By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC and Maria Cummings
If you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, you are probably wondering what you are supposed to do now. Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder where the small intestine gets damaged in the digestion of gluten. You will need to eat a very strict gluten free diet to avoid pain and more damage to the small intestines. The damage to the small intestines makes it difficult for nutrient absorption in the body. Not many people have Celiac disease, only about 1 in 100. .
What are the signs and symptoms of Celiac disease? That’s an excellent question and complicated to answer. There are over 300 symptoms that people may be suffering from, and yet there are some people with Celiac disease that may never have symptoms. Here are some symptoms.
Delayed growth in children
Headaches or migraines
Celiac disease can lead to a variety of severe health problems if left untreated, like nervous system disorders, iron deficiency anemia, lactose intolerance, osteoporosis, dehydration, and much more. Celiac disease can also develop at any stage in life. Celiac disease can be misdiagnosed due to the many symptoms it can cause.
There are ways to manage the symptoms of Celiac! Most assuredly a wheat and gluten free diet will need to be strictly followed for life. When you are purchasing food, always make sure that the label says gluten-free. Beware of the “wheat-free” label because that is not the same- so don’t risk it.
Gluten free doesn’t mean grain-free. Many people with Celiac can enjoy different varieties of grain such as rice, corn, quinoa, millet, cassava, and much more! However, if you are eating a gluten-free diet and are still experiencing Celiac- like symptoms you may need a Gluten Cross Reactivity Test. This test will tell you if you are also reacting to the proteins in the other grains, even though they are “gluten-free”. For example, I can eat rice and quinoa, but too much will cause symptoms. And someone else may be totally fine with corn and rice will cause Celiac symptoms. Be safe, let us test you and know for sure!
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Medical disclaimer: Nutritionally Yours is not a medical clinic. Testing cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor. We have a nutritionist, naturopath and a medical doctor on staff to help you feel your best.