All You Need to Know About Celiac Disease

All You Need to Know About Celiac Disease

Oct 25, 2021

Do you have that one friend who takes forever to decide what they’re ordering every time you are out for dinner? Asking the servers multiple questions, talking about the things they can or cannot eat, poring over every ingredient mentioned in the menu. Well, the next time you roll your eyes or crack a joke at this friend, take a second to think about food sensitivity.

Sensitivity to certain food groups goes beyond mere bloating or discomfort. It covers a group of autoimmune disorders that have a life-long impact on our health. Celiac Disease, for example, is one such disorder that is a lot more serious than simply being labelled as a gluten sensitivity.

So, what exactly is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disorder that affects the digestive system. The disease is triggered when you eat foods with gluten present in them. Gluten is a protein that is naturally present in wheat, barley and rye-based foods. Common foods that contain gluten are bread, cookies, cereals, beer and pasta to name a few. Even non-food products on your shelf such as lip balms, toothpastes, lipsticks and supplements contain gluten.

Celiac Disease Fact Sheet:

  1. Celiac Disease is a genetic condition, although it may be triggered with lifestyle choices
  2. Over 80% Americans who have Celiac Disease, are often misdiagnosed with other conditions or undiagnosed completely
  3. 1 in 133 Americans are living with Celiac Disease, that’s approximately 3 million people.
  1. Women with Celiac Disease are significantly more likely to miscarry or give birth prematurely
  2. Women with unexplained infertility have 6X higher chances of having Celiac Disease
  3. Close to 50% children diagnosed with Celiac Disease report social anxiety, worry and pessimism
  4. 37% of women with Celiac Disease experience symptoms of depression

How does Celiac Disease occur?

When someone with celiac disease eats a gluten-based food, their immune system detects a threat and springs into action. In the process, the intestinal villi that are attempting to digest the gluten, get damaged. This damage renders the villi unable to digest other nutrients from the food.

In due course, this auto-immune reaction causes long term damage to the small intestinal lining, resulting in symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, nausea among others. If left unchecked, Celiac Disease causes serious issues including malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies and even autoimmune disorders.

I feel bloated every time I eat out, does this mean I have Celiac Disease?

Symptoms of Celiac Disease may vary depending on the individual. Genetics and age play a key role in how Celiac Disease manifests in your life. This study shows that Celiac Disease may be active or silent, with symptoms ranging from nausea to an itchy rash called dermatitis herpetiformis. Your symptoms may not necessarily be restricted to gastric issues.

Some commonly-reported symptoms include:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Bloating
  3. Excessive tiredness or fatigue
  4. Unexplained and sudden weight loss
  5. Poor mental health
  6. Itchy, blistering rash called dermatitis herpetiformis

 How do I know if I have Celiac Disease?

 Since Celiac Disease shares the same symptoms as other gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance, diagnosis gets a little tricky. It often covers a mix of personal and family medical history investigation, along with blood tests and biopsy of the small intestine.

Genetic testing is also a useful Celiac Disease diagnosis method in some cases. A simple blood sample of cheek swab is tested for certain gene variants called DQ2 and DQ8. While most people with these gene variants do not usually develop Celiac Disease, it helps your doctor run additional tests to get closer to a confirmed diagnosis.

I have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, what next? How do I treat this condition?

At the moment, there isn’t a magic pill or injection you could take to permanently treat Celiac Disease. But, fret not! Functional medicine offers several strategies to take control of this condition. According to our holistic doctor in Houston, Dr. Shezi Kirnani, making some simple and effective lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing your symptoms.

  1. Break-up with Gluten: Since gluten is the number 1 trigger of Celiac Disease, saying goodbye to it is the most important factor in keeping your condition in check. Gluten is notoriously present in most packaged foods and non-food products, so you will need to be vigilant in your purchases at the grocery store.

Adopting a gluten-free diet means eliminating foods that contain the following:

–          Wheat

–          Barley

–          Rye

–          Bulgur Wheat

–          Durum

–          Graham Flour

–          Semolina

–          Spelt

–          Farina

–          Triticale

Worried about what you can replace your morning toast with? Here are some gluten-free options you can switch to:

–          Gluten free Oats

–          Quinoa

–          Buckwheat

–          Rice

–          Millets

–          Amaranth

  1. Have more anti-inflammatory foods: Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is a great way to help your body reverse the damage it’s been through. And it is super simple, too! A great start would be to pick up some bright fruits & veggies, green tea, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
  1. Make everyday a gut-friendly day: With Celiac Disease, a little bit of TLC goes a long way. Keep your calm with holistic methods such as deep breathing and exercise, instead of harmful habits like smoking or stress-eating. Sleeping for 8-9 hours makes sure your digestive system is working at its best. Supplements such as probiotics give your gut that extra boost.

These three ways are only the tip of the iceberg! There are several proven functional medicine methods to treat Celiac Disease symptoms and live a wholesome life. Our integrative medicine experts at My Pure MD work hand-in-hand to help you understand this condition, and create a unique treatment plan that works according to your lifestyle. To address your concerns or to book an appointment, reach out to us today.

October 25, 2021

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