Natural Help For Celiac Disease

What comes to mind when you hear the words “celiac disease” or the word “gluten”? Do you know someone who suffers from celiac disease? Have you seen recipes or products advertised as being gluten free? Or are these words a bit strange to you? Let’s learn a bit more about celiac disease, and how it can affect the body, as well as the role that gluten plays in the life of someone who has celiac disease. 

First, let’s define gluten. Gluten is a protein, which is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, spelt and a few other lesser-known grains. The most well known grains (and most common causes of discomfort to those with celiac disease) are wheat, barley and rye. This means gluten is found not only in these three grains, but also everything that is made with even just one of them as an ingredient. 

You might think that this means breads, rolls, pastry and pizza crust, but in actuality it is so much more. Think about foods that are breaded, such as chicken nuggets, or fish filets. Any food or prepared product, which has one of these three grains in it cannot be eaten by someone with celiac disease. This means that piece of birthday cake, those cookies for a snack, a bite of a tasty sandwich, a bowl of beef and barley soup, or even a cold beer at the ballpark while watching the game, since beers are traditionally brewed with wheat or barley, are all foods which should be avoided. It doesn’t end there. 

Sometimes wheat flour can be used as a thickener or is otherwise added to products that may not appear at first glance to contain a source of gluten. Since consuming gluten can cause great discomfort to a person with celiac disease, they must become vigilant and read the labels of all of the foods they buy, to be sure not to make themselves sick.   

You may be curious how celiac disease affects the person. Eating gluten affects each person differently and there are many different symptoms, but a very common one is diarrhea, which is usually accompanied by painful cramping. Since each case of celiac disease is unique, two people in the same family can have it, but still experience different symptoms or similar ones of different levels of severity. Speaking of family, celiac disease can run in families, so if a family member has it, then your chances of having it are greater than a non related person. 

The illness that a person experiences from eating gluten is actually an immune response, because celiac disease is an autoimmune condition, which can last a lifetime. If you suspect that you have celiac disease, it is important that you seek the care of a naturopathic doctor, who will run tests. It is important not to assume or to try to self-diagnose. If you have digestive troubles, it can mean many things, and you need the skill and expertise of a naturopathic doctor, as well as their definitive lab testing, so that you can be certain as to exactly what is going on inside your body.