Celiac Disease

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CocoaButter
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Celiac Disease

Post by CocoaButter » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:31 pm

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease where someone is allergic to wheat, rye, oats, and barley, proteins found in gluten. Although oats are debatable…in Canada they are considered gluten free- however in the US they are not (I personally get sick if I eat them). According to Celiac.com the prevalence of Celiac Disease is now 1 in every 133 people in the US.

When someone with Celiac Disease eats any bit of gluten, they become extremely sick showing symptoms, although not everyone will show symptoms or will only show symptoms much later on in life. Someone with this disease will not be able to process gluten properly. This will cause the small intestine (which absorbs food) to become damaged, causing the villi (finger-like projections that grad and absorb your food) will lie flat, which in turn causes your body to not be able to absorb proper nutrients. Literally everything that they will eat, will only pass right through them, no matter what they eat, they will not absorb any of the nutrients since the villi lie flat.

The younger you are when you get diagnosed, the better your chances are of making a faster recovery (since your body is young it can itself repair quicker than someone who is older) and to avoid other side effects/other autoimmune disorders in the long run.

Be weary of doctors who diagnose too quickly. Make sure and get tested if you suspect this is what you have. Although it was about six years ago, when I was going in and out of doctors, all they wanted to do was ask if I was Anorexic or pass me along to another doctor. In the end it ended up being my primary physician who ordered the tests be done to check for possible gluten intolerance.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease presents itself in wide variety of symptoms. Including both physical and emotional symptoms because the body of one with Celiac Disease cannot process gluten (proteins found in wheat, rye, oats, and barley), therefore not allowing them to absorb any nutrition, no matter how much one with Celiac eats.

Physical Symptoms of Celiac Disease (But not limited to):

Constipation
Stomach Bloating/Cramps
Diarrhea
Lack of Energy (Seeming Depressed mood)
Fatigue
Loss of enamel (Found on teeth)
Weight Loss
Hair Loss
Changes in vision
Retention of Fluids
Skin rash/Extreme Dryness
Painful Joints
Tingling in limbs

Sadness after realization of Celiac Disease... its OK!
Emotional Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Irritability
Depression
Headaches
Mood swings/changes
If untreated it can lead to…

Osteopenia (a lesser version of Osteoporosis…but can turn into Osteoporosis)
Osteoporosis
Nerve Damage (That tingling in ones limbs)
Stunted Growth (Especially if not treated in childhood)
Intestinal Damage (or anywhere in ones digestive tract…from ones esophagus to the colon)
Other autoimmune disorders (The Immune system is vulnerable when it is being attacked for so long)
Infertility
Interference with ones concentration and or memory
The list goes on with symptoms and if left untreated, but these are generally some of the more known signs.

Personally some of my symptoms included:

Itchy rash on my chest and upper back (the reason I ended up going into the first doctors apt.)
Blisters on my lips/lips would swell up (not the nice-collagen kind, only one side would swell…embarrassing)
Face would swell (again only one side)
Horrible stomach pain/cramps (could not sit or stand up straight)
Was 88-92 lbs (Now after being G-Free, 105 lbs)
Stopped growing at age 12…(5′2)same height and weight (now I have gained weight, but no more growing)
Constant Headaches (always felt like I was in a “fog”)
I was not able to hold down food after I ate it
I was always hungry, but didn’t want to eat because I knew it would just bring pain
Yellow eyes (sign of Jaundice)
My teeth have lost their enamel (has left them prone to cavities – had 10 cavities last visit!)
Was always sick with some sort of cold at least 1 week out of every month
Memory loss (I rode horses for almost ten years…then one day I could not even remember how to put the saddle on or how to take a bridle off)
Painful Joints
I have not had a bone density test, however I would explain it as my “bones hurt”, even now after being G-free, after running or even walking around my hips/shins hurt.
Nerve Damage (had bad tingling in legs and arms, even now if I eat Gluten accidentally I get this)
Decreased energy (I went from horseback riding almost everyday/working out with aerobics etc to not being able to walk)
Hair Loss
Vision changes
Personality changes (as told by family members…I do not recall any of it)
And again, those are just to name some of the symptoms I experienced. Although around the time I was diagnosed they had got to be severe versions…probably from the build up of gluten my body could not handle nor process.


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Post by CocoaButter » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:41 pm

Accidentally Glutened
Accidentally ingesting gluten unfortunately happens from time to time and mostly it just takes time to heal and get back to feeling better. Everyone is different when it comes to how little (just touching something with gluten) to eating something contaminated with gluten. And each time one ingests gluten, it will attack and damage your small intestine. So it is important to “flush” it out as quickly as possible.

Here are some things that have helped me personally to get over an accidental incident of gluten.

Drink lots of Water!!! Water will be a huge help with getting it to flush out of your system.
Eat fruits, especially things like papaya (Helps digest proteins)
“Gluten Defense” pills. (This is something I believe that does help me when I get glutened, however it is not FDA approved, nor is it a substitute for eating gluten..it is not a magic pill! But it is supposed to help with digestion and breaking down the gluten proteins)
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