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Celiac Disease

CELIAC DISEASE

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease is genetically inherited autoimmune disease characterized by sensitivity to proteins found in the grains wheat, rye, and barley. When these grains are eaten by a person with celiac disease, they trigger an immune response that damages the lining of the small intestine.

This decrease the ability of the intestine to absorb nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. When nutrients are not absorbed, side effects can include weight loss, diarrhea, constipation, tiredness, excess gas, vitamin and mineral deficiencies (for example, iron, folate, calcium, fat-soluble vitamins), iron-deficiency anemia, and bone disease.

Persons with celiac disease should follow a life-long gluten free diet, strictly avoiding wheat, rye, and barley proteins. A gluten free diet allows the intestine to heal and improves gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, excess gas, and bloating. Strictly following this diet also help prevent conditions that may be caused by long-term untreated celiac disease. Such as lymphoma (a cancer of the lymph tissue) and osteoporosis (the chronic loss of bone mass).

Cause and risk factors of celiac disease

The underlying cause of celiac disease is genetic defect that cause the body’s immune system to produce antibodies, which, in the presence of gluten, attack the lining of the small intestine. As a result, the tiny, fingerlike protrusions (villi) that line the small intestine become damaged and can no longer absorb nutrients properly. Impaired nutrient absorption in turn causes the person to become malnourished, irrespective of the amount of food eaten.

Because celiac disease is a genetic disorder, people with family members who have the disease are at an increased risk of developing it themselves. A genetic predisposition to celiac disease combined with various trigger factors including surgery, pregnancy, child birth, viral infection, and severe emotional stress, may lead to the onset of the disease.

Symptoms and signs of celiac disease

The symptoms associated with celiac disease vary greatly among individuals, sometimes affecting different areas of the body and varying in severity. One person may have severe physical symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain, whereas another may experience emotional symptoms, including irritability, depression. Irritability is one of the most common symptoms found among children with celiac disease.

Other symptoms of the disease include gas, recurring abdominal bloating and pain, weight loss, fatigue, bone or joint pain, seizures, muscle cramps, tooth discoloration or loss of enamel, and itchy skin rashes such as dermatitis. Some people with celiac disease have no symptoms, although they are still at risk of developing complications.

Because celiac disease impairs the absorption of nutrients, people with disease are at risk of developing complications such as malnutrition and anemia. Malnutrition is especially serious for children because immune system as a protective mechanism when foreign substance enters the body, auto antibodies are proteins that react against the body’s own molecules or tissues. Tests therefore can be carried out to measure the blood levels of these specific auto antibodies and in turn diagnose celiac disease. However, screening for the disease is not carried out routinely.

Evaluation of celiac disease

Intestinal biopsy of patients with celiac disease who are on wheat containing diet revels the typical flattened villous lesions and elongated hyperplastic crypts and lamina propria expanded by plasma cells, eosinophils, and lymphocytes.

Severely ill children with “celiac crisis” may benefit dramatically from the use of corticosteroids. As the patient recovers, the appetite increases with an increase in weight over several weeks. The diet should be supplemented with vitamins, including fat-soluble vitamins, folic acid, and iron. Specific nutritional deficiencies must be treated appropriately. It is necessary to monitor dietary compliance through careful clinical and biochemical assessment of the patient.

Treatments and prevention 0f celiac disease

The treatment for celiac disease is to eat to gluten free diet. This is also the only known means of preventing symptoms from occurring because the underlying genetic cause cannot be treated or prevented. With the help of dietitian, patients can learn to read ingredient lists when making food choices to identify foods that contain gluten. The foods to avoid are wheat, rye, and barley, as well as all food products made from these grains. To stay healthy the patients must follow this gluten free dist for the rest of his or her life because eating even a small amount of gluten can lead to damage of the small intestine. Many grocery stores now carry a variety of gluten free bread and pasta products, and thus people with celiac disease can enjoy a well balanced diet with a wide variety of foods. In some patients additional complications may develop as a result of the celiac disease, in which case further treatment may be required. For example, if a patient develops malnutrition, then he or she will require treatment with nutritional supplements.

