Celiac disease is an autoimmune, inherited disease that leads to damage of the small intestine. This leads to malabsorption of nutrients and thus to malnutrition. It is important to note that Celiac disease is not age dependent and it may become an active disease at any age.
The sooner a patient is diagnosed with celiac disease the better; there is much less damage to the body and much less possibility of associated autoimmune diseases with celiac disease that is found early on in life.
Celiac disease leads to an autoimmune (self attacking) response to the body’s cells and can affect any and all organs. When a person with celiac disease eats foods containing gluten proteins these proteins set off an autoimmune reaction that is quite damaging to the body.
Grains that must be avoided by those with celiac disease:
Triticale* (this is a hybrid of wheat and rye)
Oats (oats do have a much less reactive form of gluten, some celiacs do okay with oats from a certified gluten free factory: you can try oats back in the diet after you’ve been gluten free for one year)
Examine labels for wording such as ‘certified gluten free’.
People with celiac disease may have the disease without any outward symptoms including gastrointestinal issues. This is problematic because celiac disease can be silently causing issues and the patient will be unaware of the problem. If you have close relatives that have been diagnosed with celiac disease please get tested yourself.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with celiac disease or celiac disease testing seems needed please come see us at SageMED. We can help you navigate these trials and come out much healthier than before!
Dr. Corinne Harpster is a naturopathic physician who specializes in pediatrics and gut health issues.