You may be surprised if someone tells you they are allergic to eating cereals, grains or proteins found in wheat, right? Well this is a common and important aspect to a condition called Celiac disease.
The grains are a storage of protein named ‘gluten’ and some experience the problem in consuming gluten.
So, celiac disease is an auto immune problem, in which you cannot eat gluten.
And if you eat it, your body will react by damaging intestinal functions. But how far can you avoid it, if our supplements, vitamins or skin products contain it??
A person with celiac disease may have inflammation due to eating gluten. Once the small intestine is damaged, he may not be able to take advantage of nutrients and minerals from his diet. They can’t absorb nutrients.
Celiac Disease is a hidden foe as people remain unaware of it their whole life.
Did you know : 2.5 million in United states are suffering from celiac disease and they are totally unaware of it.
Thus, if you want to avoid gut related inflammation, you better be away from gluten-contained foods.
Let’s start off by looking into the symptoms of the condition:
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
The symptoms of celiac disease may vary from person to person depending on the immune system. Also, severity of the disease keeps on changing from time to time.
Also here’s something you didn’t know-you might not have any symptom of celiac disease now, but it’s possible you may experience them later in your life after diagnosis of anemia or other nutrient deficiencies.
Children face the digestion related problems as compared to elders.
Some of the common symptoms people with celiac disease face:
- stomach pain
- Severe diarrhea or constipation
- Stinky pale stool
- fatty stool that floats
Some symptoms which are not related to digestion, such as:
- weight loss
- Anxiety or depression
- joint pain
- mouth sores
- a rash called dermatitis herpetiformis
- A nerve damaging condition in which one feels tingling in hands and feet
- iron-deficiency anemia
- joint pain and stiffness
- weak, brittle bones
- skin disorders
- numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- tooth discoloration or loss of enamel
- pale sores inside the mouth
- irregular menstrual periods
- infertility and miscarriage
Now, we have discussed already that people who have developed celiac disease may experience lack of nutrients such as K, D and Vitamin B complex.
Besides malnutrition, celiac design may damage the large intestine and other vital organs.
So now we are moving onto the risk factors:
Who is at risk of contracting Celiac Disease?
The genetics play key role in Celiac diseases. For instance, if someone’s sibling or parent has this problem, the person will likely to have the same one.
More often, People with other serious autoimmune disease may easily be victim of celiac disease. Here are certain conditions which are associative to this disease:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- type 1 diabetes
- thyroid disease
- autoimmune liver disease
- Addison’s disease
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Down syndrome
- Turner syndrome
- lactose intolerance
We will now look into the diagnosis procedure:
Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
A patient, first of all, gets a complete check up where doctor takes his whole medical history and advises certain tests for further diagnosis.
The celiac disease increases level of ant endomysium (EMA) and anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTGA) antibodies in the patient, which is detectable by blood tests. Test’s reliability lies on the presence of gluten in the diet.
Among so many other reasons, Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is another symptom of celiac disease. You may experience having bump and blisters making skin itchy. The elbows, buttocks and knees are affected by it. The people who suffer from DH are approximately 15 to 25 % and they may not suffer from digestive symptoms.
If you have DH, your doctor will do skin biopsy and will remove a small patch containing skin tissue. If both blood test and skin biopsy bring out the same results, then practitioner does not feel any need to do internal biopsy. In some cases, both blood test and skin biopsy prove contradictory to each other, your doctor may opt for upper endoscopy.
In it a slim tube named endoscope, having a camera on its other side, is inserted through the mouth and into small intestines. The doctor taking help of this camera examines the inner damage of the patient. If it is needed, he further looks over intestinal condition, then he can take sample of tissue from it.
A blood test has:
- complete blood count (CBC)
- liver function tests
- cholesterol test
- alkaline phosphatase level test
- serum albumin test
Here’s looking into certain tests which determine what are the most common symptoms relating to this condition.
Brain Images May Offer Clues to Gluten Sensitivity
A research conducted containing the brain images of celiac patients and it looked at the brain changes right after gluten taken.
Through survey method, they recorded their responses and most of them experienced the same. The total participants were 125 and all of them reported same symptoms like brain fog, headaches and lack of concentration problem.
