What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is not an allergy or an intolerance. Nor is it a fad. 1% of the population is diagnosed as having the disease and there could be many more who are undiagnosed.

Celiac disease is worth paying attention to. If it continues undiagnosed it damages the small intestine which over time makes it more difficult for the individual to absorb the nutrients from any food.

Celiac disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system identifies gluten as a foreign invader and launches an attack against it. The small intestine is lined with a series of finger-like projections called villi, which lie down under attack, preventing any foods to be absorbed.

celiac disease

It is these villi which can become damaged which leads to real problems including malnutrition.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity

This is different from celiac disease. The immediate symptoms may be similar, but the intestinal damage may not occur, and individuals do need to watch their diet, the non-celiac sensitivity may not be as serious.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Unfortunately, the symptoms of celiac disease are distressing. Initial symptoms include gas, bloating and stomach cramps. As the body fails to take in nutrition diarrhea will follow.

Weight loss is inevitable because the body is not absorbing any nutrients, and so the individual will also become lethargic as the body is busy fighting off the invader.

There may also be skin rashes on the elbows and knees as a result of the antibodies produced naturally.

Diagnosis

There is only one proven way to diagnose celiac disease and that is an endoscopic biopsy. There is a blood test which will look for increased levels of the antibody.

Treatment

The only option available is to move to a gluten-free diet. This requires a change in thinking more than anything else. There are plenty of products which can substitute for the gluten alternative. There are also plenty of new ones to taste.

The basics of diet don’t have to change; it’s not that you can’t have beloved pizza any more, now you have the gluten-free base instead.