Celiac Disease: What You Should Know

Celiac disease is a genetically transmitted ailment in which gluten in the diet causes damage to the small intestine preventing the celiac sufferer from absorbing nutrients from the normal digestion process. These proteins are found in all forms of mainstream and other related products. Such as durum semolina, spelt, and related grains such as rye, barley, and oats. Damage to the small intestine is caused by a reaction to the ingestion of gluten.

Celiac disease causes the villi (the tiny hair-like projections in the small intestine)to shrink and ultimately disappear. This is the vicious reaction to celiac disease. Damaged villi interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. If left untreated, damage to the small intestine can be life threatening, posing an increased risk of many disorders.

For those suffering the effects of celiac disease, they will also suffer a host of related symptoms including: anemia, calcium deficiencies and vitamin deficiencies such as B12, B6. Often, they will have other allergies.

Among the more common celiac disease symptoms, abdominal cramps and bloating, diarrhea and constipation are all celiac disease symptoms. Often, they experience fatigue, weakness, and irritability.

At this time, the only treatment available for celiac disease is a lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. For nearly all celiac disease sufferers, when gluten is completely removed from the diet, the small intestine will begin to heal and general health will improve. It is important that the celiac disease sufferer learn to read labels. If you’re not sure about a food or ingredient, stay away and learn to identify those ingredients that may contain gluten. You must become aware of gluten hiding in some not so obvious foods such as deli meats, soups, hard candies, soy sauce, even salad dressings. When in doubt, stay away! You must be very diligent if you expect to see healing.

Gluten is also often used as a binder in prescription medicines. Again ask your doctor about gtluten in medications.

You should probably stay away from alcohol altogether. Beer MUST be avoided, but alcohol that’s been distilled is believed to be OK. Consult your doctor

Sometimes gluten products are added to alcohols and vinegars after the distilling process and should be avoided entirely. Malt vinegars are not distilled and are not gluten-free.

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