Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive condition caused by the consumption of foods that contain gluten. A proper diet should be maintained if diagnosed with the condition.
If an individual is diagnosed with celiac disease, the lining of the small intestines is damaged by these foods. Gluten is a protein present in large amounts in foods such as rye, wheat, barley, triticale and oats. The immune system is instigated by the gluten that was consumed. Since the inner lining of the small intestine is damaged, there is disruption in the digestive system and ability of the small intestines to properly absorb nutrients from food.
Indications of celiac disease
- Gas, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pale stool, weight loss and other digestive issues
- Irregular bowel movement
- Formation of ulcers
- Severe skin rashes
- Tiredness or weakness
- Tingling sensations in the legs
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Growth issues
In severe cases, celiac disease can lead to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, intestinal cancer and other autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and type 1 diabetes. Proper treatment of the condition is vital in any possible way. The ideal way in which it is treated is maintaining a gluten-free diet.
What are the foods to avoid?
Even if a small amount of gluten is consumed, it can be detrimental to those with celiac disease. Therefore, it is vital to select foods that do not contain any gluten.
Elimination of gluten for life is the standard measure to control the condition. Other general principles that should be followed aside from having a gluten-free diet include the following:
- Foods such as barley, wheat, oats, rye and triticale contain gluten in large amounts. It is vital that pasta, breads, cereals, pies, crackers, cookies and gravies must be avoided.
- Aside from wheat, other foods labelled with “wheat” such as wheat germ, wheat berries, wheat bran, wheat grass, wheat flour and wheat starch must be avoided.
- Avoid any type of beer
- Other foods to avoid include bulgur, semolina, Graham flour, couscous, blue cheese and malt since they contain large amounts of gluten