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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Adopting a gluten-free diet means eliminating foods that contain the following:
– Bulgur Wheat
– Graham Flour
Worried about what you can replace your morning toast with? Here are some gluten-free options you can switch to:
– Gluten free Oats
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.