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Celiac Disease - A Basic Understanding

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Food & Drink
Celiac disease is of vital importance to many people. The health problems can range from having no symptoms to extreme symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea and weight loss due to malasorption of nutrients. All of these symptoms have to do with the digestive system and with the consumption (eating and/or drinking) of anything containing wheat or wheat gluten, the protein factor found in wheat.

If you find that consumption of any kind of wheat based products causes stomach, bowel or any digestive problems, it could be a sign of Celiac disease. If this is the case, it may be time to consult with a qualified medical professional to determine the exact cause of your problems.

It's interesting that the symptoms of Celiac disease can be quite broad. Different people with Celiac disease have reported a variety of symptoms and problems. Also interesting is the fact that symptoms of Celiac disease can be almost immediate, or may be delayed for up to several months. Once diagnosed, it is especially important for Celiac sufferers to be concerned with lifestyle and their daily eating habits so that wheat gluten consumption can be controlled or prevented.

Celiac disease can affect people of all ages, including children. Research to better understand the damage Celiac disease can have on children has been completed and provides parents with information on the symptoms to look for in their children's behavior patterns and health.

If left untreated by not maintaining a gluten-free diet, Celiac disease can increase the risk of other diseases like certain types of cancer (intestinal lymphoma). Celiac disease is obviously a very serious health risk.

Celiac sufferers may also have sensitivity to certain foods and food additives such as soy, MSG and other products. The moral of this story is that the foods we eat most definitely affect who we are and how we feel. The importance of eating the right foods for better health and to ward off the annoying effects of disease, such as Celiac disease, cannot be over-emphasized.

People suffering from Celiac disease should strive to consume a balanced diet while eliminating wheat based products and wheat gluten. The saying "you are what you eat" applies to Celiac sufferers as well. While it is all too easy to "throw the baby out with the bath water" with over-reaction to dietary restrictions, with proper food choices the right balance of nutrients and good nutrition can be easily achieved.

Remember - growing children and adults alike need proper nutrition for optimum health.