Celiac disease – A Broad Guide on the Disease

Understanding Gluten | Do you have Celiac | Diagnosing | Treatment

Grasping Celiac Disease – A Close Look at Celiac

Celiac disease is a subject that’s gotten a significant amount of attention in recent years. This disease, in brief, is a kind of digestive disorder. It’s one that’s brought on by immune responses that are atypical.

If your immune system fails to respond to gluten in a normal manner, then you may have celiac. Other common names for this medical condition are:

  • Celiac sprue
  • Gluten enteropathy
  • Non-tropical sprue

Understanding Gluten

Gluten is a kind of protein that’s a staple in many food items. It’s associated with food items that are produced using triticale, wheat, barley and, last but definitely not least, rye.

This protein isn’t limited to the food realm, either. It’s part of various nutritional supplements, toothpastes, makeup products and medications.

What Exactly Happens With This Disease?

If you suffer from this disease, then your gluten immune reaction produces toxins. These toxins, in turn, eradicate the villi. The villi are little projections that are located within the small intestines.

Villi destruction can be quite problematic. That’s due to the fact that it stops the body from taking in the nutrients that are part of food items. This understandably can negatively affect nutrition and health in significant ways. It can make people a lot more susceptible to lasting intestinal harm.

Do You Have Celiac?

Only a doctor can confirm whether you actually have this disease. However, there are numerous indications that are associated with the health condition.

Its symptoms run the gamut. Symptoms that affect adult sufferers often are nothing like those that impact children. Signs of the condition in most cases revolve around the digestive system.

If you feel any discomfort that relates to your intestines, then celiac could be the culprit. Although celiac symptoms for the most part are digestive in nature, there are exceptions. It isn’t unheard of for celiac to impact separate sections of the body.

Kids who have celiac often have to tackle a vast range of issues. They may have diarrhea with great frequency. They in many cases have the opposite problem as well, and that’s constipation.

If a child is unable to pass stools for days at a time, then celiac could be the reason. Intense stomach pain is a big part of celiac. Intense feelings of bloating are another big part of it. Parents who suspect that their children may have celiac should zero in on the stools they pass.

If they’re oddly light in color, something may be amiss. If they give off unusually unpleasant odors, the same thing applies. Other possible indications of celiac in kids are exhaustion, crankiness, throwing up and loss of weight.

Kids who have this disease often go through puberty much later than their peers do. They in many situations are unusually compact in stature.

Adults who have this disease often have to tolerate a whole other set of symptoms. The majority of adult celiac sufferers also have to endure symptoms that are associated with parts of the body that have absolutely nothing to do with digestive processes.

As far as digestion goes, adults may get diarrhea regularly. They may feel oddly worn out all of the time. They may shed pounds. They may find it difficult or impossible to be able to pass stools successfully.

Other digestive woes that frequently impact adult celiac sufferers are vomiting, nausea, stomachaches, gas and bloating. Read this post for a full list of Celiac disease symptoms

A minimum of 50 percent of all adult celiac suffers go through disease symptoms that do not tie in with digestion in any way, shape or form. They may develop anemia, first and foremost.

Anemia is a medical condition that involves the blood cells. If an individual lacks sufficient red blood cells that are healthy, then he or she may be anemic. Iron shortages typically lead to anemia in people who have celiac.

Other typical celiac symptoms that pop up in adults are joint aches, spleen troubles, nervous system trauma, seizures, headaches, mouth ulcers, skin rashes and decreased bone density.

If your hands and feet regularly feel inexplicably numb, then celiac could be behind it all. If your joints constantly hurt and feel rigid, then the disease could be behind it all as well.

There are numerous celiac symptoms that are restricted to female sufferers. Female celiac sufferers in many cases have menstrual periods that are unpredictable. Expectant celiac sufferers sometimes miscarry, too. Fertility troubles aren’t unusual in the celiac world.

Are You Vulnerable to This Disease?

There are people who are particularly susceptible to certain kinds of medical conditions. There are also some people who are especially vulnerable to the emergence of celiac.

