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Celiac Disease

Different than a gluten allergy, Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder against its own small intestine tissues when exposed to gluten. Celiac Disease is an extreme form of gluten-sensitive enteropathy, present in individuals who are sensitive to gliadins. Gliadins are a gluten protein, and help to form gluten. Wheat, rye and barley all contain gluten and contribute to Celiac Disease, and a few individuals may even react to oats. Celiac Disease can be present from middle infancy through adulthood.

In individuals who cannot tolerate gluten, the lining of the small intestine becomes highly enflamed and the villi (the microscopic, frond-like texture) becomes flattened. Because the function of the villi is to absorb nutrients, once flattened it is no longer able to do so, and so malabsorption (failure to absorb nutrients) will most probably occur, causing symptoms of its own.

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac Disease may be asymptomatic (having no symptoms.) Because Celiac Disease exhibits symptoms that are similar to other GI tract diseases and syndromes it is often misdiagnosed, so it is necessary to be tested for correct diagnosis. The most common symptoms of Celiac Disease are:
  • Diarrhea (pale, high volume, high odor)
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Bloating with distention (abdominal swelling)
  • Fatigue (due to malabsorption)
  • Mouth ulcers

    Those who suffer with malabsorption due to Celiac Disease may develop:
  • Anemia
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Cancer of the small intestines
  • Osteopenia (the precursor to osteoperosis)
  • Hyperparathyroidism (overactivity of the parathyroid glands)

    Diagnostic tests for Celiac Disease include:
  • Blood test (for antigens)
  • Endoscopy (for flattened villi)

    Eliminating all gluten containing products from your diet will immediately reverse Celiac Disease. There are many products available today which do not contain certain levels of gluten or gluten products. However, do be cautious, as products labeled “Gluten Free” may contain trace levels of gluten, and for the highly sensitive, this may be enough to exacerbate symptoms of Celiac Disease.

    See my article on Small Intestine Function

    See “Related Links” below for further information on a gluten-free diet.

    *Please know that I am not a medical doctor or a health practitioner. I cannot diagnose your stomach problems nor can I guarantee a cure. I am here to share my knowledge, which applications have worked for me and to offer suggestions of where you may go physically, emotionally and spiritually for healing and self-empowerment. If you choose to explore alternative medicine, do not independently stop taking your prescribed medications. Always consult with your current doctor as well as your new practitioner when changing your medical program

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