The Celiac Diet is a diet that is followed by people who have celiac disease.If you’re one of the three million Americans who have celiac disease, you know that eating gluten-free is essential to your health. And if you’re one of the many people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you may also find that a gluten-free diet keeps you feeling your best.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It’s what gives bread its chewy texture and pizza dough it’s stretchy consistency. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system reacts by damaging the villi—the tiny, fingerlike projections lining the small intestine that absorb nutrients from food. Over time, this damage can lead to malnutrition and other serious health problems.
What is the difference between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that it’s caused by the body’s immune system attacking itself. In the case of celiac disease, the immune system reaction is triggered by gluten. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, is not an autoimmune disorder. It’s a condition in which people experience symptoms similar to those of celiac disease (such as gastrointestinal distress), but without damage to the villi.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Symptoms of celiac disease can range from mild to severe, and can include digestive problems like diarrhoea, constipation, and bloating; fatigue; anaemia; bone or joint pain; headaches; depression; and skin rashes. Celiac disease is also associated with a higher risk of certain types of cancer, including lymphoma.
What are the symptoms of non-celiac gluten sensitivity?
Symptoms of non-celiac gluten sensitivity can include gastrointestinal distress, headache, brain fog, fatigue, and joint pain. Some people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity also experience skin rashes, depression, and anxiety.
How is celiac disease diagnosed?
A blood test can detect the presence of certain antibodies that are associated with celiac disease. If the blood test is positive, a biopsy of the small intestine will be done to confirm the diagnosis.
How is non-celiac gluten sensitivity diagnosed?
There is no definitive test for non-celiac gluten sensitivity. A diagnosis is typically made after other possible causes of symptoms have been ruled out and symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet.
What is the treatment for celiac disease?
The only treatment for celiac disease is a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet. This means avoiding all foods that contain wheat, barley, or rye—including breads, pastas, cereals, and baked goods. It also means being careful about cross contamination from foods that come into contact with gluten, such as utensils and surfaces that have been used to prepare gluten-containing foods.
What is the treatment for non-celiac gluten sensitivity?
The only treatment for non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a gluten-free diet. This means avoiding all foods that contain wheat, barley, or rye—including breads, pastas, cereals, and baked goods. It also means being careful about cross contamination from foods that come into contact with gluten, such as utensils and surfaces that have been used to prepare gluten-containing foods.
Living gluten-free can be a challenge, but it’s essential for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. With careful planning and a little creativity, you can still enjoy a variety of delicious foods.
What are some tips for following a gluten-free diet?
1. Read food labels carefully to make sure that products do not contain wheat, barley, or rye.
2. When in doubt, ask the manufacturer whether a product contains gluten.
3. Avoid restaurants and other food establishments that are not dedicated to providing gluten-free options.
4. When eating out, always inform your server about your gluten-free requirements.
5. Be careful about cross contamination from foods that come into contact with gluten, such as utensils and surfaces that have been used to prepare gluten-containing foods.
6. Plan ahead when travelling, so that you have access to safe and healthy gluten-free foods.
7. Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with gluten-free recipes.
8. Seek out support from others who are also following a gluten-free diet.
The Celiac Diet is a great way to improve your health and well-being. If you think you may be suffering from celiac disease, it’s important to get tested by a doctor. After being diagnosed, follow the guidelines of the Celiac Diet to start feeling better soon. Have you tried following a gluten-free diet? What were some of the challenges you faced? Let us know in the comments below.