Wednesday, February 07, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Individuals with celiac disease are unable to eat a protein called gluten because it damages their small intestine. When people with the immune disorder consume food containing the protein, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine.
Gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, and barley, can also be found in vitamins, supplements, hair and skin products, toothpaste, and lip balm.
The disease manifests differently in each patient, and they may experience the symptoms in the digestive system, or in other parts of the body. Other people don’t have any signs at all.
Celiac disease is genetic, and blood tests help healthcare professionals determine if a person has it. Diagnosis may also require a small tissue sample from the small intestine.
Known side effects of celiac disease
Some of the known side effects of celiac disease in children include:
- bloating/a feeling of fullness or swelling in the abdomen
- chronic diarrhea
Children with celiac disease can’t absorb nutrients that are necessary for healthy growth and development. This can cause:
- damage to the enamel of permanent teeth
- delayed puberty
- failure to thrive in infants
- mood changes/feeling annoyed or impatient
- slowed growth and short height
Adults seldom have digestive symptoms, but they may have some of the following symptoms instead:
- bone or joint pain
- depression or anxiety
- dermatitis herpetiformis (an itchy, blistering, and burning skin rash)
- infertility or repeated miscarriage
- missed menstrual periods
- weak and brittle bones
Body systems harmed by celiac disease
Adults with celiac disease who experience digestive symptoms may have:
- abdominal pain and bloating
- intestinal blockages
- fatigue that lasts for long periods of time
- ulcers, or sores on the stomach or lining of the intestine
Celiac disease may also produce a reaction that causes the immune system (the body’s natural defense system) to attack healthy cells. This reaction can spread outside the digestive tract to other areas of the body such as the:
- nervous system
Food items or nutrients that may prevent celiac disease
Aside from avoiding foods that may contain gluten, eat the following foods or nutrients to prevent the symptoms of celiac disease:
- Organic food – Organic fruits and vegetables will let your body “reap the maximum nutritional benefits of your food.”
- Legumes, nuts, and beans
- Low fat or non-fat dairy
- Fresh meat and poultry – Consume fresh meat instead of smoked or preserved meat, unless you can verify that no gluten-containing ingredients were added.
- Water – Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Pure water will help flush out the toxins in your body. Dehydrators (e.g., coffee, sodas, and tea) don’t count.
Try to reduce your stress levels and get enough sleep so your system can cope with celiac disease. The best diet for this disease consists of fresh foods.
Treatments, management plans for celiac disease
Treatments and management plans for celiac disease include:
- A gluten-free diet – Avoid foods that may contain gluten like bread and grain products.
- Fish oil – Helps coat the intestinal lining, which can keep the small intestines from becoming inflamed.
- Herbal treatments – Goldenseal and olive leaf extracts are often used to treat celiac disease because they help regulate and protect the immune system. This reduces the auto-immune effects on the small intestine, lessening the severity of the disease. Chamomile is another herb that reduces the digestive inflammation and upset stomach associated with celiac disease.
- Horsetail tea – This tea helps reduce the inflammation of the digestive tract and the intestines. It also boosts the strength and durability of the digestive system, making it less sensitive to gluten.
- Nutritional supplements – Patients with celiac disease often lack various essential nutrients because their intestines can’t properly absorb them. Dietary and nutrient supplements can help the body recover.
- Papain supplements – These are supplements taken to stimulate the enzymes in the small intestine to properly identify gluten, which helps reduce the immune system response.
- Vitamin and mineral supplements – Helps address any deficiencies.
- Yogurt – Helps “stimulate beneficial bacteria and promote the healing of the digestive tract.”
Where to learn more
Individuals with celiac disease are unable to eat a protein called gluten because it damages their small intestine. When people with the immune disease consume food containing the protein, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine.
Some of the known side effects of celiac disease in children include bloating/a feeling of fullness or swelling in the abdomen, chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas, and nausea.
Celiac disease may also produce a reaction that causes the immune system to attack healthy cells. This reaction can spread outside the digestive tract to other areas of the body such as the bones, joints, nervous system, skin, and spleen.
Eating gluten-free food will help individuals avoid the symptoms of celiac disease.