Table of Contents
Celiac Disease Awareness
It’s estimated about 3 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disorder known as Celiac Disease.
When you think of a gluten-free diet, do you think celiac disease or gluten intolerant or just the latest diet trend for the famous?
With so many celebrities cutting out gluten from their diet, the real reason behind a gluten-free diet is lost.
For many celebrities, giving up gluten is not part of the “Doctor’s orders” – it’s more for a healthier lifestyle and part of a weight loss program.
Celiac awareness is so important in this day and age, as despite popular belief, this is a very serious genetic disease. If left undiagnosed or untreated, sufferers are at-risk of serious health consequences, such as other autoimmune diseases or malnutrition.
Celiac disease, (or coeliac disease to our friends across the pond in the UK) is a long term autoimmune disorder caused by eating gluten, which primarily affects the small intestines.
How it affects your body
If someone is intolerant to gluten, the body’s immune system reacts abnormally. This leads to the small projections in the small intestine, known as villi, becoming inflamed and flattened.
This is otherwise known as Villous Atrophy. Basically, the surface area of the bowl reduces, ultimately leading to an inability to digest and absorb the nutrients of the meal into the bloodstream.
There are more than 300 symptoms of celiac disease, making a diagnosis – just by examining symptoms – extremely difficult. In many adults, symptoms may appear during the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.
One person may suffer from depression while another suffers from discolored teeth.
However, many people with celiac disease do not have any symptoms whatsoever. This does not mean that they will not suffer. People without symptoms still have intestinal damage if they ingest gluten.
If you feel as if you may be exhibiting symptoms of celiac disease, please speak with your physician about being tested.
Who Does it Affect?
Celiac disease does not discriminate. It affects people of all ages and races, both male and female, and of all ages. However, you must be born with the genetic predisposition to develop celiac disease.
An immediate relative (parent, sibling, or child) of someone with celiac disease has about a 10 percent chance of also having the disease.
If one identical twin has celiac disease there is approximately 70 percent chance that the other twin will also have celiac disease.
Can it be cured?
The answer is plain and simple. No, celiac disease cannot be cured.
People with celiac disease continue to be intolerant to gluten for the rest of their lives. Therefore, they are never cured.
That being said, a strict gluten-free diet will help with managing this condition effectively.
Within two weeks after starting a gluten-free diet, most people with celiac disease notice an improvement in their symptoms. The symptoms should disappear within three months. However, it’s important to remember to that it can take up to six months or possible longer for the damaged villi to return to its normal form.
People who do not improve while following a gluten-free diet should be tested for other conditions.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the general name for the proteins found in wheat, barley and rye. To be precise, it’s found in foods processed from specific types of grains into protein.
Gluten helps food to maintain its shape, like glue, holding it together.
Gluten allows flour to be turned into many popular foods such as bread and pizza dough.
Celiac awareness involves a gluten-free diet. This diet HAS to exclude all products containing wheat, barley and rye, as well as any derivatives of these grains. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite foods. Today you will find many alternatives to food containing gluten.
There are so many delicious and healthy foods that are naturally gluten-free.
Fill your diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, rice, lean proteins, as well as gluten-free grains.
Adopting a Paleo diet is a great place to start on your journey to a gluten-free lifestyle.
So many celebrities have gone gluten-free. Not necessarily for celiac disease based reasons, but for sensitivity, nutrition and a healthier lifestyle.
A strict, lifelong gluten-free diet is the only way to manage celiac disease.
Celiac awareness is so important as many people live with the disease, unaware that they have it.
A gluten-free diet has so many benefits. Most importantly, it’s not an instant cure. Any ‘body’ suffering from celiac disease will take time to heal. You just need to keep at it.
This is the “awareness” section of our celiac guide series. Check out the other installments below:
- The Ultimate Guide to Celiac Disease
- Symptoms of Celiac Disease
- Testing for Celiac Disease
- Treatment for Celiac Disease
- Celiac Disease & Your Diet
- Celiac Disease & Our Anatomy
- Celiac Disease & Weight Gain
- Celiac Disease & Alcohol
- Celiac Disease FAQ
Download Your FREE Paleo Starter Kit Today!
- 3-Day Paleo Diet Meal Plan
- Comprehensive Paleo Diet Shopping List
- 5 of Our Favorite Paleo Diet Recipes