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What is Celiac Disease Treatment of Celiac Disease

By:   |   Jul 08, 2018   |   Views: 18   |   Comments: 0
Also called: Celiac sprue, Gluten-sensitive enteropathy, Nontropical sprue

If you have celiac disease and eat foods with gluten, your immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley. It is found mainly in foods but may also be in other products like medicines, vitamins and even the glue on stamps and envelopes.

Signs and symptoms of Celiac Disease

Classic symptoms of coeliac disease include diarrhea, weight loss (or stunted growth in children), and fatigue, but while coeliac disease is primarily a bowel disease, bowel symptoms may also be limited or even absent. Some patients are diagnosed with symptoms related to the decreased absorption of nutrients or with various symptoms which, although statistically linked, have no clear relationship with the malfunctioning bowel.

Causes of Celiac Disease

Also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue and gluten-sensitive enteropathy, celiac disease occurs in people who have a susceptibility to gluten intolerance. Some experts speculate that celiac disease has been around since humankind switched from a foraging diet of meat and nuts to a cultivated diet including grains, such as wheat.

Gluten is a family of proteins present in wheat. Some of the proteins that make up gluten (the ones that are dissolved by alcohol) are called gliadin. It is the gliadin in gluten that causes the immunological reaction in celiac disease.

Some people have an allergy to gluten and must go on a gluten-free diet. In their case, the gluten damages the mucosa of the small intestine in a way that a normal digestion becomes impossible. After avoiding gluten completely, the intestine will return to functioning normally.

How is celiac disease diagnosed?

Recognizing celiac disease can be difficult because some of its symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. In fact, sometimes celiac disease is confused with irritable bowel syndrome, iron-deficiency anemia caused by menstrual blood loss, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, intestinal infections, and chronic fatigue syndrome. As a result, celiac disease is commonly underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

How Is It Treated?

Once a doctor has a diagnosis, he or she will help treat the condition. Although there is no cure for celiac disease, it can be managed successfully by following a gluten-free diet.

People with celiac disease need to follow this diet for life. Because gluten can be found in everything from breakfast cereals to prepared luncheon meats, people with celiac disease need to be very aware of what's in the foods they eat.

Foods to Avoid

Gluten is found in certain grains. The following foods and food ingredients contain gluten:

Any type of wheat
Any type of barley or malt
Rye

Nutritional deficiencies. Eating gluten also can lead to an imbalance of chemicals, minerals, and vitamins. These deficiencies should reverse with a gluten-free diet, but vitamins, iron, or calcium supplements are sometimes neede

In addition, gluten is found in many processed foods where it is used as an inexpensive filler (listed under "modified food starch" and other names). Gluten may even be found in unexpected items such as hard candies, jelly beans, gum, and lipstick. Fortunately, organizations such as the Celiac Disease Foundation and Celiac Sprue Association provide complete lists of acceptable foods for a gluten-free diet, as well as support and resources.

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