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Created on 2009-06-04 23:28:15 (#400171), last updated 2010-09-03 (367 weeks ago)

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What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease (also called coeliac disease or celiac sprue) is a lifelong, digestive disorder affecting children and adults. When people with Celiac Disease eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with Celiac Disease and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even when there are no symptoms present.

Gluten is the common name for the proteins in specific grains that are harmful to persons with
Celiac Disease. These proteins are found in ALL forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn and faro) and related grains rye, barley and triticale and MUST be eliminated.

The cause of Celiac Disease, also known as gluten sensitive enteropathy (GSE), is still a mystery. One out of 133 people in the United States is affected with celiac disease. Celiac Disease occurs in 5-15% of the offspring and siblings of a person with celiac disease. In 70% of identical twin pairs, both twins have the disease. It is strongly suggested that family members of a diagnosed celiac be tested, even if asymptomatic. Family members who have an autoimmune disease are at a 25% increased risk of having celiac disease. Celiac Disease is not a food allergy - it is an autoimmune disease. Food allergies, including wheat allergy, are conditions that people can grow out of. This is not the case with Celiac Disease.

What are the symptoms?

Celiac Disease may appear at any time in a person's life. The disease can be triggered for the first time after surgery, viral infection, severe emotional stress, pregnancy or childbirth. CD is a multi-system, multi-symptom disorder. Celiac Disease symptoms are extremely varied, can often mimic other bowel disorders and are not always gastrointestinal.

Infants, toddlers, and young children often exhibit growth failure, vomiting, bloated abdomen and behavioral changes.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease May Include One or More of the Following:

* Recurring bloating, gas, or abdominal pain
* Chronic diarrhea or constipation or both
* Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
* Pale, foul-smelling stool
* Unexplained anemia
* Bone or joint pain
* Behavior changes/depression/irritability
* Vitamin K Deficiency
* Fatigue, weakness or lack of energy
* Delayed growth or onset of puberty
* Failure to thrive (in infants)
* Missed menstrual periods
* Infertility male & female
* Spontaneous miscarriages
* Canker sores inside the mouth
* Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel

Have You or a Family Member Been Diagnosed With the Following?

* Type 1 Diabetes
* Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
* Fibromyalgia
* Eczema
* Sjogren's Syndrome
* Peripheral Neuropathy
* Thyroid Disease
* Dermatitis Herpetiformis
* Osteoporosis

Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is skin manifestation of celiac disease characterized by blistering, intensely itchy skin. The rash has a symmetrical distribution and is most frequently found on the face, elbows, knees and buttocks. DH patients can have gastrointestinal damage without perceptible symptoms.

Treatment of Celiac Disease

The only treatment is the lifelong adherence to the gluten-free diet. When gluten is removed from the diet, the small intestine will start to heal and overall health improves. Medication is not normally required. Consult your physician regarding specific nutritional supplements to correct any deficiencies. The diagnosed celiac should have medical follow-up to monitor the clinical response to the gluten-free diet.

Dietary compliance increases the quality of life and decreases the likelihood of osteoporosis, intestinal lymphoma and other associated illnesses.

Because osteoporosis is common and may be profound in patients with newly diagnosed CD, bone density should be measured at or shortly after diagnosis.

Adapting to the gluten-free diet requires some lifestyle changes. It is essential to read labels and learn how to identify foods that are appropriate for the gluten-free diet and do not contain toxin gluten.
Potential harmful ingredients include:

* unidentified starch
* modified food starch
* binders
* fillers
* excipients
* extenders
* malt

Gluten may also be used as a binder in some pharmaceutical products. Request clarification from food and drug manufacturers when necessary.

○ ◎ ● Resources ● ◎ ○

Foods & Medications

GingerLemonGirl Gluten-Free Recipe Index
Gluten-Free Hub
Celiac Princess
Gluten-Free Drug List
Gluten-Free Ingredients List
Safeway Gluten-Free Product List
Gluten-Free Goddess
CSA Celiacs Recipes
Gluten-Free Cookbook
Best Gluten-Free Recipes Recipes
Delight Magazine

Cosmetics & Personal Care

Afterglow Cosmetics
California Baby
Affusion Skin Care
Desert Essence Organics
Ecco Bella Cosmetics
Naturally Dahling
Christine Marie Cosmetics
Cosmetics Kitchen Gluten-Free List
Gluten-Free Soap
Dakota Free

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for reference and support purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for individual medical advice in diagnosing or treating any health problem. Please consult your healthcare provider about your health concerns.

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