Sunday, March 4, 2012

What is Celiac Disease...

First, Celiac Disease is a heck of a lot more common than you may think. So, pay close attention to the following. As a matter of fact, it is thought to effect 1 in 105 people in the United States. That's alarming. This disease damages the lining of the small intestine (known as "villi") and prevents it from absorbing parts of a foods nutrients, minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E. and K. Therefore, less or no absorption of nutrients places the body in a state of malnourishment. So, no matter how much or how healthy you may eat, your body WILL NOT be able to absorb essential nutrients. How do you have an idea that you may have Celiac Disease? As it turns out, a lot of times the symptoms are misdiagnosed. Why? There is a laundry list of symptoms to consider and you don't have to have all of them. These include: abdominal pain, gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea (on and off, or constant), decrease in appetite, unexplained loss of weight, nausea, vomiting, lactose intolerant, and stools (foul smelling, floating, fatty, or bloody). So, commonly these symptoms go untreated or treated with simple, but incorrect, "over the counter" medicines. Diagnoses of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn's Disease can often have similar symptoms. But, due to the malabsorption of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, there maybe some distinct clues you have to help determine if you have Celiac Disease. These include: fatigue, depression, anxiety, easily bruise, hair loss, itchy skin, nosebleeds, mouth ulcers, missed menstrual periods, muscle cramps, joint pain, seizures, tingling/numbness in hands/feet, short height, and slow growth as a child. Now, there are blood tests and even biopsies of the small intestinal lining that can be done to check for the correct diagnosis. But, there is also something easier to do. That is to cut out "the culprit" from your diet. And that culprit is...GLUTEN.

It is GLUTEN that aggravates all and any of the possible symptoms of Celiac Disease. By getting rid of Gluten in your diet, it will allow the damage to the lining of your small intestine (the villi) to heal. So, how is this done? By staying away from foods, beverages, and medicines that have: WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE, and OATS in them. Yes, this is the GLUTEN FREE DIET. I am sure everyone has heard the term, but never really knew what it was. Well, now you do. It's just a matter now of being aware and reading a products label of ingredients. One more very important piece of information that should be noted. Celiac Disease can happen to you at any age. From an infant and all the way into adulthood.

Definition of Celiac Disease Link
Gluten Free Products Link
Gluten Free Recipes Link
Foods and Ingredients with Gluten Link

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