Celiac Disease

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Description

Celiac disease, celiac sprue, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy is a chronic digestive hereditary disorder caused by an intolerance to gluten. Celiac disease can affect both adults and children and may appear at any age. Celiac disease seems to affect Caucasians of European descent mostly.

Celiac disease may be difficult to diagnose since many of the symptoms are similar to other conditions such as I.B.S., anemia, and gastric ulcers. If left untreated celiac disease may have serious or life-threatening consequences.

A number of autoimmune conditions are often associated with celiac disease such as sarcoidosis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, thyroid disease, nephrosis, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, Addison’s disease, and myasthenia gravis

Symptoms

Symptoms can be symptomatic or asymptomatic and may include:
1. Weight loss.
2. Diarrhea.
3. Intestinal distention with bloating.
4. Fatigue.
5. Abdominal pain.
6. Nausea and vomiting.
7. Constipation.

Many adults with celiac disease may have symptoms unrelated to the digestive system such as:
1. Anemia
2. Osteoporosis or softening of the bone (osteomalacia)
3. Itchy, or a blistery skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
4. Mouth ulcers
5. Headaches
6. Fatigue
7. Joint pain
8. Balance problems
9. Seizures

In infants:
1. The failure to thrive.
2. The Passing of offensive bulky stools.
3. Being colicky.
4. Iron deficiency.
5. Edema may develop
6. Poor appetite

Treatments

A gluten-free diet needs to be followed, it is important to read food labels carefully when purchasing food.

It should be noted that 30% of people will respond in 3 days to a gluten-free diet, 80% in one month, and 90% in 2 months. 10% will only respond after 2-3 years of gluten avoidance. Cortisone may be used to stabilize the condition in some instances.

It would be advisable for the first month of a gluten-free diet also to be dairy-free. In many instances, a dairy sensitivity or lactose intolerance accompanies Celiac Disease. After 1-2 months, dairy may be introduced slowly to see if any symptoms reoccur.

If it seems likely that other food sensitivities are exacerbating the condition, these are probably related to leaky gut syndrome, and lack of pancreatic and intestinal mucosal digestive enzymes.

Nutrients and supplements:
1. Vitamin D3 – helps to stimulate the absorption of calcium. People suffering from celiac disease often have calcium deficiencies.
2. Buffered vitamin C – helps boost immune function.
3. Digestive enzymes – aid in breaking down food for adequate absorption.
4. Multivitamins – help to keep nutrients balanced.
5. Olive leaf extract – assists with infections
6. Complete amino acid blend – can be utilized with food to add additional protein to meals (amino acids are the building blocks of proteins).
7. Barley energiser – provides 18 amino acids, 23 minerals, 19 vitamins, and protein enzymes and is extremely rich in nutrients. It is a general tonic, provides support during stressful times, and assists when the diet is deficient
8. Vitamin B Complex – required for proper digestion.

Causes

Celiac disease is a hereditary intolerance to gluten. When gluten is consumed it causes damage to the small intestines. The body perceives gluten to be a foreign antigen and launches an immune response when it is absorbed by the intestine.

The lining of the intestine swells as a response to the immune attack and the nutrient-absorbing villi are damaged and destroyed which results in malnutrition because vital minerals and nutrients can’t be absorbed.

In many cases, celiac disease appears when young children are first introduced to cereal foods, in others it may be triggered by emotional or physical trauma

Underlying Emotions

Emotional and psychological factors may also play a role in the development and management of celiac disease. Stress, anxiety, and depression have been found to be more common among people with celiac disease compared to the general population. Stressful life events, such as a death in the family or a job loss, have also been found to trigger the onset of celiac disease symptoms in some individuals.

A general lack of love, attention, and acknowledgment may have been experienced during childhood. The child’s needs were often not met and instead, they were pushed to succeed, this often resulted in them not feeling that they could do anything right, leading to attention seeking. These underlying issues may be a contributing factor to celiac disease.

Managing celiac disease can also take an emotional toll. Some people may feel anxious about going out to eat, for fear of getting sick from consuming gluten. They may also feel frustrated and upset about the limitations placed on their diet, and the inconvenience of always having to read labels and check ingredients.

Understanding that, emotional and psychological well-being is just as important as the physical aspects of celiac disease. It may be helpful to work with a therapist or counselor who is familiar with the disease and its emotional and psychological impact, this will help establish coping mechanisms for the emotional challenges of managing celiac disease.

Diet

ALL FOODS CONTAINING GLUTEN NEED TO BE AVOIDED!

Avoid the following foods:
1. All gluten: wheat, barley, oats, rye, and triticale.
2. Avoid all dairy products
3. Eliminate most breaded products, stuffing, gravies, cream sauces, flour, macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, biscuits, rolls, crackers, beer, Postum, malted milk, Ovaltine, most commercial salad dressings, pies, cake, prepared meat patties, bread crumbs, canned meat dishes, canned soups, instant soups, cream soups, pretzels, wheat germ, bran, ice creams, puddings, and sweets

Permitted foods:
rice, corn, buckwheat, millet (may or may not be tolerated), amaranth, quinoa, potatoes, gluten-free wheat starch, cornflakes, corn meal, puffed rice, rice cakes, cornstarch, cornstarch pudding, custard, rice pudding, fruits, vegetables, eggs, oils, legumes, and nuts

Rice, corn, buckwheat, and sometimes millet are often tolerated. Initially, however, they should be avoided. Other grains that might be tolerated later are quinoa and amaranth.

Remedies

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