People With Untreated Celiac Disease Are More Likely To Be Afflicted With Problems Relating To Malabsorption Including Osteoporosis Tooth Enamel Defects Central And Peripheral Nervous System Disease And Other Issues
Celiac.com 06/13/2020 – The effects of celiac disease can vary, depending on whether the patient is following a gluten-free diet. Many of the effects of celiac disease disappear or improve significantly when the patient begins a gluten-free diet. Untreated celiac disease can lead to numerous problems, including serious associated medical conditions, some fatal.
Untreated Celiac Disease Can be Life-ThreateningPeople with untreated celiac disease are more likely to be afflicted with problems relating to malabsorption, including osteoporosis, tooth enamel defects, central and peripheral nervous system disease, pancreatic disease, internal hemorrhaging, organ disorders , and gynecological disorders, like amenorrhea, and spontaneous abortions.
Celiac.com Sponsor :Celiac Disease May Affect FertilityCeliac disease may also affect fertility. Some researchers are convinced that gluten intolerance, whether or not it results in full-blown celiac disease, can impact mental functioning in some individuals and cause or aggravate autism, Aspergers syndrome, attention deficit disorder , and schizophrenia. We’ve done a number of articles on Fertility, Pregnancy, Miscarriage and Celiac Disease over the years.
Celiac Disease and Depression
Is This Diet Safe
Though many health professionals suggest otherwise, its safe to follow a gluten-free diet even for people who dont necessarily need to do so.
Cutting out wheat and other gluten-containing grains or products will not cause adverse health effects as long as these products are replaced with nutritious foods.
All of the nutrients in gluten-containing grains, such as B vitamins, fiber, zinc, iron, and potassium, can easily be replaced by following a well-rounded, whole-foods-based diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and nutritious protein sources.
Gluten And Health Disorders
Gluten sensitivity will appear in very different ways. Most of the cases involve several symptoms like indigestion, headaches, lack of concentration and even overweight. Gluten intolerance is not a pathology that physicians take into account when it comes to making regular diagnoses.
Many people experience gluten sensitivity on a daily basis without being aware.
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You Have A Known Food Intolerance
Food intolerance is said to affect up to 10% of people.
A reaction occurs when an individuals threshold to particular food chemicals or compounds is surpassed.
Anecdotal evidence indicates it is quite common for someone with a food intolerance to also be highly sensitive to gluten.
Note that those who dont tolerate gluten-containing foods should also consider FODMAPs as a trigger for symptoms.
What Causes Coeliac Disease
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition. This is where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
In coeliac disease, the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them.
This damages the surface of the small bowel , disrupting the body’s ability to take in nutrients from food.
It’s not entirely clear what causes the immune system to act this way, but a combination of genetics and the environment appear to play a part.
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Tips That Will Help You Feel Better Faster
If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, then you’ve probably experienced at least one “glutening” in your life, when you’ve accidentally ingested gluten and experienced symptoms as a result. Those symptoms may start quickly or may not manifest themselves until several days afterward.
It doesn’t take much gluten. Even a tiny amount that’s smaller than the eye can see can be a trigger that causes a variety of bodily reactions.
Symptoms of glutening may be digestive, neurological, and/or skin-based. These glutening symptoms can take up to several weeks to disappear.
If you do experience a glutening, what can you do to feel better? Follow these five tips.
Side Effects Of Starting A Gluten
There are several good reasons to cut gluten out of your diet, and these days it seems like everyone is recommending it. But what are the symptoms of going gluten-free?
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And are there negative side effects on the gluten-free diet? It turns out, that going gluten-free is beneficial for those who need it. But there are consequences to the diet that you should be aware of before starting.
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Gluten And Female Reproductive Issues
Up until now, weve discussed how gluten can be harmful to those who have celiac disease. After research, it was concluded that gluten, even if youre not a celiac patient, can cause reproductive problems. But a proper link between these two, in the case of a healthy person, is yet to be established.
If a celiac patient eats gluten, especially a woman, they are very prone to suffering from reproductive issues, and theres enough evidence for that. Gluten can decrease the chances of a successful pregnancy in several ways.