A little unwell brain
The refractory celiac disease patients suffer from neurological disorder, according to Croall. The image of another patient indicates that after exposing to the gluten, there is increases blood flow to the brain.
It is quite similar in migraine, though it is not established fact yet.
We will now look into some important facts relating to this topic:
Did COVID-19 harm Celiac patients?
Surprisingly, COVID-19 didn’t cause any serious damage to the people who were gluten sensitive. Several studies found that COVID didn’t take any celiac patient to ICU or death bed. It is supported by the researchers from USA and Sweden who thoroughly monitored group of 41000 suffering from celiac disease.
So is the condition treatable? Let’s dig into it :
How to treat Celiac Disease?
Among so many, the main thing is to remove gluten from your diet permanently. This absence of gluten free diet will start healing the villi and nutrients will properly be absorbed.
The doctor will guide you regarding gluten free diet and maintain nutritious as well as balanced diet. In shopping the food items, one must not forget to read the ingredients and product labels.
The moment you start removing gluten from the diet, you start feeling better. It is not wise to start gluten free diet unless it is diagnosed. If you leave eating gluten free diet, it may interfere the test results and bring erroneous diagnosis.
In case of suffering DH, using diaminodiphenyl sulfone (Dapsone) may bring the relief. But we know that medicine is not a permanent solution that’s the reason we need to continue gluten-fee diet.
Thus, the importance of vitamin and minerals enhance as daily diet may not provide you the sufficient vitamins. Science is continuously striving to bring new solutions in the lives of people suffering with the celiac disease and wants to bring their lives back on track.
How quickly people can recover?
Children’s small intestine takes three to six months to recover but in adults the recovery takes many years. After the recovery, body takes all nutrients from the diet.
What to eat and what not to eat?
Gluten is present in wheat, barley and rye. I know people don’t like to quit eating pasta, grains and cereals but don’t ignore gluten as a part of them.
Even, some grain-based alcoholic drinks have it. So, one must to scrutinize the food labelling carefully while shopping as gluten can be there unexpectedly.
Next you will get to know more about gluten-free food:
What foods do not contain gluten?
- meat and fish
- fruits and vegetables
- some grains, including rice, amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat
- rice flour
- cereals such as corn, millet, sorghum, and teff
- pasta, bread, baked goods, and other products labelled “gluten-free”
Gluten is not the essential part of our food and we can use other ingredients instead of it. The only thing is to adjust the heat and time for baking.
Previously, people suffering from celiac disease should not eat oats but recent research does not support this. It supports the oats are quite healthy unless it is not processed with gluten.
Also those from suffering from such this condition, should avoid taking on any kind of intermittent fasting diet, for it can result in even more concerns and nutritional deficiency.
Should everyone follow a gluten-free diet?
Though gluten free diets are widely available in the markets yet it is still not established that it will be healthy for the people who are not celiac patients.
It is reported by According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, that no research supports that people must eat gluten free diet for either losing weight or maintain good health.
Gluten contained diets are equally rich provider of other nutrients and quitting it completely may make you suffer from other vitamins and nutrients. It is desirable to consult to your practitioner lest you may witness the weakness and deficiencies.
Practitioners’ practices-a question mark
The doctors’ poor diagnosis is another unfortunate practice that sometimes cannot diagnose the problem prior the time. And the patient has to pay the price.
It is obvious when things go unnoticed for a long period of time, they cause other serious illness including nutritional deficiencies like anaemia and osteoporosis, reproductive disorders, increased risk of developing other autoimmune disorders and intestinal lymphoma.
In case of poor countries, Practitioners’ main emphasis is on treating chronic viral hepatitis and infectious diarrhoeal disorders, hence they tend to forget celiac disease.
So in conclusion:
In crux, those affected by Celiac disease are increasing day by day. It is very much needed to decrease this curve and in order to do so, we need to understand the link between immunoreactive components in gluten related foods and gastrointestinal tract.
Also, practitioners need to adopt such practices where the gluten free diet is not the only way of cure.
If you want to know more about this condition, you can get in touch with our team at REPC Dubai to gain more insights and knowledge.