Celiac Disease

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease also known as Celiac Sprue, Gluten Enteropathy, Gluten Sensitivity or Summer Diarrhea (northern parts of India) is caused by an immune reaction (hypersensitivity) to gluten, a protein found in wheat (spelt, kamut and durum), barley, oats, rye, and triticale. In people with Celiac Disease, gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction in which the body produces antibodies that attack its own tissue. This reaction causes inflammation and damage to the lining of the small intestines.

Is Celiac Disease same as Wheat Allergy ?

Celiac Disease unlike Wheat Allergy is a permanent adverse reaction to gluten (a protein present in wheat, barley, oats, and rye) and requires a lifelong restriction to Gluten.

Wheat Allergy is an immune response to wheat protein and may cause some symptoms similar to that caused by Celiac but the symptoms will persist only for a short time after the consumption of wheat. The reaction has skin manifestations like urticaria, atopic eczema, angioedema, gastrointestinal manifestations like oral allergy syndrome, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomitting and respiratory symptoms like asthma and allergic rhinitis.These reactions may be mild to severe but it is limited and unlike Celiac does not cause damage to the intestinal lining. People usually outgrow this condition with time.

Gluten Free Diet (GFD)

A person with Celiac disease should consume Gluten Free Diet(GFD) for life. Adherence to this diet is important as even a small amount of gluten in diet may silently damage your health. However it doesn’t stop you or your child from eating a variety of foods and enjoying life to the fullest.

It is important to understand people with Celiac are nutritionally challenged because of malabsorption of nutrients in their small intestine. Therefore, care should be taken to plan a nutritionally balanced Gluten free diet containing adequate amount of calories, proteins and fats. Nutritional supplements with adequate amount of vitamins and minerals are usually prescribed to correct deficiencies that may occur in Celiac.

Patients should follow up with doctors and nutritionists regularly. This will help in

  1. Resolving any health concerns and associated disorders or complications that may arise
  2. Monitoring weight in adults, and growth and development in children.
  3. Getting blood tests done for detecting nutritional deficiencies.
  4. Assessing adherence to the GFD by diet history and estimation of antibodies in blood.
  5. Assessing the need for other investigations, such as further biopsies,bone scans etc.

Foods items that shouldn’t be had :

  1. Wheat, Other varieties of wheat (spelt, kamut, durum) , Barley , Rye (cereal of European origin shouldn’t be confused with mustard seeds)
  2. Oats, Triticale (this is similar to wheat)

Free intake of following food items is allowed:

  1. Cereals: Rice, buckwheat, maize, bajra, millets, ragi, amaranth, potato starch, tapioca starch, sago, corn meal, quinoa, corn starch, arrowroot
  2. Vegetables & Pulses, and flours made out of them (besan, soya flour, moong dal flour)
  3. Fruits , Nuts
  4. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs
  5. Cheese and milk
  6. Others: Spirits, wines, liqueurs and ciders, whisky (except malt whisky)

Want to Know more, why not discuss your diet and nutrition needs with our dietitian / dietician and doctor in detail. Call +91-9891544850 now.

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