Celiac Disease in which your body becomes sensitive to the things containing gluten. The food items having high amount of gluten are wheat, barley and rye. The body of the person suffering from the disease sees protein as an intruder and the immune system starts attacking it. After a long time, these actions of immune system damage the lining of the intestine, diminishes the nutrient absorbing ability causing many other problems like bloating, weight loss, fatigue, anemia and diarrhea. If you are left with the disease undiagnosed, you are going to face a lot of complications.
Do not get worried, only 1% population is affected in western countries by this disease, it’s rare. The reason why it happens is still unknown but it shows a relation between the genes, environmental factors and gluten protein. The only way you would get it is through your genes from a family member. It cannot be passed from one person to another directly.
How to know if you have the disease or not?
If you are affected with Celiac, you would be experiencing vomiting, fatigue, weight loss, diarrhea, feel bloated, nauseous, constipated or go through abdominal pain more often. It can also affect the body which is not associated with digestive tract, but stem from the body’s inability to absorb nutrients effectively. More than 50% of the adults who suffer from Celiac disease often experience bone density loss, anemia, bone softening, itchy blistery skin rash, joint pain, damage to tooth enamel, ulcers in mouth, headaches, heartburn, fatigue or acid reflux, cognitive impairment and issues with balance, nerve damage represented by numbness and tingling in the hands and/or feet.
Infants below two years of age may go through nausea, diarrhea, muscle waiting or poor appetite. If your child is having swollen belly or pot belly then this is a sign of gluten sensitivity.
Children above the age group may experience constipation, diarrhea, weight loss and neurological issues like ADHD, headaches, learning disabilities, seizures and lack of muscle coordination. They can also suffer from delayed puberty and short stature.
If your small intestine changes its lining, dermatitis herpetiformis is a rash associated with it, like the change in the lining in the celiac disease. The one suffering from the disease may not get direct digestion issues, he/she may develop other problems like blistery and itchy rash on their elbows, buttocks, torso, knees or scalp.
Unless you have celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity, there is no medical proof that going gluten free would benefit. It is good news for the affected persons as finding gluten free food is not an easy task.
A statement of an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School “People who are sensitive to gluten may feel better, but a larger portion will derive no significant benefit from the practice. They’ll simply waste their money, because these products are expensive,” says Dr. Leffler.
If you are thinking of changing your diet without consulting your doctor, you are going to suffer from vitamin deficiencies. Wheat and rye are rich in fiber, skipping them would not be beneficial.
Having any doubt?
Go, visit your doctor.