Celiac disease


Celiac disease or celiac disease is a disease characterized by intolerance to gluten – a type of protein found in foods such as bread, biscuits and pasta.

What is characteristic of celiac disease is that a person’s own immune system attacks gluten and causes damage to the small intestine when they consume some of these foods. This makes it difficult to absorb nutrients and affects negatively the general state of health.

Gluten comes from grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale – a hybrid between wheat and rye. It is important to start treatment in a timely manner, because the disease can lead to iron deficiency anemia and osteoporosis. Also, the disease can increase the risk of lymphoma.

The disease can slow growth and weaken bones in children. If left untreated, your child can become very ill. Seek medical attention if your child loses too much body weight, has diarrhea, or feels weak and tired for a long time for no reason.

What are the symptoms?

Clinical manifestations of the disease appear after the consumption of foods containing gluten. These foods trigger an abnormal immune system response that causes intestinal damage.

Symptoms are variable – they can be very mild and go away completely unnoticed or very strong and affect daily life.

The most common symptoms are:

Gas, bloating and abdominal distension – these symptoms are the result of small bowel dysfunction and the associated malabsorption of nutrients from food. It is also possible that the patient feels pain in the abdomen, but it is usually not severe.

Abnormal stools – diarrhea often develops or stools are bulky, watery or slimy, pale, foamy and foul-smelling. Faecal mass can contain a large amount of fat and may “stick” to the surface of the toilet bowl, making it difficult to flush. Although children and adults often exhibit similar symptoms, children are more prone to develop constipation.

Weight loss – adults and children may start to lose body weight for no reason, even though they have a normal appetite. Younger children may also fail to gain weight and grow in height and thus lag behind in development.

Fatigue and weakness – the disease can lead to general fatigue and lack of energy, as poor absorption of nutrients by the body is the cause of fatigue and muscle weakness.

Vomiting – some people immediately react to the effects of gluten by expelling it from the body by vomiting the food they have eaten.

Treatment of celiac disease

Once the disease is diagnosed, the patient will have to follow a gluten-free diet for the rest of his life. Constant adherence to such a strict diet is mandatory, especially if there are no symptoms. Since damage to the intestines develops regardless of the fact that no symptoms appear.

What should a person with celiac disease do to protect themselves from gluten?

• A consultation with a specialist nutritionist is necessary to prepare a special gluten-free diet for you.

• Read the foods you buy and plan to eat carefully for hidden gluten. For example, hydrolyzed vegetable protein – usually found in wheat and may contain gluten.

• Ask your nutritionist how to prevent contamination of gluten-free foods at home. Best to store them in a separate cabinet. Before you start preparing and consuming food, make sure that kitchen utensils and dishes are clean and free of gluten.

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