Sunday, April 29, 2012

What is Celiac Disease

Celiac disease also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue and gluten sensitive enteropathy, is a disease concerning the digestive system in that it damages the small intentine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.

The protein gluten, found in wheat, rye and barley, cannot be tolerated by people with celiac disease.  When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging or losing the villi, tiny finger like protrusions, on the lining of the small intestine.  Nutrients from food are absorbed into the bloodstream through these villi.  Without villi, a person becomes malnourished regardless of the quantity of food eaten.

Celiac disease is considered an autoimmune disorder because the body's own immune system causes the damage.  It is also classified as disease of malabsorption because nutrients are not absorbed.

It is a genetic disease, meaning that it runs in families.  Sometimes the disease is triggered, or becomes active for the first time, after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection or severe emotional stress.

What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms may or may not occur in the digestive system.  For example, one person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person has irritability or depression.  In fact, irritability is one of the most common symptoms in children.  Other systems are especially concerning children because they need the nutrients to develop properly.  Symptoms may include one or more of the following:
  • Behavior changes
  • Bone pain
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Delayed growth
  • Failure to thrive in infants
  • Fatigue
  • Gas
  • Missed menstrual periods 
  • Muscle cramps
  • pain in the joints
  • Painful skin rash, called dermantitis herpetiformis
  • Pale, foul-smelling stool
  • Pale, sores inside the mouth, called aphthus ulcers
  • Recurring abdominal bloating and pain
  • Seizures
  • Tingling numbness in the legs
  • Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel
  • Weight loss

What are the complications of Celiac Disease?

A person with Celiac disease is at risk for several diseases and health problems because of damage to the small intestine and resulting problems with nutrient absorption.
  • Lymphoma and adenocarcinoma are types of cancer that can develop in the intestine
  • Osteoporosis is a condition from poor calcium absorption in which the bones become weak, brittle and prone to breaking
  • Miscarriage and congenital malformation of the baby, such as neural tube defects
  • Children may developed into short stature
  • Seizures or convulsions, result from inadequate absorption of folic acid causing calcium deposits called calcification, to form in hte brain, which in turn cause seizures

What can be done?

  • Eating meals that include rice, corn and buckwheat
  • A change of diet consists of tons of fermented foods that are not wheat based especially homemade yogurt, kefirs, sour cream and cottage cheese.
  • Plenty of veggies, nuts, seeds and fruits are beneficial

MA Nutritional Supplements that may help the condition:

Ultimate Aloe, OPC-3, Antioxidant, Multivitamin, Vitamin C,
Digestive Enzyme, Calcium, B-Complex
, Complete Green

For those of you who reside in Australia, you can order these supplements here

***Article taken from Market Australia Health Blog***

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