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Understanding Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is the body’s inability to tolerate gluten.  When gluten enters the body, the body’s immune system literally attacks the villi in the lining of the small intestine.

 

Where is Gluten Found?

Gluten is in a majority of our foods.  Gluten is normally associated with wheat, barley, and rye, but gluten is also present in imitation meats, beer, ice cream and ketchup.  Gluten is used as a food additive to stabilize the shape of the final product or give it elasticity.

 

Who Can Get Celiac Disease?

At least 1 in every 133 Americans suffers from the effects of celiac disease.  Celiac disease affects people of every age, race and gender.  The disease does not discriminate.

 

Common Symptoms

Celiac disease symptoms can vary from person to person.  There are currently over 300 symptoms of celiac disease, which makes it hard to diagnose.  But, some symptoms are more common than others.

 

  • Vomiting
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Weakness
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Weight loss
  • Stomach pain

 

Diagnosing Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is difficult to diagnose due to the varying symptoms that may be present.  Keeping track of your symptoms and diet, will be a good source of information for you and your physician.  You may begin to notice a relationship between what you eat and when you get sick.  A blood test is the only thing that can validate your concerns.

 

Treatment for Celiac Disease

Celiac disease can only be treated by consuming a gluten free diet.  Treatment is vital to prevent further damage to your body and the progression of new illnesses that can arise from the untreated disease.

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