While many people are aware of gluten, not everyone truly understands what it is, where it is found, and who it can affect. In conjunction with our official Gluten Free Certification I would like to take the time to shed some light on the topic of gluten.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
What is Celiac disease?
Celiac is an autoimmune disease that results in damage to the villi (fingerlike hairs that line the intestine and allow us to absorb nutrients). Those who have Celiac disease can eat incredibly healthy but if they are not following a gluten free diet can have trouble absorbing nutrients, resulting in nutrient deficiencies. Celiac disease is hereditary, but the celiac gene must be active in order to have the disease. Nearly 1 in every 130 individuals have celiac disease.
What are signs of Celiac disease?
Classic Symptoms May Include
- Abdominal cramping, intestinal gas
- Distention and bloating of the stomach
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation (or both)
- Steatorrhea - fatty stools
- Anemia - unexplained, due to folic acid, B12 or iron deficiency
- Unexplained weight loss with large appetite or weight gain
Long - Term Conditions that can result from unrelated CD
- Dental enamel defects
- Osteopenia, osteoporosis
- Bone or joint pain
- Fatigue, weakness and lack of energy
- Infertility - male/female
- Mouth ulcers
- Delayed puberty
- Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
- Migraine headaches
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia
- Vitamin K deficiency associated with risk for hemorrhaging
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Central and peripheral nervous system disorders
- Pancreatic insufficiency
- Intestinal lymphomas and other GI cancers
- Gall bladder malfunction
(Celiac Disease Foundation, www.celiac.org)
Can a gluten free diet treat Celiac Disease?
For an individual with Celiac Disease, a gluten free diet can allow the villi in the intestine to grow back and the gut can return to normal. A person diagnosed with Celiac Disease will need to stay on a gluten free diet in order to maintain a healthy gut. There are no "cheat" days with Celiac Disease.
What is the difference between Celiac Disease and Gluten intolerance/sensitivity?
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease and results in the destruction of the lining of the intestine whereas gluten intolerance/sensitivity results in inflammation of the gut. In the case of intolerance, when gluten is taken out of the picture the inflammation goes away. For people with the intolerance there are often levels of gluten that can be tolerated before experiencing the effects. If you have been diagnosed with an intolerance just become aware of your limits and try to stay away from large amounts of gluten all at once.
Wanna know more about Breeze
? Have more questions about Gluten Free nutrition options? Check out the Gluten Free Products
we carry, or e-mail us with question at email@example.com