Damage To The Gut Biome
Not the all-important gut biome! The gut biome, aka the gut microbiome, aka the gut flora, is the collection of friendly bacteria that live in your gut. They help regulate your immune system, control intestinal permeability, digest your food, synthesize nutrients like vitamin K2, send hunger/fullness signals to your brain, and do all kinds of other stuff.
But they really dont like gluten, and gluten really doesnt like them. People with celiac disease often have very bad problems with the gut flora, but those problems are significantly reduced when the person eliminates gluten. Once again, its not limited to celiac disease: non-celiac gluten sensitivity also involves disturbances in the gut flora.
Even in people who arent sensitive to gluten at all, inflammation caused by other components of wheat can also rebound on the gut biome. And independently of any of that, wheat is also high in FODMAPs, which may be an issue for people with sensitivities to that.
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You Could Reduce Your Intake Of Key Vitamins And Minerals
If you’re gluten-sensitive or intolerant, it’s likely that you were still able to absorb key nutrients from foods, unlike those who didn’t know they had celiac disease and continued to eat gluten-containing foods. When switching to a gluten-free diet, it’s possible that you could miss out on B vitamins, iron, and other micronutrients found in wheat-based products. A gluten-free cereal, such as one of Nature’s Path Cereals, is fortified with key nutrients.
An even better idea? Up your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, and legumes that are naturally rich in B vitamins. Examples include avocado, chickpeas, salmon, and spinach.
Learn Which Foods To Include And Avoid
The most obvious places where people find gluten in their diet is in wheat products such as flour and pasta, but did you know its also found in unexpected places like soy sauce, french fries, and some types of candy? Luckily, there are fantastic resources out there to help you learn what foods to include or avoid in your gluten-free new lifestyle.
Here are the foods you should eat on a gluten-free diet :
Here are the foods you should avoid on a gluten-free diet:
- Oats are commonly cross-contaminated during processing so make sure to carefully read food labels and look for those that are certified gluten-free.
If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, its best to play it safe and skip any foods that may contain wheat .
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Celiac Disease Tests And Diagnosis
Doctors use blood tests and other tests to help find out if you have celiac disease:
- Serology tests look for certain antibodies.
- Blood tests check other parts of your immune system.
- Intestinal fatty acid binding protein tests show if thereâs damage to the intestine.
- A complete blood count looks for anemia .
- C-reactive protein tests show if thereâs inflammation.
- Metabolic panels test liver and kidney function.
- Vitamin D, B12, and folate tests look for vitamin deficiencies.
- Iron and ferritin tests look for iron deficiency.
- Swallowing a small camera can show problems in your digestive tract.
- Imaging tests show signs in the intestine, like wall thickening or changes to blood vessels.
- Genetic testing looks for human leukocyte antigens to rule out celiac disease.
If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you’ll need to come off it before having the antibody test so the results will be correct.
If blood and other tests show that you might have celiac disease, youâll probably need to have an endoscopy. This procedure lets your doctor look at your small intestine and take a bit of tissue to see whether itâs damaged.
Double Trouble: Wheat Germ Agglutinin
Another one for the non-Celiac crowd: wheat germ agglutinin is an inflammatory, immune-disrupting protein found in wheat and despite the similar name it isnt the same thing as gluten. Wheat germ agglutinin can provoke an inflammatory response in gut cells and disturb the natural immune barrier in the gut, making the gut more permeable to things that dont belong in your blood.
Again, this is totally separate from the problem of gluten. Obviously, gluten and WGA usually come as a package deal, because theyre both found in wheat, but you can have trouble with WGA even if you had no reaction to a gluten elimination challenge.
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Symptoms Of Going Gluten
Since gluten triggers the symptoms, it comes as no surprise that a gluten-free diet ends them. An âExpert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatologyâ January 2014 article noted this side effect of gluten-free diets.
The diet is effective at eliminating symptoms of celiac and other gluten sensitivities. That means that you shouldn’t have any bloating after going gluten-free. Well, you shouldn’t have bloating caused by gluten at least. It also means, your stomach pains should dissipate and your mind should clear as your mood improves and your bowel movements become easier.
An âAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeuticsâ March 2015 article discusses the positive impacts of a gluten-free diet on diarrhea. Eliminating gluten improves stool quality for those with diarrhea-predominate IBS. Depending on how you implement these changes, the diet can have other benefits as well. A âStatPearlsâ March 2019 article notes the weight loss effects of a low carb diet â a common method for going gluten-free.
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Diarrhea Constipation And Smelly Feces
Individuals with celiac disease experience inflammation in the small intestine after eating gluten.
This damages the gut lining and leads to poor nutrient absorption, resulting in significant digestive discomfort and frequent diarrhea or constipation (
That suggests that gluten exposure on its own may induce feelings of depression, irrespective to digestive symptoms.
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Signs You’re Gluten Intolerant
More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.It is also estimated that as much as 15% of the US population is gluten intolerant. Could you be one of them?
Are Gluten Intolerance And Celiac Disease The Same Thing
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are different. People with celiac disease have an autoimmune response to gluten. This means their bodies try to fight against gluten as if it were a virus. This reaction causes inflammation and damage to their digestive tracts. Celiac disease is the result of an abnormal gene. People with celiac disease also have high levels of certain antibodies in their blood, which are substances that fight gluten.
Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease cause a lot of the same symptoms. But people with gluten sensitivity dont have an abnormal gene or antibodies in their blood.
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What Happens In Celiac Disease
In patients with celiac disease, their immune system is intolerant to gluten, or more specifically, the gliadin component of gluten. Whenever these patients eat gluten, antibodies are produced that destroy gluten. But while performing their action, the antibodies also destroy the small intestine cells and damage their lining.
It happens every time a celiac patient eats gluten. The small intestine keeps getting damaged, and as a result, the patients suffer from various gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation. Many patients also complain about flatulence and abdominal cramps.
What Should I Do If Im Exposed To Gluten
Gluten is in countless foods, drinks and other products. Even if you stick to a gluten-free diet, you might accidentally eat gluten at some point. If you experience side effects from accidental gluten exposure, you can:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out your system.
- Eat small meals that arent spicy or fatty.
- Try ginger or peppermint tea to soothe an upset stomach.
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Lack Of Essential Vitamins And Nutrients
While there are definitely unhealthy foods that contain gluten, there are also healthy foods that give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly. Similar to the effects of lack of fiber, going gluten free without a legitimate cause can result in vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. In the US, many grains are fortified or enriched to contain large, added amounts of nutrients. Foods with gluten in them can be a great source of:
- Vitamin B:
People with celiac disease are often tested for nutritional deficiencies when first diagnosed, as many are deficient in key vitamins and minerals due to decreased absorption in the gut. Many take a gluten free multivitamin or individual vitamins to try and make up for this deficit. These people also need to be very diligent about finding alternative ways to get the much-needed vitamins and nutrients, like searching for fortified gluten-free alternatives.Switching to a gluten free diet by choice means that dieters also need to be mindful of what they eat. This makes it more difficult to maintain a balanced diet, which may lead to completely unnecessary added stress in the grocery store aisles for not much benefit. In addition, research has shown that people on a gluten-free diet have increased levels of heavy metals in their blood and urine – possibly due to the increased consumption of rice in gluten-free foods.
When Youll Feel Better
The good news is, symptoms tend to resolve fairly quickly, as long as you get back on your strict gluten-free diet. The AP& T study on gluten exposure symptoms found most people felt better within 48 hours.
However, it’s important to remember that any amount of gluten can cause damage to the villi in your intestine, and your symptoms don’t always correlate with the degree of damage. So, while you might feel better quickly, that doesn’t always mean you’re in the clear. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, while the damage to your intestine can happen within hours, it can take months for it to heal.
Amy Keller RD, LD, is the chief dietitian at Mary Rutan Hospital in Bellefontaine, Ohio, and a celiac disease support group leader who stresses that everyone recovers differently. She says, “The speed of recovery likely depends on how much gluten was ingested, and if the person continues to accidentally be ‘glutened’ which may prolong symptoms.”
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