So I decided to write something about Celiac disease today. I bought this book – ‘is wheat killing you?’ By Ishi Khosla – in India some years back. So I decided to kind of write what I understood by the term Celiac Disease and it’s other stuff. I hope it’ll help some of you, I know almost 90% of Nigerians do not know about Celiac Disease
- Is a lifelong condition.
- Is genetically predisposed.
- Requires gluten to manifest itself.
- Is autoimmune in nature.
- Remains undiagnosed in 97% of cases.
- It is hereditary.
What is Celiac disease?
Celiac disease is a permanent condition that damages the lining of the small intestines. This limits the absorption of nutrients, particularly iron, folate, calcium and vitamin D. Being autoimmune in nature, failure to recognise Celiac disease in time, can lead to serious complications, including cancer.
What happens in Celiac disease?
When a celiac individual consumes food containing gluten, the intestine responds to the food as if it were a foreign body and produces an immune reaction causing inflammatory damage to the villi. This is turn leads to the shortening or blunting and flattening of the villi, thus impairing their ability to absorb nutrients. This is referred to as villous atrophy.
Celiac disease can therefore, be referred to as a malabsorption syndrome.
When can it start?
Celiac disease can begin at any age from six months to ninety-plus years.
Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance and Gluten Sensitivity.
Gluten Intolerance is always used to describe celiac disease, but it is entirely incorrect. You may be gluten intolerant but not have celiac disease. On the other hand all those who have celiac disease are gluten intolerant. A person who develops symptoms on eating gluten and is relieved by removing gluten from the diet can be called Gluten Intolerant.
Gluten Sensitivity also refers to the gastrointestinal symptoms with or without celiac disease.
Gluten Intolerant and Gluten Sensitive individuals should have biopsy performed before going off gluten! Celiac disease is a serious medical condition that should not be self diagnosed.
Celiac disease can also be called:
- Celiac sprue
- Gluten sensitive enteropathy
- Gluten induced enteropathy
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
- Short stature
- Weight loss
- Diarrhoea and constipation
- Lactose intolerance
- Nausea, vomiting
- Folic acid and iron deficiency
- Brittle bones
- Bone pain
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
Types of Celiac Disease
- Typical Celiac Disease
- Atypical Celiac Disease
- Silent Celiac Disease
- Potential Celiac Disease
- Latent Celiac Disease
- Transient gluten intolerance
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
What happens when I Consume Gluten
If I accidentally eat a product containing gluten, I may experience abdominal pains, bone pains and headache, sometimes I don’t experience anything but that doesn’t mean it’s not damaging my small intestines.
Going on and off a gluten-free diet could lead to serious complications such as bone loss, anaemia, vitamin deficiencies or gastrointestinal cancer, especially lymphomas.
Coping socially on a gluten-free diet
- I share my condition with family and friends
- I carry my food out, sometimes
- I don’t feel sorry for my self
- I’m not afraid to eat out
- When I’m eating at a friend’s house, i eat before I go,because they might be serving gluten based food. Sometimes I ask them – people that won’t get offended – what they’re planning to serve
I’m also planning on opening a foundation with my very good friend Maryam Bature. Celiac Disease Foundation Nig. In shaa Allah.
The role we will play
- Create awareness about Celiac Disease.
- Encourage hotels and restaurants to create gluten-free menus
- Raise funds for research on Celiac Disease
- Promote meetings and produce videos, journal and other informative material, including brochures, pamphlets, leaflets, posters, etc.
- Advice patients on a gluten-fred diet.
- Increasing awareness about Celiac Disease and related conditions among patients and public, health professionals, schools and food industry.
- Organising forums, case study presentations, lectures, seminars, and holding special events including food festival
- Associating with other institutions nationally and globally engaged in similar activities.
- To make life easier for Celiac Disease patients
- Encouraging research
- Identifying alternative gluten-free grains from different parts of the world
- Marking December 4th as Celiac Day and Dec 4-10 as Celiac Week.
Thank you for reading till the end! I appreciate😘
(I’m really bad when it comes to conclusions)