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What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac sprue is a disease that I have spent 25 years studying. It is frequently called celiac sprue but is called as well by many other names. Gluten-sensitive enteropathy is the name that I have preferred for many years because the term gluten-sensitive enteropathy told me precisely what we were dealing with. We are talking about a disease in which there is sensitivity to gluten and it is an enteropathy. The term enteropathy means a disease of the small intestine. In the old days, before we had a clue as to what was going on in this condition, some of the earlier names included nontropical sprue as well as idiopathic steatorrhea. Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in products we use every day, such as stamp and envelope adhesive, medicines, and vitamins.

When explaining celiac disease to a very young child, keep it simple. Explain to your child that the physician found out what had been making their tummy sick. Certain foods are made with an evil ingredient called gluten. It is the gluten that is making your tummy feel sick. We are so happy to finally know what has been making you sick now so that we can make you better! You can’t eat anything with gluten in it. Not even crumb (or show them a tiny bit with your hand).

gluten freeCeliac disease is the intolerance to gluten; gluten is the protein within wheat, rye, oats and barley. Now there tends to be confusion over wheat intolerance and celiac disease. Some people say they are the same thing. Some people differ, but the truth is they have similar symptoms and you will need to exclude wheat from your diet to stop these symptoms.

One major problem with celiac disease is the difficulty of diagnosing the condition. Symptoms vary by individual and a substantial number of doctors don’t contain wheat/gluten or even diet in general to adverse medical outcomes.

Celiac disease is caused by gluten, a food product made of wheat, rye or barley found in many foods and medicines today. The immune system responds to gluten by damaging the lining of the small intestine, which normally aids in absorbing nutrients from our food. Celiac disease causes malnutrition, and can lead to cancer.

The disease has a vast array of symptoms, and it is rare that two people will exhibit the same ones. Some will have diarrhea while others will have constipation, and some will not have either but instead may have osteoporosis, diabetes, headaches, fatigue, autoimmune thyroid disorder or any number of other conditions and symptoms found to be associated with it. In many cases these symptoms are associated with the inability to gain weight—children with celiac disease are often small and fail to thrive

Celiac disease is an autoimmune medical condition in which damage to the epithelia (inner lining) of the small intestine occurs following ingestion of a substance called gluten. Gluten is a grain protein used in food processing because it binds, stabilizes, and prevents crumbling. The gluten protein in wheat has a portion called gliadin, which is toxic to people with celiac disease. Barley, rye, and triticale also contain proteins toxic to celiac patients.

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Safe Grains for Celiacs

Current scientific consensus is that rice and corn (maize) are considered safe for celiacs. In addition, millet, sorghum, Job’s Tears, teff, and ragi are thought to be close enough to corn in their genetic make-up to be safe. More research is needed to substantiate this. Other grains suspected, but not proven, to be safe for celiacs include buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa and rape. Although their safety is debated, they are only very distantly related to wheat. Thus, it is unlikely their peptide chains are the same as the problematic chains found in wheat, rye and barley.

What kind of gluten free products are available?

Check out this video to learn a little more about gluten free products that are available in stores.

Celiac Disease can cause infertility

Read about how Celiac Disease can cause issues with fertility.

Gluten Free French Bread

Click here for a gluten free french bread recipe

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GlutenFreeLiving.info is a resource which provides information for gluten free living. Celiac disease affects many people which forces them to live a life free from gluten. This site provides many useful articles and recipes.

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