For most patients a gluten free diet stops the symptoms, allow the intestine to heal, and prevents further intestinal damage. In children the intestine usually heals in three to six months, in adults healing may take up to two years. When the small intestine has healed, the intestinal villi can then resume absorbing nutrients from food into the bloodstream. In some patients a gluten free diet seems to be ineffective, resulting in a condition known as unresponsive celiac disease. However, it is often found in such cases that trace amounts of gluten are still present in the patient’s diet. A dietitian may be needed to identify the source of the gluten because gluten is sometimes hidden in foods. Hidden sources of gluten include additives such as modified food starch, preservatives, stabilizers, thickeners, and texture modifiers.

Homeopathic treatment of celiac disease symptoms

Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat celiac disease symptoms but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several medicines are available for celiac disease symptoms treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensation, modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are some specific head homeopathic remedies which are quite helpful in the treatment of celiac disease symptoms:

Lycopodium, Carbo Veg, Arsenic Album, Silicea, Nux vomica, Bryonia, Sulphur, Calcaria Phos, Natrum Mur, Mag Carb and many other medicines..

Reference

  1. Tricia Thompson- Celiac disease nutrition guide; 2006; 1
  2. Marshall Cavendish Corporation- Diseases and Disorders, Volume1; 2007 Page; 181-182
  3. Ronald E. Kleinman- Atlas of pediatric gastrointestinal; 1998; 129-130

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6 Comments

  • I was diagnosed with Coeliac’s disease at the start of 2011. Before that I would eat anything and everything and still can’t seem to stop. I’ve had very bad stomach pains and lots of other pain in my abdomen area for a long time. I try so hard to eat foods without gluten because of the fear the doctor has put into me, but get so dang frustrated. I try to bake bread but seem to mess it up. If I get it right then it goes bad fast. It’s like I can’t seem to keep a healthy diet and enjoy food. I have no patience for preparing “everything” that I eat and no will power. I’m 287 pounds and 5’4″ tall and way obese according to the BMI index. Living in remote region in Northern Alaska makes it a bit inconvenient to buy gluten-free products without bartering a seal and a whale for shipping. So… I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up. I constantly say to myself that I’ve been eating this way for 41 years and have been miserable for just about that long, so why does it matter if I’m gluten free? It’s an everyday struggle with myself and I really have no support groups except what’s on this internet.

  • There must be lots of coeliacs in Canada and Alaska, so persevere and try to find a support group. In the UK there is a coeliac society with a good website where you can find how to stick to a gluten-free lifestyle. I’ve been gluten-free for 20 years and am so much better, and find lots of nice things to eat. You can do it too, once you realise that you will actually feel so much better. Depression is a common symptom of coeliac disease, so try to stick to being gluten-free for 3 months and then see how you feel. Good luck….Deb.

  • WHICH WAS SUITABLE FOR ME,MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY1.THESE COMBINATIONS R SYMPTOMATIC ND CANCELS EACH OTHERS MOST SIDE EFFECTS BUT ALL THREE OF THEM CAN CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN.THIS ISNT A CURE,U SHOULD TRY OTHER REMEDIES FIRST FOR CURE OR FOR NON-RISKY/SIDE EFFECT FREE TREATMENT

  • Re: The opening line of this article: “What Is Celiac Disease? Celiac Disease is genetically inherited autoimmune disease…”

    The term “autoimmune” has been proven to be a misnomer. There is no such thing as the body’s immune system attacking its own body. Scientists such as (the late) Lida Matman, PhD and Trevor Marshall, PhD have shown that the immune system is, in reality, attacking bacteria that are hiding in the tissues. They are so tiny that no one previously knew they were there.

    How did they get there? One way is by treating disease with high-dose, short-term antibiotics. This treatment is good at forcing the bacteria out of the blood stream so that subsequent lab tests appear to “prove” that the disease is gone – and the patient “cured”! But what has really happened is that the bacteria simply moved away from the blood, changed form and infected other places in the body. They might have changed into cysts, or biofilm or tiny “stealth” bacteria which the immune system then attacks. It’s exactly what Dr. Hahnemann discovered 200 years ago, back when even the most powerful microscopes were extremely primitive.

    When microbes change form like this, it’s called “pleomorphism.” The American Medical Assn. has been claiming for decades that there’s no such thing. And now Lida Matman has proved that bacteria does indeed morph into other forms. I’m waiting for the AMA to admit they were wrong – I hope I live that long… Dr. Hahnemann knew 200 years ago that pleomorphism exists and is the real cause of “miasms.” He was certainly a brilliant man.