We always hear gluten everywhere especially when we talk about food. However, there are still an ample amount of people that doesn’t know what gluten is. In this article, we are going to talk about gluten and how it affects celiac disease.
What is Gluten?
- Gluten is a type of protein that consists of wheat, barley, and rye. However, there are some people that is allergic to gluten, that’s why they opt for a gluten-free diet when it comes to weight loss as well as health concerns. When people eat gluten, their immune system will fight it by creating an allergic reaction to the small intestine. And this reaction is what we called the “celiac disease”, the condition when you are gluten intolerance.
What is Celiac Disease?
- Just because it has a “small” in its name doesn’t mean that you have to treat it small too. Your small intestine has a BIG job, and this is absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat to be used by your body. That’s why people with celiac disease must avoid eating gluten as it may cause inflammation and further damage to the small intestine.
- When they do, it will lead to malabsorption, where the body no longer get the nutrients it needs from the small intestine. This will result to frequent bathroom sessions and severe amounts of discomfort.
Celiac Disease Symptoms & Diagnosis
- Symptoms will range from mild to severe depending on the person. There are some that experience extreme pain, and there are others that experience no symptoms at all which is odd. Symptoms include:
• Chronic diarrhea
• Rapid weight loss
• Abdominal pain
• Frequent gas
• Floating stool
What to Do
- Celiac disease is indeed a severe condition that should not be overlooked. It’s advisable to have a trip to the doctor’s office if ever you experienced the symptoms listed above. A blood test called an anti-tissue transglutaminase (TTG) antibody should be done to diagnose celiac disease.
- Once the results turned out positive, intestinal biopsy should be taken action to confirm the diagnosis. However, if the tests are inconclusive, your doctor may need to do additional blood work.
- People with celiac disease should stick to a gluten-free diet for the rest of their lives. This means avoiding everything containing proteins from wheat, barley, and rye. It’s also advisable to consult a dietitian to help patients with the disease to review products that contain gluten and in order to develop a healthy eating plan.
- In addition to that, reaching for a gastroenterologist is also crucial too so that he/she can monitor patients with celiac disease. This includes:
- Resolution of signs and symptoms associated with celiac disease
- Performing a blood test for vitamin and nutrient levels
- Performing a blood test to ensure adherence to a gluten-free diet and no accidental exposures
- A pneumonia vaccination
- A bone scan, which may also be recommended by
Sensitivity to gluten is on the rise and is becoming more prevalent in our society. That’s why having knowledge about the effects of celiac disease is important so prevention can be done early on before it’s too late.