Gluten Free Nachos Celiac Disease - causes, symptoms & diagnosis

What if licking a stamp could make you sick…

That might be an overstatement, but it gives some context to what it’s like to live every day with Celiac disease.

For most people gluten is just a protein in everyday foods, but for celiac sufferers gluten causes damage and discomfort. And while it’s most commonly found in wheat, rye and barley, gluten is also in products like vitamins, medicines and even the adhesive on stamps and envelopes.

Also known as celiac sprue, gluten enteropathy and gluten intolerance, celiac disease has likely been around since humans switched from a foraging diet of meat to a cultivated diet of grains, but it’s only been in the last 50 years that researchers have begun to understand the condition and how to manage it.

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder affecting the small intestine. Sufferers are unable to absorb the nutrients from foods they eat, resulting in malnutrition, decreased bone density and in some cases, cancer.

Damage occurs on the interior lining of the small intestine, which is made up of wrinkles called plicae and small finger-like protrusions called villi. The job of both the plicae and the villi is to increase the surface area of the intestinal wall and maximize the absorption of nutrients. When a Celiac sufferer eats foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by attacking the villi – damaging or even destroying them. Since the body itself causes the damage, celiac is classified as an autoimmune disease.

Celiac disease is genetic, passed through families. It can be present from birth, but it is often triggered by an event like surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection or even emotional stress. Outside of the genetics and triggering event, three factors that have been known to play a role in when and how celiac appears are the length of time the person was breastfed, the age they were when foods containing gluten were first eaten and the amount of gluten containing foods they are currently eating.

For some, the most difficult part of living with celiac disease is diagnosing it. People live symptom-free, while others may not know their symptoms are being caused by celiac. Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal infections show similar symptoms, which can lead sufferers through a long period of trial and error treatments.

Gluten Free Meals

The most common symptoms are abdominal pain, bloating, chronic diarrhea, changes in weight and fatigue. All are centered in the digestive system, but celiac disease can also affect other areas of the body. Muscle cramps, joint pain, infertility, skin rashes, tooth enamel loss and seizures have also been noted in celiac patients and appear as a result of nutrient deficiencies.

Some celiac sufferers exhibit an itchy blistering skin rash, called Dermatitis Herpetiformis, that is an external manifestation of the same disease.

It is generally a combination of a few common symptoms and the appearance of an unusual one that triggers medical professionals to suspect celiac.

A blood test can begin to diagnose celiac by measuring auto-antibodies. Those with the disease have increased levels of these protective proteins, produced by the immune system in response to the body’s own molecules or tissues. Screening is recommended for immediate family members of a celiac sufferer, as 5 to 15 percent will also have the disease.

If a blood test indicates that celiac is likely, a small bowel biopsy is then performed. A tiny piece of tissue is removed from the small intestine using a tube inserted through the mouth and down through the digestive system. The sample is checked for damage to the intestinal lining.

For people with Dermatitis Herpetiformis, different tests are used, as not all of them will also have damaged villi. A biopsy of a skin lesion and tissue stain is completed.

These tests provide a definitive diagnosis that can put a patient on the road to recovery. Unfortunately, there is no cure for celiac. Living with the disease means learning how to manage it through diet.

Gluten Free Cookng Tips and Tricks Gluten Free Beer

Great Gluten-Free Baking

Great Gluten-Free Baking

Coeliac disease--or gluten intolerance--affects more than one million people in the United States. Now, thanks to these luscious, easy-to-follow recipes, all those people can eat a gluten-free diet and still enjoy delicious cakes, pies, muffins, cookies, and other fabulous baked goods. In this tempting selection of more than 90 gluten-free treats--from melt-in-your-mouth cookies to rustic home-baked breads--the author, a leading authority on cooking for people with special dietary needs, delivers plenty of lip-smacking flavor. Enjoy decadent creations like Tiramisu Cupcakes, Hazelnut and Chocolate Macaroons, and Coconut and Mango Cake. She also includes lots of recipes children will love to eat (and help bake), including Messy Marshmallow Crispies and Flower Fairy Cakes.

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods: More Than 200 Recipes for Creating Old Favorites with the New Flours

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods: More Than 200 Recipes for Creating Old Favorites with the New Flours

Bette Hagman is the premier creator of recipes for those intolerant to gluten and for those allergic to wheat. In the latest addition to the Gluten-free Gourmet series, Hagman turns her hand to old favorites such as macaroni and cheese, chicken pot pie, and lasagna that were once off-limits to anyone who is gluten intolerant. At the core of this book are more than two hundred all-new recipes for main courses (biscuits and gravy, hamburger pie), sides (thousand-island dressing, soup and dumplings), and desserts (old-fashioned ice-cream sandwiches, devil's food cake). The nutritional information and dietary exchanges that accompany each recipe will make these hearty and delicious foods fit easily into any diet. Hagman also provides an introduction to exotic flours and gluten-free living.and offers a list of sources for gluten-free baking products you can order by mail. With The Gluten-free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods everyone can enjoy filling meals and snacks without gluten or wheat.

Gluten-Free Mall - Gluten-Free Foods for Celiac Disease

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