Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Learning About Celiac Disease

I've been keeping up with a very interesting discussion about Celiac disease (thanks Lulav!). I didn't realize how many people are suffering with Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity! And unfortunately, I found out that even I could develop Celiac Disease.

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease, or Celiac Sprue, damages the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. People with Celiac Disease, or with Gluten Sensitivity, can't tolerate gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It affects about 1 in 133 people - more than 2 million in the United States alone!

Symptoms and Other Disorders

People with Celiac Disease often have other autoimmune disorders such as: thyroid disease, autoimmune liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or Sjogren's Syndrome.
And while digestive symptoms - which is what one might expect to see in this disease - are common in children and young adults, older adults with Celiac Disease may not have any digestive symptoms and may instead suffer from other symptoms including: anemia, fatigue, bone problems such as arthritis and bone loss, depression, hair loss, and tingling hands and feet. Who would've thought that a problem with gluten could cause something like depression?
The symptoms of Celiac Disease can appear later in life after things like surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or even emotional stress.
Also, since autoimmune disorders run in families, if someone in your family has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, you have a higher risk of developing, or having Celiac Disease.  

So, since I was some years ago diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, and I have another disease that a lot of doctors think is an autoimmune disorder, but it hasn't been classified as such, I could develop Celiac Disease at some point. I hope not, but now I know that there is a possibility. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation 97% of those who have the disease are undiagnosed.

Gluten Sensitivity

There seems to be an increase in people who suffer from Gluten Sensitivity. Gluten Sensitivity is different from Celiac Disease and the markers doctors look for when testing for Celiac disease aren't found in those with Gluten Sensitivity. But people with Gluten Sensitivity can suffer digestive problems, and other symptoms, when they eat products containing wheat, barley or rye.

Treatment

While there is no cure for Celiac Disease, or Gluten Sensitivity, the treatment consists of eliminating all products containing gluten from one's diet.

For More Information -

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001280/

http://www.celiac.org/


Disclaimer - this post is for information only. If you think you may have Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity, please consult your doctor.









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