Do you have Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity?
Hello! If you are new to Celiac disease I hope this information helps you! I know firsthand that it is scary and frustrating. Finding out that the food you are eating to fuel your body is what is making you sick- SAD! The learning curve is steep at first but gets easier the longer you go down this road! Even today, after dealing with this since 2008 I find new information out that I didn’t know!
I used to feel embarrassed to go to parties and bring my own food, or ask the host for a list of ingredients! I am no longer worried about hurting someone’s feelings because I can’t eat the food they made. If I eat it I will be sick and it’s not worth it!
The more we can educate people on what Celiac is the easier it will be for all of us who have it! The labeling is getting easier on food items! Restaurants are becoming aware and having gluten-free menu items!
What is Celiac Disease?
Here is some information to help you educate yourself on what Celiac Disease is. 🙂
This is taken from the celiac website www.celiac.org
What is Celiac?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. 2.5 million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.
What does Celiac Disease do to the body?
When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body. Oats also carry the risk of cross contamination.
Is Celiac Disease Hereditary?
Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning that it runs in families. People with a first-degree relative with celiac disease (parent, child, sibling) have a 1 in 10 risk of developing celiac disease.
Are there long term health effects?
Celiac disease can develop at any age after people start eating foods or medicines that contain gluten. Left untreated, celiac disease can lead to additional serious health problems. These include the development of other autoimmune disorders like Type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS), dermatitis herpetiformis (an itchy skin rash), anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and miscarriage, neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines, short stature, and intestinal cancers.
What are the symptoms?
Celiac disease can be difficult to diagnose because it affects people differently. There are about 300 known symptoms which may occur in the digestive system or other parts of the body. Some people with celiac disease have no symptoms at all. However, all people with celiac disease are still at risk for long-term complications, whether or not they display any symptoms.
Here are the most common symptoms found in children:
abdominal bloating and pain
pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
irritability and behavioral issues
dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth
delayed growth and puberty
failure to thrive
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Adults are more likely to have:
unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
bone or joint pain
bone loss or osteoporosis
depression or anxiety
tingling numbness in the hands and feet
seizures or migraines
missed menstrual periods
infertility or recurrent miscarriage
canker sores inside the mouth
an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis
Is there a quiz I can take to see if I might have Celiac?
If you go to the www.celiac.org website it has lots of information for newbies as well as health surveys to see if your symptoms may be Celiac.
How do I get Tested?
The Beyond Celiac website has a whole list of options for getting tested. You can check them out there and decide what the best option for yourself is! There are blood tests, a home blood test, endoscopy and genetic testing.
Is there a cure?
The only cure for Celiac is a lifelong gluten-free diet. There is no cheating. 🙁 And no it is not ok if it just has a little gluten in it!!! (My most frustrating question while eating places)
There are ways to heal the damage done to your gut from the gluten, but it takes time. Be patient with yourself as you heal.
Other Resources I use:
I have a blog post on what the different kinds of gluten-free labels mean on food to help you start to navigate labels. You can read it here. I recommend that you stick to basic foods when you are first starting out. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Avoid packaged foods that you are unsure about the ingredients until you learn the unsafe ingredients.
I hope this helps you and encourages you to start on your gluten free journey! There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it isn’t a train!
Best Wishes for Gluten Free Dishes!