Thursday, July 3, 2014

Celiac Disease: Resources for Understanding

This is the first post in my series about celiac disease.

A simple Google search of celiac disease will yield approximately 15,700,000 results! There is simply no way to research all of those millions of links. Thus, I will share some links that helped me in learning about celiac disease.
If you're not interested in reading all of my helpful links ;), here's the basic summary of celiac disease—I edited the information (a little) taken from the Celiac Support Association.
"Celiac disease (CD), also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is a genetically linked autoimmune disorder that can affect both children and adults. In people with CD, eating certain types of grain-based products sets off an immune response that causes measurable damage to the small intestine. This, in turn, interferes with the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients in food, leading to malnutrition and a variety of other complications. The offending amino acid sequences are collectively called 'gluten' and are found in wheat, barley, rye. Related proteins are found in triticale, spelt, and kamut."

For more information about Autoimmune Diseases, of which celiac disease is one, please visit the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. website.

*A word about oats: Many websites say oats cause problems for patients with celiac disease. Here's the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center's take on why uncontaminated oats are safe for CD patients to eat. Yay!
"A large body of scientific evidence accumulated over more than 15 years has proven that oats are completely safe for the vast majority of celiac patients. Oats are not related to gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley and rye. They don’t contain gluten, but rather proteins called avenins that are non-toxic and tolerated by most celiacs (perhaps less than 1% of celiac patients show a reaction to a large amount of oats in their diets). 
"Oats can be in a celiac’s diet provided they are selected from sources that guarantee a lack of contamination by wheat, rye or barley. 
"Some who add oats to their diet may experience GI symptoms. This may actually be a result of the increased fiber that oats provide instead of a reaction to the oats themselves."
Now that you know where to go for information on celiac disease, allow me to introduce you to this excellent presentation on recent CD research.

Lastly, please watch this short video to understand how serious celiac disease really is. Celiac disease is no laughing matter, it is nothing to trifle with. It's not one of those dietary inconveniences that one can choose to treat, or not, depending on how they feel that day.

To gain further understanding of celiac disease, check out my next post, "Celiac Disease: Diagnosis...Accepting What Is". :)

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