Having a website that talks about Gluten free food made me realize that I should deal with the most important topic: the celiac disease or Gluten intolerance.
What is celiac disease?
First of all, we should define this illness. The celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune inflammation of the small intestine, caused by gluten intake from someone that genetically can´t absorbe that binary protein (Gluten).
The celiac disease slowly damages the intestinal mucosa, with the consequent malfunctioning of the digestive system. This malfunctioning could prevent the liver, brains, bones and other important internal organs from receiving essential substances. This issue could then lead to other illnesses.
Luckily this disease affects only 1 % of the global population, however, in the last years the number of people affected by gluten intolerance have increased substantially. In percentage, women are more affected than men.
Celiac disease symptoms
Now that we have understood what the Celiac disease is, it´s time to understand what are the symptoms.
It´s not easy to recognize these symptoms, as they are very different. It could be diarrhea and abdominal pain or a visible weight-loss. You could have anemia or experience amenorrhoea. Or other illnesses like the spastic colon, Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcer or even dermatitis.
The celiac disease could even escalate until the development of several forms of cancer, like the intestinal lymphoma.
How is it diagnosed?
If you think you might be affected by this disease, I would advise you to go to a gastroenterologist. Most likely the doctor will make you avoid gluten for a certain period of time, in order to understand whether that is the problem or not.
The second step is going to be a blood test – the result will uncover eventual specific antibodies and autoantibodies. If the number of these molecules is too high, there´s a high chance that you are indeed gluten intolerant.
In the past, and that has also been my case, it was necessary to perform a gastroscopy to double check your body reaction to the gluten. Whereas nowadays, the blood test is enough in most of the cases.
What is gluten? And what should you avoid?
It´s time to mention our common enemy, the substance that makes us sick. What is actually this gluten?
As already said, the gluten is a Binary protein mixtures – in simple terms, it´s the proteins mix contained in wheat.
You can find gluten in the following cereals:
- Oat (unless specifically treated)
- Malt and Kamut
- Emmer wheat
Pay attention to the following products – THEY CONTAIN GLUTEN: Soy Sauce, Couscous, already prepared salads or pasta with cereals, oat milk, crunchy products (if it´s crunchy, most likely there´s wheat and therefore gluten).
Gluten free diet
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for cealiac disease. People affected should follow a strict gluten free diet.
By doing that, you can avoid the arise of other illnesses and will make sure to balance the absorption of the essential minerals and vitamines.
Previously I mentioned a few ingredients that you should completely avoid, now I am going to talk about what you can eat instead:
Rice is one of the ingredients I use the most in the kitchen – it´s very versatile and you can cook delicious food with it. You might be interested in this article if you´d like to become a Risotto chef.
If you´re interested in start cooking gluten free, check out all our gluten free recipes.
Other Interesting facts about the celiac disease
Although it´s a genetical disease, you could become gluten intolerant in adulthood, even after 40 years old.
You can´t transmit this illness to partners or friends because it´s not a contagious disease.
There are many people that suffer of gluten sensitivity, that is not gluten intolerance. Despite having similar symptoms, the organism reacts in a different way and it´s luckily less dangerous in the long period.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that you have learned more about this illness – whether you are affected or not. Did you know that the US corporation Immusant is developing a potential vaccine for the celiac disease? Check out our article about it:
Do you have any tips for others? Products that contain gluten or your experience of finding out about the celiac disease. I´d be happy to receive your comments 🙂