What is Celiac Disease? How is it treated?
Here’s what you need to know.
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by the by consumption of gluten, a protein commonly found in many grains, especially wheat, barley & rye. Therefore, those products containing these grains MUST be avoided by those diagnosed with celiac disease. Among those products to be especially mindful of are: bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. Oats may contain gluten as well, but this is currently in dispute due to the fact that SOME seem to be able to digest oats without consequence. It is important that you followed your doctor’s advice in this matter. When a person with celiac disease eats foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in the small intestine, resulting in damage to the surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients from food.
Eventually, decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment, which can lead to other illnesses. This is especially serious in children, who need proper nutrition to develop and grow. Many who suffer celiac disease also develop related vitamin and mineral deficiency related diseases.
Also known as celiac sprue, celiac disease occurs in people who have a susceptibility to gluten intolerance. Although celiac disease affects people of all races, it is most prevalent in those of white European ancestry. It also affects women to a greater extent than men. Celiac disease has been around as long as man has eaten wheat and other grains containing the protein, but it has only been in the last 50 years that researchers have gained a better understanding of the condition and how to treat it.
No treatment can cure celiac disease. However, you can effectively manage celiac disease through the elimination of gluten products from your diet.