The word ‘celiac’ (Greek) literally means ‘relating to the abdomen.’ Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that occurs when wheat, pasta, breads, and other products that contain gluten irritate the small intestine. The word ‘gluten’ is derived from the Latin word ‘glue.’ It is a combination of plant proteins occurring in grains such as wheat, corn, barley, and rye. The word gluten is used in this way because it actually is an adhesive. Gluten is found in many processed foods in our American diet today. Surprisingly to many, it is also used in many medications, vitamins, and even lip balms. Those who suffer from celiac disease cannot consume gluten because it prevents nutrients from being absorbed into the body, thereby causing damage to the lining of the intestines. If celiac disease goes undiagnosed or untreated, it can lead to serious complications with other areas of the body, such as the nervous system, bones, and even the brain. Thankfully, though celiac disease is more common today than ever, it’s also true that many American food manufacturers are coming up with more foods that are friendly to those who suffer with celiac disease. Following is information from a gastroenterologist about the celiac disease friendly diet.
Celiac disease, often referred to as celiac sprue, is a disease of the digestive system that causes damage to the small intestine, interfering with absorption of vital nutrients from food. The word ‘celiac’ is derived from Greek words, and it means ‘relating to the abdomen.’ People who suffer from celiac disease are unable to tolerate ‘gluten,’ a word actually derived from the Latin word ‘glue.’ Gluten is a mixture of plant proteins that occur in grains such as wheat, barley, corn, and rye. Gluten is used as an adhesive and a flour substitute. Today, gluten is found not just in many processed foods, but it is also used in medications, lip balms, and even vitamins. Because celiac disease prevents nutrients from being absorbed into the body, it causes damage to intestinal linings, and this can lead to certain autoimmune disorders. So, what are the symptoms of celiac disease, and when should you visit a GI doctor for testing?