Are you suffering from celiac disease and are interested in learning more about this crippling illness? Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, meaning it's an illness that's caused by a malfunctioning of your own immune system.
Sufferers of celiac disease can't eat any foods containing gluten, which is a substance found in many grain products, in order to eliminate symptoms and lead a normal life. So who is susceptible to celiac disease? And how does it affect your body?
With the condition of celiac disease, your immune system mistakenly identifies the gluten in grain products such as wheat, barley and rye as a foreign invader such as a virus or bacteria. It then launches an attack on the gluten, which leaves your intestinal track inflamed and painful. It also results in the creation of a thick mucous, which lines the walls of the intestines and impedes the natural absorption of nutrients. If people with this illness don't get the help they need, they can suffer from dramatic weight loss and malnutrition. Other outcomes include stunted growth in children, diarrhoea, constipation, fatigue, abdominal pain, anaemia, and eventually, osteoporosis.
The causes of the development of the illness aren't entirely known. It appears to have a genetic link. Some individuals are born with wheat intolerance, other times an individual can contract it in mid-life, often after a major emotional or physical event, such as a car accident, pregnancy, surgery, extreme stress or depression. Once you've contracted it, the only way to manage it is to eliminate all gluten from your daily diet.
The good news is, with the condition on the rise there are more and more gluten free recipes and products available on the market. If you'd like detailed information on how to create a varied gluten free diet, consult your doctor.