Gluten Free Products
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Celiac Disease / Gluten-Free Diet Resources:
What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is a genetic disorder affecting children and adults.
People with celiac disease are unable to eat foods that contain gluten,
which is found in wheat and other grains. In people with celiac disease,
gluten sets off an autoimmune reaction that causes the destruction of
the villi in the small intestine. People with celiac disease produce
antibodies that attack the intestine, causing damage and illness.
Finding the cause of this disease is a priority of The University of
Maryland Center for Celiac Research.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal
pain, chronic fatigue, weakness, malnutrition, and other
gastrointestinal problems. In children, the symptoms may include failure
to thrive (an inability to grow and put on weight), irritability, an
inability to concentrate, diarrhea and bloating. Further, people
affected by Celiac Disease may experience extra intestinal symptoms that
involve many systems and organs including bones (osteoporosis,
arthritis, and joint pain), blood (anemia and bleeding), reproductive
system (infertility and reoccurring abortion), nervous system (chronic
fatigue syndrome, depression, dementia), and behavioral changes.
How common is celiac disease?
Nearly one out of every 133 Americans suffer from celiac disease,
according to a new study by the University of Maryland Center for Celiac
Research in Baltimore. The research indicates that celiac is twice as
common as Crohn's disease, ulceric colitis and cystic fibrosis combined.
How is celiac diagnosed?
blood test is now available to screen for the presence of specific
antibodies. A biopsy of the intestine (before beginning a gluten free
diet) is needed to make a final diagnosis.
What are the long-term effects of celiac
Untreated celiac disease can be life threatening.
Celiacs are more likely to be afflicted with problems relating to
malabsorption, including osteoporosis, tooth enamel defects, central and
peripheral nervous system disease, pancreatic disease, internal
hemorrhaging, organ disorders (gall bladder, liver, and spleen), and
gynecological disorders. Untreated celiac disease has also been linked
to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, especially intestinal
What is the treatment for celiac disease?
There are no drugs to treat celiac disease and there is no cure. But
celiacs can lead normal, healthy lives by following a gluten free diet.
This means avoiding all products derived from wheat, rye, barley, oats,
and a few other lesser-known grains.