Possible Symptoms of Celiac Disease
Dental Enamel Defects
Diarrhea Or Constipation
Fatigue/Loss Of Energy
Growth Failure In Children
Painful Itchy Bumps On The Skin
Tingling Of Hands Or Feet
Unexplained Weight Loss Or Gain
Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies
Maintaining a strict gluten-free diet may help alleviate most symptoms of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Within a few days of being on a strict gluten-free diet, symptoms usually start to diminish. A vast improvement can usually be seen within a few weeks.
What is Gluten Intolerance?
Gluten Intolerance is when an individual develops adverse health symptoms when ingesting gluten. Though these symptoms may be similar to celiac disease, this condition has not advanced to the severity of intestinal villi damage. Gluten intolerance can also be effectively managed with a gluten-free diet. Researchers now believe that gluten intolerance may be as common as 1 in every 20 Americans.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a special type of protein that is most commonly found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is comprised of two main protein groups: gliadins, and gluteins. People who have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or gluten sensitivity may suffer from chronic digestive problems when ingesting foods that contain gluten. Gluten is found in most cereals, breads, pastas, soups, and pizza crusts. It may also be hidden in foods such as seasonings, salad dressings, sauces, additives and natural flavors.
Safe vs. Unsafe Foods
Below is a list of safe vs. unsafe foods. Those that are gluten-free, those that might have hidden gluten, and those that contain gluten.
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
Oil (Canola, Olive, Vegetable)
Pure Herbs & Spices
- Possible Hidden Gluten
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Modified Food Starch
- Contains Gluten
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch
Wheat Germ Oil
* Certified Gluten-Free oats are safe