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Celiac disease, symptoms and diet to control the disease

Celiac disease or celiac disease is a disorder characterized by a chronic inflammation of the lining of the small intestine . The cause is the exposure to gluten, to which the patient is intolerant, an immune reaction occurs against the mucosa of the small intestine, which produces the atrophy of the villi, responsible for the absorption of food.

The disease can develop at any time, at any age, and affects women the most.

Symptoms of celiac disease

The symptoms are a consequence of the lack of intestinal villi, therefore, the food is not absorbed correctly.

The intestinal symptoms are: abdominal pain, distension, diarrhea or constipation, nausea and / or vomiting, weight loss and lack of appetite .

If the problem is not detected, the non-absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can lead to the appearance of other symptoms as a consequence of their deficit: fatigue, depression, , susceptibility to bruising, dermatitis, joint pain, etc.

Anyway, in the presence of intestinal symptoms, the doctor usually suspects celiac disease and is one of the first diseases that you want to rule out by performing blood tests and, if the anti-transglutaminase antibodies are positive, it will be performed a bowel biopsy, in which the absence of villi will be definitive for the diagnosis.

Gluten-free diet

Celiac disease is not cured, but the symptoms disappear and the villi, little by little, recover, if a gluten-free diet is followed.

Gluten is present in wheat, rye, barley and, possibly, oats .

The prohibited foods will be bread, wheat flour, rye, barley and oats and all products prepared with any of them such as pasta, buns, biscuits, pastries in general, chocolate, wheat semolina, infusions and beverages prepared with cereals ( beer, malt, barley water, etc.).

You must take special care and carefully read the composition of any manufactured food, as we can find gluten in many of them such as: pâtés, charcuterie, prepared cheeses and substitutes, sauces, preserves, sweets, ice cream, roasted or fried nuts, etc. . In summary, any processed product is susceptible to contain gluten .

Celiac disease, symptoms and diet to control the disease

Gluten-free foods are:

– Milk and fresh derivatives.

– Fresh meat, fish and seafood.

– Fruits, vegetables, legumes.

– Rice, corn, tapioca.

– Eggs

– Honey, sugar, salt, oil and vinegar.

– Coffee and natural tea and aromatic herbs.

After a few months following this diet, the celiac patient is fully recovered from the symptoms and discomfort of the disease, you should only keep in mind that you should always eat gluten-free.

Image courtesy of Digital Cat and Ángel Gonzalez Hereza

Celiac disease, symptoms and diet to control the disease