CELIAC DISEASE (GLUTEN INTOLERANCE)
Celiac disease is the intolerance to gluten, a small protein found in many cereals. The immune system abnormally overreacts to gluten, which causes an inflammation of the intestinal wall. Once inflamed, the intestine’s nutrient absorption capacity is affected, which can lead to malnutrition despite a proper diet.
Symptoms of digestive discomfort are also present, such as abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, gas and fatigue. The only way to control celiac disease is to avoid sources of gluten in the diet. The products suggested below aim at supporting intestinal health in people on a gluten-free diet
Symptoms: CHRONIC DIARRHEA – ABDOMINAL PAIN – FATIGUE
For an effective management of celiac disease, there is no choice other than eliminating gluten from the diet. This is the unique way to give the intestine a chance to recover and regain normal functions. One must therefore learn to identify sources of gluten. Five cereals contain gluten: wheat, rye, oat, barley and triticale (including spelt and Kamut). Every by-product of these cereals should be avoided as well (flour, flakes, syrup, extract, powder, starch, etc.). Learning how to read food labels is critical, since even a trace of gluten will affect the integrity of the intestinal wall.
Cereal products are the main enemy of celiac disease. Other foods are hence allowed, as long as they did not come into contact with gluten. Of note, rice, corn, tapioca, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, soy and chickpeas can be used in the preparation of bakery. Breads, muffins, pastas, crackers and others can be made from these other foods and used as substitutes for cereal products containing gluten. Since the avoidance of cereals can reduce the daily intake of fibres, celiac people can add grounded flaxseed or psyllium to their diet. An increased intake of fruits and vegetables will also help provide the daily necessary fibres.
Chew properly before swallowing in order to optimize nutrient absorption in the intestine. Pay special attention to prepared foods and carefully read the list of ingredients. Before going to the restaurant, ask for the availability of gluten-free meals. Avoid gluten as much as possible since a chronically inflamed intestine can increase the risk for intestinal cancer.