It’s a hereditary health condition. That means that if you’re related to someone who has it or had it, then you may be prone to it yourself. Celiac is also particularly prevalent in individuals who have different autoimmune sicknesses.

People who have type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, intestinal cancer, lactose intolerance or Addison’s disease may be prone to celiac and all of its effects.

Diagnosing This Disease

People who have this disease are often totally oblivious to it. Intestinal destruction isn’t something that takes place overnight. Intestinal destruction signs often depend on individuals as well.

It isn’t atypical for people who have this disease to wait around for a long while prior to receiving confirmation from doctors. If you suspect that you have celiac for any reason under the sun, then you need to call a doctor to make an appointment as soon as possible.

Doctors perform all sorts of tests for celiac diagnostic purposes. These tests frequently call for the cooperation of gluten. That means that patients may have to take in a bit of gluten beforehand. The presence of gluten in the body can be beneficial for testing precision.

Doctors often request that their patients eat food items that contain gluten for eight full weeks. Their patients may have to consume a minimum of four wheat bread slices on a daily basis. This testing approach can often be effective for doctors who want to confirm whether patients are celiac sufferers. There are others that go beyond it as well.

HLA or “human leukocyte antigen” genetic tests are accessible during the diagnostic process. These assessments search meticulously for both the HLA-DQ8 and HLA-DQ2 genes in patients.

People who aren’t equipped with these genes have low odds of having the medical condition. If an individual goes through these evaluations, then he or she may require saliva tests, blood tests and even interior cheek swabs.

The aforementioned blood tests are in many cases significant aspects of the celiac diagnostic process. Blood tests assess patients for the presence of various specific blood antibodies. The bulk of individuals who have celiac have immoderate amounts of these antibodies.

If you get back either of these kinds of tests, then your doctor may evaluate the findings and determine that you should go for an endoscopy, too.

Endoscopies view the interior of the body through the assistance of tubes that are narrow and lengthy. These procedures aren’t surgical. Doctors rely on them as a means of analyzing their patients’ digestive tracts.

They center around endoscopes. If a doctor conducts an endoscopy, he or she can search small intestines for indications of harm. These procedures generally last for roughly 15 minutes or so.

Celiac Sufferers and Treatment Pathways

There aren’t any medicines out there that can cure this disease. People who want to get this disease under control have no choice but to stop eating any and all food items that have gluten for good.

They have to commit to never eating gluten again for the rest of their lives. Stopping consuming gluten can encourage the recovery of the villi. It enables bodies to take in essential nutrients in the correct manner, too.

Doctors give their patients comprehensive guidelines that can help them steer clear of gluten. They talk to them about the value of steering clear of gluten and consuming nutritious diets at the same exact time.

People who have this disease should learn about food packaging. It’s critical for sufferers to know how to pinpoint ingredients that may include gluten.

If you start saying no to food items that include gluten, then you may begin feeling markedly better in just days.

Day-to-Day Food Choices and Celiac Patients

It can often be quite a chore for celiac patients to be able to cease eating gluten forever. The good news is that there are an abundance of brands these days that manufacture food items that do not have any gluten at all.

People nowadays can easily come across these items on the shelves of their local supermarkets. It can be particularly easy to come across gluten-free items in supermarkets that specialize in wholesome options.

Patients should always be on the lookout for packages that feature the word “gluten-free” prominently.

Celiac sufferers need to be aware of ingredients that are problematic. They should never consume ingredients like spelt, wheat, barley, rye, triticale, semolina, graham flour, farina, durum and, finally, bulgur.

They shouldn’t consume yogurt, ice cream, bread, beer, oats, gravy, pastries, crackers, cookies, cereal, croutons, candies, pies, cakes, “fake” meats, pasta, soup, condiments, hot dogs, sausages, and soup. They can only consume these foods if their packages explicitly state that they’re devoid of gluten.

People who have this disease don’t have to resign themselves to lifestyles that don’t involve any delicious starches and grains. That’s because there are in reality quite a few starch and grain options out there that do not include gluten at all.

