What is Celiac Disease?

What is Celiac Disease?

You have probably heard of Celiac disease from a friend or relative, but do you know exactly what it is? Maybe you have wondered what causes it or how long one can have it.

Perhaps, you are in search of a solution for a loved one who has Celiac. Here are all the answers to your questions as well as the solution for you if you or someone else has this disease.

Celiac disease is a genetic disorder which affects the villa in the small intestine making it impossible for the body to absorb the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed for proper health. The cause of this disorder is gluten; when a person with Celiac eats gluten, the protein damages the villa through an immune system reaction. Therefore, people who have this disease run the risk of malnutrition and can contract gastrointestinal cancer if they are not treated right away.

The typical symptoms of this disease are diarrhea, weight loss and related stomach disorders. But other warning signs might include, migraines, bone pain and constant fatigue. Since Celiac has such a vast number of symptoms, it can be very difficult for doctors to diagnose the disease and, sometimes, a person goes on for years without ever knowing they have it.

Celiac is a disease that lasts all through a person’s life. There is no shot or medicine to take for it once it is contracted. Also, because this is a genetic disease, Celiac can run in families. This may sound horrible, but don’t worry; there is something you can do to keep the symptoms from recurring.

The solution for Celiac is to adapt a thoroughly gluten-free diet. Gluten is mainly found in wheat, rye and barley, but wines, broth, meat products, makeup and shampoos may also have Celiacs must also make sure that supposedly gluten-free products are made in a truly gluten-free facility. Anything containing gluten, whether it be food or skin-products, must be avoided by Celiacs at all cost.

However, it is possible that oats are safe for Celiacs to eat. Scientific studies that have been going on recently show that oats do not contain the types of ingredients which trigger Celiac. However, this has not yet been definitely proven, so if you are in doubt as to whether or not you can safely consume oats, it would be wiser to leave them alone.

Fortunately, it is much easier to follow a gluten-free diet now than it was ten years ago. Nowadays, products are specifically labeled as gluten-free only if they are absolutely free of gluten. Plus, many stores and restaurants are offering a wide variety of gluten-free specialties for customers with Celiac. There are also many recipes available for gluten-free cakes, cookies, bread and pizza.

Celiac is definitely a disease that is making an impact on our society. As little as five years ago, very few people knew it existed and it was almost impossible then to adapt a totally gluten-free diet. Now, Celiac awareness is growing and tasty gluten-free foods are gaining popularity as this disease becomes more well-known.

image courtesy Esparta

Tricia Fecteau

I have tried to share what I have learned years in my book called "Gluten-Free with Love" available on Amazon and on my website. I want to help you in your journey to good health.