Celiac disease is a condition in the small intestine, which affects genetically predisposed people. The condition occurs when gluten, a protein found in wheat products, reacts with enzymes. This may cause inflammation in the small-bowel tissues, affecting the body’s nutrient absorption. People who have celiac disease may experience diarrhea, loose and greasy stool, malnutrition, anemia, and abnormal liver functions. Doctors often advise patients to try a diet consisting of gluten free desserts and meals. Read more to learn how the diet may work against celiac disease.
This is commonly present in processed foods with wheat or related grains such as barley, rye, and oats. Gluten is composed of four main proteins: albumin, glutelin, prolamin, and globulin. These give elasticity to dough, allowing it to rise and keep its shape. Some food manufacturers also use the protein for enhancing flavors and making soups, broths, gravies, sauces, marinades, and salad dressings.
This may be the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease. This diet restricts the consumption of food containing gluten such as wheat, barley, rye, oats, and malt. Eating gluten-free food may control the symptoms and prevent complications in the small intestine or other organs of the body. Doctors may only recommend the consumption of grains and similar foods including corn, potatoes, rice, tapioca, and gluten free pasta. Other sources of starch suitable for a gluten-free diet may include amaranth, millet taro, and soybeans.
People who do not refrain from eating food with gluten may be at high risk of other conditions such as digestive track cancer, anemia, thyroid problems, and problems with the immune system. The long-term effects may also be more severe. It is important to have diagnosis and follow doctors’ recommendations diligently.
Treating Celiac Disease
Countering the symptoms of celiac disease requires patience and effort. Some people may have a hard time getting used to gluten desserts and snacks. Others may initially feel deprived due to diet restrictions. Consider the following tips if you or someone you know is suffering from celiac disease:
1. Consult your doctor: Seek your dietician or physician to get a diagnosis for celiac disease. Doctors may evaluate your condition through several methods such as blood tests, anti-endomysial antibodies examination, and tissue transglutaminase. These may measure damages on the small intestine.
2. Avoid food items containing gluten: Do not eat bread, cereals, pasta, crackers, pies, and cookies. Pay attention to processed products such as canned soups, salad dressings, ice cream, coffee, and yogurt. Read labels thoroughly to ensure they are gluten-free.
3. Take supplements: Consuming vitamin and mineral supplements are important, as people with celiac disease may have trouble absorbing nutrients essential for the body. Take multivitamins daily to boost your immune system. Consult your doctor for any recommendations regarding your vitamin intake.
4. Know about cross-contamination: This occurs when food mixes with gluten during preparation and the manufacturing process. For example, using utensils or equipment that was exposed to gluten-containing products when preparing gluten free pasta and snacks may cause cross-contamination. To avoid this, clean utensils thoroughly before using. Check the ingredients of any products you buy.