Celiac disease is a disorder of the digestive tract, which damages the small intestine and thus leads to impaired absorption of nutrients from the food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in some cereals. Apart from the cereals, gluten is found in many industrially processed products (where it is added to achieve various properties of the product), in medicines, vitamin supplements, cosmetic products,etc.
What is celiac disease and what you should know about it?
Celiac disease is a disease of malabsorption (meaning that nutrients are not properly absorbed), and a disease of an irregular immune response to gluten. Other names under which this disease is known are gluten intolerance and gluten-sensitive enteropathy. However, you should know that gluten intolerance is not the same as celiac disease.
When a patient with celiac disease is consuming food or using a product that has gluten, their immune system reacts by damaging the villi, small, finger-like growths that lay down the small intestine. That is why celiac disease is classified as an autoimmune disease.The villas actually increase the intestinal absorptive surface and as they get damaged, the patient doesn’t efficiently absorb all the nutrients from food and he becomes malnourished no matter how much food he eats.
Celiac disease is also thought to be a genetic disease and can, therefore, be transmitted to the families from parents to children. Sometimes the onset of the disease occurs after certain events in life: after surgery, pregnancy, after delivery, viral infection, or severe emotional stress. Symptoms that occur during this illness may be light, or in some cases very severe. In America, it is thought that 1 out of every 100 Americans has celiac disease, but many cases remain undiagnosed.
What should consume/avoid people with celiac disease?
The basic treatment of celiac disease is total avoidance of gluten. In addition to excluding gluten-containing cereals from your diet, gluten intake from other products (medicines, cosmetics, supplements, processed foods) should be also avoided.This can be achieved by reading the product ingredients list, where gluten must be specifically marked. Or you search for the gluten-free, no-gluten, label.
Gluten cereals that cannot be consumed are: wheat, barley, rye, sometimes oats (pure oat grain does not contain gluten, but during it’s growing or processing it often gets in touch with other gluten cereals and it can easily be contaminated with gluten.)
The ingredients list of the fermented and condensed dairy products should be read as some of them may contain added gluten.
Read the ingredients list of cosmetic products and medicines, because they may also contain gluten.
All processed products may contain gluten, but if it is added as an additive it must be written on their ingredient list so that by reading it, you can easily avoid gluten-containing products. You already know that you cannot consume products containing wheat, ray, barley or oats.
You can eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, rice, corn, all seeds, dairy products, meat, eggs, fish, all legumes and everything that does not contain: wheat, barley, rye or gluten-contaminated oats.