What is Celiac Disease?

The term gluten free has begun to pop up frequently in the news, grocery stores and restaurants. The term is often used to describe the diet that a person with celiac disease is required to follow in order to prevent numerous symptoms from developing. Many individuals have adopted this diet to help ease the symptoms of gluten intolerance (myself included!) and wheat allergies.
Celiac disease is a disease that effects the small intestine by damaging the lining and interferes with the absorption of required nutrients from their food intake. Individuals with this disease can not digest gluten which is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

There are many symptoms of celiac disease that include: weight loss, abdominal cramping/swelling/bloating, constipation, vomiting, muscle cramps and fatigue.

The best way to be diagnosed is to see your family doctor. They will review your symptoms and more than likely send you for a simple blood test that will check for antibodies related to celiac disease. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease following a gluten free diet is essential.

Gluten intolerance is similar more so to lactose intolerance. The individual will experience similar symptoms but the antibodies are not present. Sometimes preparing a food diary is helpful to keep track of your health symptoms and as you eliminate (under the full guidance of your family doctor and if possible a dietitian!) gluten out of your diet you can see if this is working for you. I found this to be helpful for myself to pin point where I was developing symptoms and how/if they were alleviated by removing certain foods out of my diet.

Check out some of these helpful tips from UDI’s on how to deal with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Are you or do you know someone who is suffering with Celiac disease? Do they struggle with this diet?

cvegnad

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