Celiac Disease – What Is It?
Summary: Celiac disease is an allergy to gluten and consumption of gluten will cause the villi of the small intestine to shrink and this will impede the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. There is no known cure and the only solution is to acknowledge the fact that you have an allergy and hence avoid gluten products.
Celiac Disease is disorder of the digestive system. Patients suffering from this disease are vulnerable to damage to the small intestine which is caused by improper absorption of nutrients. This is caused mainly due to a protein known as gluten. Protein is an essential nutrient and it is associated with muscle growth. In fact bodybuilders cause their increase in muscle size, medically known as muscular hypertrophy, by ingesting large amounts of protein. But in the case of people suffering from wheat allergy, protein can be a problem.
Gluten is type of protein that is found in several wheat products and those who are susceptible to celiac disease should be wary of these products. Wheat products like kamut, einkorn, spelt and also grains like oats, barley, rye, etc. also contain gluten. What happens in this disease is that the mucus layer on the inside of the small intestine gets damaged as direct consequence of allergic reaction to gluten. The small intestine contains finger-like structures called villi whose function is to absorb nutrients from food. For people suffering from gluten allergies these villi will be effected. They will shrink and eventually disappear.
Celiac disease destroys the villi which are vital to absorbing nutrients like salts, vitamins, fats, proteins, carbohydrates and minerals from the body. This disease should be detected and treated as early as possible. If left untreated, it can aggravate into something more serious and cause more serious disorders that can even be life-threatening. A very obvious effect of this disease is nutrient deficiency. Since nutrients aren’t being absorbed at all, the patient will suffer from the symptoms of multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Think of all the symptoms caused by the deficiencies of minerals, iron, vitamins and protein – the sufferer of celiac disease will face all these!
Celiac Disease Symptoms
The celiac disease symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, abdominal cramping and other stomach disorders. Due to erratic absorption of nutrients, the symptoms will also include weight loss, weight gain, lethargy, weakness, low energy levels, lack of cognition and all the symptoms of fatigue. The only way to counter celiac disease is to avoid gluten. It is an allergy and is pretty much incurable. Just stay away from gluten and you should do fine. And this means you will have to stay away from foods that contain gluten. Hence you should set out on a mission to find out what these foods are and educate yourself so you know which foods to avoid. Read labels of food products to make sure they don’t contain gluten.