For people with Celiac disease, eating a gluten-free diet is a must. Celiac disease is triggered when one suffering from it consumes gluten. The protein gluten is found in grains such as rye, barley, wheat, etc.
When someone suffering from Celiac disease eats food containing gluten, it causes a reaction in their body which damages the villi, the tiny, finger-like projections on the walls of the small intestine, and their body doesn’t absorb nutrients. This could lead to malnourishment and other serious health problems.
Table of Contents
- What is Celiac Disease?
- Celiac disease symptoms
- Changes in dietary habits due to Celiac Disease
- Celiac disease list of foods to avoid
- The perfect Celiac Diet
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder which could occur in genetically predisposed individuals whose gluten indigestion issues lead to damage in the small intestine.
When individuals with Celiac disease consume gluten, it triggers an immune response in their bodies which in turn attack the small intestine.
This damages the finger-like projections in the small intestine called the villi, which are responsible for nutrient absorption from food.
Celiac disease affects 1 person in every 100 people across the globe and is hereditary in nature. Individuals who have a first-degree relative (sibling/child/parent) with Celiac disease have a 1 out of 10 risk of developing the disease as well.
Celiac disease symptoms
Diarrhoea and constipation:
One of the commonest and first symptoms of a Celiac disease is watery, loose stool.
Did you know?
that Celiac disease could be a cause for Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well?
Studies show that close to 79% of patients suffering from Celiac disease experienced diarrhoea, and, following treatment, only 17% of them continued to have the symptom.
For many individuals, diarrhoea reduces within the first few days of treatment, but it takes close to 4 weeks for the issue to get fully resolved.
On the other hand, some people might suffer from constipation from Celiac disease as well. Since nutrient absorption is impaired in Celiac disease, it results in hardstool which is difficult to pass, resulting in constipation.
Bloating and gas:
Inflammation in the digestive tract can be caused due to Celiac disease, which leads to bloating, another common symptom. Once gluten is eliminated from the diet, this symptom is resolved effectively.
Similarly, people with Celiac disease also experience gas due to consumption of gluten.
Fatigue: Fatigue and reduced energy levels are red flags for Celiac disease.
Did you know?
A study of 51 Celiac disease patients found that untreated individuals experienced more fatigue and fatigue-related issues than those individuals who were on a gluten-free diet.
Another study also observed that individuals suffering from Celiac disease were also more likely to develop fatigue linked to sleep disorders. Mineral and vitamin deficiencies due to small intestine damage can also lead to fatigue.
Since the body’s ability to absorb nutrients is impaired in Celiac disease, it could lead to a sharp drop in weight as well as malnutrition.
Studies have noted that weight loss is one of the commonest symptoms of those affected with Celiac disease. In fact, post-treatment weight gain in patients can be as much as 7-8 kg or even more.
While you’re at it, click here to know your BMI to ascertain your health.
Anaemia due to iron deficiency:
Impairment of nutrient absorption due to Celiac disease could also lead to anaemia due to iron deficiency, where there is a lack of red blood cells in the body.
Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, chest pain, weakness, and fatigue. Studies have shown that those with iron-deficiency anaemia due to Celiac disease saw an increase in serum levels after they went on a gluten-free diet.
Did you know?
Researchers have observed connections between the gut and the brain, with evidence that Celiac disease could influence the nervous system and cause psychological issues. In fact, mood disorders such as depression and anxiety have been linked to Celiac disease.
According to studies, depression was severer and commoner in adults with Celiac disease than those who didn’t have it. In fact, 39% of people in a study of 2,265 of individuals suffering from Celiac had depression, which was reduced when they switched to a gluten-free diet long-term.
Changes in dietary habits due to Celiac Disease
The Celiac disease diet menu is a little different than those of other people. Read on to know the items on a Celiac disease diet.
Celiac disease list of foods to avoid
The following foods shouldn’t be eaten unless and until it is mentioned that they are gluten-free:
The perfect Celiac diet
People with Celiac disease needn’t worry – there are many naturally gluten-free and nutritious foods out there which could be part of your gluten-free diet:
- Spices and herbs
- Healthy Fats
- All kinds of vegetables
- Gluten-free whole grains such as millet, buckwheat, rice, quinoa, etc.
- Fruits of all kind
- Dairy of all kind
- Seafood, poultry, and meat
Here’s a delicious recipe for gluten-free atta soup.
However, people should not be going on a gluten-free diet without consulting the doctor and getting tested positive for Celiac disease. Here are some great options for a gluten-free diet for Indians.
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What is the Celiac disease treatment?
People need to carefully adhere to a gluten-free diet, take vitamin and dietary supplements, check for bone density and visit the physician every few months.
What is the Celiac disease test?
Celiac disease testing to be accurate, individuals should be on a gluten-free diet. The tTg-IgA test is the first step, followed by the EMA test, IgA deficiency test and the DGP IgA and IgG test. One should also get genetic testing done.
What are the foods one can’t eat if one has Celiac disease?
Apart from pure wheat, gluten could also show up in wheat bran, durum, faro, fu, and semolina, as well as rye, barley, malt vinegar, certain salad dressings, soy sauce and certain condiments. Read labels carefully before buying anything.