Several examples of these are corn, buckwheat, rice, quinoa, arrowroot, tapioca, amaranth and cornmeal. Celiac patients can freely chow down on flour that consists of beans, potatoes, corn, soy and rice. They can just as freely chow down on tortillas that are made entirely out of corn.

There are so many nutritious food options on the table for people who have this medical condition. People who have celiac don’t have to feel as though they can never genuinely enjoy their meals again.

That simply isn’t the truth at all. People who have celiac can confidently relish meats that aren’t breaded. They can confidently revel in the majority of dairy items. They can just as enthusiastically take in vegetables, fruits, lentils and wines.

Management Options for Celiac Sufferers to Consider

Taking charge of celiac involves eliminating any and all traces of gluten from the diet. It can potentially involve a lot more than that as well.

Dietitians and nutritionists can help celiac patients come up with meal strategies that can keep them healthy and comfortable. Beyond that, patients may want to look into the emotional side of things.

Having to live with this kind of health condition can do a number on many folks. That’s because maintaining a dietary approach that’s 100 percent devoid of gluten can be tricky.

It can make doing seemingly normal things feel like a huge burden. Celiac sufferers often feel anxious about the mere thought of dining at restaurants.

There are many eateries that do not have gluten-free dishes on their menus. Celiac sufferers frequently feel left out during social gatherings of all kinds, too.

Parties tend to revolve around foods that celiac patients have no control over. If you’re a celiac patient who feels nervous and apprehensive, then there are all sorts of things that you can try that may be able to enhance your existence. These things may even be able to raise your spirits.

Knowledge is power. If you put time into learning about the medical condition, it may empower you. It can also help you to exchange information about the disease with your buddies and family members.

If they grasp the medical condition, they may be able to accommodate you more effectively.

You should abide by any and all rules that are given to you by your doctor. Failure to do so can make your life a lot more unpleasant and unpredictable.

It can be intelligent to look into the possibility of nearby support options as well. There are support groups out there that are designed exclusively for people who have celiac disease.

It can be extremely reassuring to know that there are others who are in your shoes and who know exactly how you feel. If you take part in a support group, you may be able to share your insight regarding life with the condition. You may be able to gain strong insight from others, too.

Gluten Sensitivity Isn’t the Same Thing

It isn’t uncommon at all for people to confuse this disease with gluten intolerance. That’s because people who have the latter condition also aren’t able to safely take in the substance.

People who have this disease often have to go through symptoms that are reminiscent of those that are associated with gluten sensitivity. They often have intense skin itchiness. They often have anemia, stubborn stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and loss of weight, too.

Gluten sensitivities generally do not bring upon lasting and extensive body destruction. People who have gluten sensitivities and intolerances frequently go through stomachaches and bloating. These symptoms in many cases do not stick around for too long.

Doctors do not know a lot about gluten intolerances and how they operate. They know much more about celiac. Doctors tend to determine that patients have intolerances once they realize that they don’t have celiac.

There are all sorts of tests that can come in handy for doctors who want to make relevant and reliable assesments.

People Who Do Not Have This Disease

It can be tough for people in this day and age to not come across gluten-free items at supermarkets. That’s why they’re often tempted to purchase and consume gluten-free offerings.

If you’re someone who has no clue whether you have celiac, then you shouldn’t do anything rash. It can be a mistake for people who do not have the disease to eliminate all remnants of gluten from their eating plans.

Lack of gluten can pose a problem to many individuals who don’t have celiac. If an individual does away with gluten, then he may not get sufficient minerals, vitamins and nutrients. It may lead to shortages of fiber, calcium and even iron.

There are an abundance of gluten-free items on the market that are chock-full of sugar and calories. If you want to stay on top of your weight, then it may not be in your best interests to say farewell to gluten.

You should be smart about approaching the management of this disease. If you believe that you have it for any reason, you shouldn’t do anything rash.

Refrain from eliminating gluten prior to getting things in motion with your doctor. If you approach tackling celiac disease in a thoughtful and patient manner, you may be able to dodge all sorts of dilemmas at a later time.


About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.