Celiac Disease

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Celiac disease is a chronic, immunologically form of disease that affects the small intestine in genetically predisposed children and adults.  As a celiac patient, you are not allowed to consume wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, or yeast.  Gluten is the rubbery protein mass that remains when wheat dough is washed to remove starch.  As hard as it may sound, the celiac diet is proven to help many children and young adults across the country.

Diagnosing someone with celiac disease is becoming more and more common.  This disease affects one in one hundred to three hundred of the population.  Most cases remain undiagnosed because it was a rare disease to have twenty years ago.  It is especially common in children whose relatives have been diagnosed.

The signs for celiac disease cannot always be seen right away to the naked human eye.  Symptoms of this disease include changes in the intestinal biopsy, destruction of the lining of ones stomach, and dependence of gluten in ones diet.  If left untreated, it can have a harsh affect on the growth and development of a young child.  Gluten in ones diet can affect a child by unnecessary weight loss, failure to thrive, recurrent abdominal pain, muscle wasting, irritability, and unhappiness.  The list goes on and on.  Once effectively treated, the celiac diet can have many positive affect on ones daily life.

“On the celiac diet, you lose a lot of weight by eating healthy which causes you to have more energy throughout the day,” says Lisa who has had celiac disease for more than five years.  Her son, Mike, agrees with her and also says “I have a lot more energy to last me through out my busy day and I sleep a lot better at night than I use to when gluten was a part of my diet.”  Mike has suffered from celiac disease for more than ten years and counting.

Taking gluten out of anyone’s diet can have multiple positive affects on ones life.  Once there is complete removal of gluten in a young child’s diet, patients will result in symptomatic, serologic, and histological remission.  The growth and development of a child will return to normal and the patient will start seeing results in as close to two weeks after starting the celiac diet.

Although there are many positive affects of celiac disease, there are also many negative ones as well.  It can be hard to stay on your diet through out the holidays and when you live with others who do not follow the diet.  When going out with friends, it is very easy to take a bite of pizza or even end up ordering a whole pizza for yourself.  When someone who has celiac disease or even gluten intolerance ingests gluten, there are many side effects that can take place.  Immediate side effects include abdominal pain or a headache.  Other side effects can build up over time and can affect your health in your future.  After the ingestion of gluten, there can be bloating of the stomach, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and bloating.  Long term affects include improper absorbing of nutrients and some may develop nutritional deficiencies.

 

Although it may sound like celiac disease is a burden, speaking from experience, celiac disease has taught me to make healthy choices which ends up in the loss of weight, more energy, and I am able to sleep better at night.  Celiac disease is not as bad in reality as it sounds on paper. photo-1

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