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Celiac Disease, the body's reaction to Gluten
Also spelled, coeliac disease
A disorder resulting from an abnormal reaction by the body's
immune system to gluten, It is an
immune reaction, creating an allergic reaction to this
What is Gluten?
Gluten comes, not surprisingly, from the Latin word for glue, and
cookbooks define it as the protein-based substance that makes
dough resilient and stretchy. If you're making bread, you want
gluten in the dough, so that when it's baking the walls of the
little air pockets formed by yeast expand but don't burst
But if you're making cookies or a piecrust, you want to keep the
gluten content of the dough and batter low. Otherwise, your
results will be tough and gummy.
In the context of celiac disease, gluten refers to the protein of
grains capable of provoking an autoimmune response. Other grains
also contain protein, but wheat, barley, rye, and spelt contain
varieties that aren't broken down by digestive enzymes. In wheat,
the difficult-to-digest protein is gliadin; in rye, it's secalin;
and in barley, hordein.
These proteins don't bother most people, but in people with gluten
intolerance, when they get absorbed into the walls of the
small intestine, the immune system misreads the situation, views
them as intruders, and unleashes a furious inflammatory response
that damages tissue.
The inside of a normal, healthy small intestine is has
millions of fingerlike projections called villi that produce
digestive enzymes and absorb nutrients. The misguided immune
response triggered by the gluten proteins sometimes attacks these
villi, so they lose their slender shape and become short and
stubby, even flat.
When that happens, the villi produce fewer digestive enzymes and
results in poor absorption
of nutrients from food. Symptoms may include diarrhea, anemia, and
More soon including a remedy other
than the obvious - eat a gluten-free diet. That is the first step. Give your body a
break and get relief.
Some people with celiac disease may
not have symptoms, but internally malabsorption and
malnutrition can ruin health over many years. Both
celiac disease and gluten intolerance can be made
worse by emotional and physical stress including infection, surgery, pregnancy and childbirth. Every
individual with some level of gluten intolerance or
allergy may experience different variations of symptoms. It is thus a challenge for medical
practitioners to diagnose. A nutritionist can
test you for these allergies.
Weight loss or weight gain
Nutritional deficiencies due to
malabsorption including. low iron levels
Gastro-intestinal problems (bloating, pain, gas,
Fat in the stools (due to poor digestion)
Depression (deficiencies often cause this
Irritability and behavioral changes
Infertility, irregular menstrual cycle and
Cramps, tingling and numbness
Slowed growth in children.
Decline in dental health
Burning, tingling, numbness in hands and feet
Loss of feeling in hands and feet
Numbness, tingling or reduced sensation in face
(The above three are called neuropathy,
for celiac induced neuropathy, click on link for relief
Sometimes it is not diagnosed because the doctor is
only looking for the gastro-intestinal symptoms.
Undiagnosed for long periods of time, food
intolerances have been found to contribute to
diabetes, bowel cancer, anemia and osteoporosis.
In people with symptoms, judging whether there's a
favorable response to a gluten-free diet isn't
difficult: the turnaround from illness to health can
be quite dramatic.
Neuropathy, or peripheral neuropathy, describes a range of disorders characterized by nerve damage to one or more nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord. Often the cause of the neuropathy is unknown, though autoimmune diseases and vitamin deficiencies are some of the potential causes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Gluten neuropathy is when the autoimmune response is the root cause of the nerve damage.
A study published in Muscle & Nerve journal in December 2006 found that participants with neuropathy who followed a gluten-free diet showed significant improvement in symptoms after one year. The control group reported worsening of symptoms.
Source: "The Canadian"
For complete article Gluten
& Nerve Damage
information about Nerve
What foods contain
gluten: The Complete List of Gluten Free Foods
More about Enzymes
Free Food, Is it Safe?
information about the Causes
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