The Celiac disease is a food disorder that affects the small intestine, damaging it due to gluten intolerance. It is a chronic disease that can start at any age and, the only treatment is to follow a gluten free diet forever. (Here, more information about Gluten Free Diet).
Luckily, not everybody can have it… a genetic base is needed. In any case, you can have the gen, but not develop celiac disease because the gen is not “active”. Statistically is said that only 1% of population is celiac.
IMPORTANT: celiac disease is not an allergy!
Though food allergy and food intolerance can have similar symptoms, these are two different affections:
- Food intolerance – like lactose intolerance or celiac disease (gluten intolerance) – happens when people cannot digest properly a certain food, having bad and painful digestions because of damages caused by these types of food, inflaming the digestive tract.
- Food allergy – gluten, egg, fish, peanuts, soya, milk, nuts, mustard, celery, sesame, sulfites, shellfish and lupine among others – can have fatal consequences, because it occurs when the immune system recognizes a certain food as a potential infection focus, starting to fight against it. When this happens, there is an allergic reaction and our body secretes histamine (among other substances) causing breathe problems, throat pressure, vomiting, cough, stomachache, hives or even decrease the blood pressure, with death possibility.
Celiac disease should be considered a disorder or harmful condition when eating certain type of food containing gluten. Nowadays, eating gluten free does not suppose any limitation for eating out. (Find some tips to eat out here).
To easily understand the damage caused by gluten to the intestine, let’s take it as follows: the small intestine is a wrinkled tube full of villus. The gluten effects on a celiac person are the elimination of wrinkles and villus of the intestine because damages the mucous membrane. The consequences of having a damaged intestine are the low absorption of the needed nutrients for a proper performance of the organism.
If, by any reason, you think you could be celiac, before starting a gluten free diet, go to the Doctor and ask for a blood test. Based on the results of the blood test, the Doctor will have information to decide what the next step is: whether doing an endoscopy to explore the intestine and check your intestine’s mucosa or discard gluten intolerance option. (Find here more information about celiac disease diagnosis).
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