What is Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance?Posted: August 29, 2011
Celiac disease is on the rise. What is it, and what are the symptoms?
Celiac disease is a disabling digestive disorder caused by a reaction to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and some oats. It is also an ingredient in foods processed with these grains.
When you have celiac disease, and you eat food containing gluten, the gluten triggers an autoimmune response, similar to an allergic reaction. The reaction damages the lining of your small intestine, where most of your digestion takes place. This results in reduced nutritional asorption, vitamin deficiencies, and even malnutrition.
The symptoms vary among individuals, but generally include diarrhea, malodorous, fouls-smelling flatulence, abdominal pain and bloating, and increased amounts of fat in the stool (steatorrhea).
Because of nutritional definicies, many sufferers might have weight loss, osteoporosis (bone density loss), muscle weakness, and bruise easily, among others.
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