Celebrating National Celiac Awareness Month
Not many years ago, the autoimmune condition celiac disease was considered rare, affecting perhaps 1 in 10,000 or maybe 1 in 5,000 Americans. Over the past decade knowledge about its associated genes, scientific underpinnings, and treatment has expanded dramatically.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease has been known by many different names in the medical literature over the years, including gluten-sensitive enteropathy and celiac sprue (to differentiate it from tropical sprue). CELIAC DISEASE can be defined as a permanent intolerance to the gliadin fraction of wheat protein and related alcohol-soluble proteins (called prolamines) found in rye and barley. CELIAC DISEASE occurs in genetically susceptible individuals who eat these proteins, leading to an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system starts attacking normal tissue. This condition continues as long as these food products are in the diet.
The resulting inflammation and atrophy of the intestinal villi (small, finger-like projections in the small intestine) results in the malabsorption of critical vitamins, minerals, and calories. Signs and symptoms of the disease classically include diarrhea, short stature, iron-deficiency anemia and lactose intolerance. However, many patients will also present with “non-classical” symptoms, such as abdominal pain, “irritable bowel”, and osteoporosis. Patients may also be screened for celiac disease because of the presence of another autoimmune disease, such as type I diabetes or thyroid disease, or a family history of celiac disease, without having any obvious symptoms. Serum antibodies can be utilized to screen for celiac disease. However, the key to confirming the diagnosis remains a small intestinal biopsy, and the patient’s subsequent clinical response to a gluten-free diet. Clinicians in the United States must maintain a high index of suspicion for this disease, as it is significantly under-diagnosed in this country.
Celiac disease (CD) is a lifelong digestive disorder found in individuals who are genetically susceptible. Damage to the small intestine is caused by an immune-mediated reaction to the ingestion of gluten. This does not allow foods to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods affect those with celiac disease and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even in the absence of symptoms. Gluten is the generic name for certain types of protein contained in the common cereal grains wheat, barley, rye and their common derivatives.
ALLOWED grains and flours
Rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, beans, garfava, sorghum, quinoa, millet,
buckwheat, arrowroot, amaranth, teff, Montina and nut flours.
NOT ALLOWED in any form
Wheat (durum, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt), rye, barley and triticale.
The key to understanding the GF diet is to become a good ingredient label reader. The following ingredients should not be consumed. They are derived from prohibited grains: barley, malt or malt flavoring (can be made from barley), malt vinegar (made from barley), rye, triticale, wheat (durum, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt).
Pinnaclife is Gluten Free!
All of Pinnaclife Supplements are Gluten Free! Our Prebiotic Fiber can help with your digestion problems and our Antioxidant blend Olivamine10 can help with inflammation. For more information visit: www.Pinnaclife.com
Resources: American Celiac.org