About Gluten Free

What is Gluten Free?

This is when a person has an adverse reaction to anything that contains Gluten in any form and they choose to remove it from their diet because of need and they Eat Gluten Free.

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and some other grains. People with Coeliac Disease can not digest this protein and it causes damage to the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of vital nutrients. 

It's in bread, pasta, pizza, cakes and anything that�s been made with wheat, barley or its additives in products such as canned soups, salad dressings, oatmeal and much more. There are many sauces, thickeners and other products available that contain Gluten.

Gluten is a key factor in giving bread its elastic stretch and chewiness.

Some people need to eliminate gluten from their diet and they are people with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance one ones that have a wheat allergy 

Note: having a wheat allergy is quite a separate issue or condition from gluten being sensitive or having celiac disease. It's a histamine reaction to wheat, much like a peanut allergy or a shellfish allergy. People with this allergy usually show hives, rashes, or stomach pain after consuming wheat. If you have this you should consider to Eat Gluten Free.

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease is the name of the disease of gluten-intolerance.
There is a lot of conflicting information about the difference between Celiac and Gluten-Intolerance.
Here is what the Celiac Sprue Foundation has to say about it: “When working with a physician to diagnose and/or con­firm celiac disease (CD), three major steps are taken.
First, a thorough physical examination is conducted, including a series of blood tests, sometimes referred to as the Celiac Blood Panel.
Second, a duodenal biopsy is performed with multiple samples from multiple loca­tions in the small intestine.
And third, the gluten-free diet is implemented. When the patient shows a positive response to the diet — symptoms subside and the small intestine returns to its normal, healthy state — the diagnosis of CD is confirmed.
What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is commonly referred to as gluten intolerance, although the clinical distinction between the two terms is more complicated. 

Gluten is a protein mostly found in grains like barley, rye, spelt and especially wheat. Gluten itself, however, is used in a broad range of products where you might not expect it.

Celiac disease (CD), also referred to as coeliac disease, celiac sprue disease, coeliac sprue disease and sometimes just gluten intolerance, refers to an autoimmune disease where one’s body responds to gluten by attacking itself. Basically, your body over-reacts to gluten by producing a high concentration of specific antibodies. 

Here is a clinical definition of celiac disease:
Positive antibodies (AGA, EMA and Anti-tTG) to the protein peptides gliadin and glutenin or secalin or hordein, intestinal endomysium, and tissue transglutaminase, in addition to a positive test for the genes HLA-DQ8 or HLA-DQ2.

People susceptible to Celiac Disease contain the genes HLA-DQ8 or HLA-DQ2 and the primary culprit which triggers the ill effects in those who are genetically susceptible is called gluten. While gluten is casually referred to as a protein, the term gluten actually represents a specific component and composite of proteins called peptides. The protein that contains these peptides varies in different gluten-containing grains: rye contains secalin, barley contains hordein and in the most common culprit, wheat, the proteins are called gliadin and glutenin.

Celiac Disease Symptoms

One confusing part is that celiac disease is not a wheat allergy. You might suffer from a wheat allergy yet not be gluten intolerant and you might be gluten intolerant but not suffer from a wheat allergy. Wheat allergies are not an autoimmune disease like celiac disease; instead a wheat allergy is an allergic reaction, like hay fever or a peanut allergy. Wheat allergy symptoms occur when mast cells and basophils in your body react to IgE (or Immunoglobulin E).

While the most pronounced effect celiac disease will trigger occurs in your small intestine along the intestinal wall and its villi (or microvilli), the more we understand this autoimmune disease the more we realise it may affect far more of our anatomy than we previously assumed. Celiac disease can develop at any stage of your life. It has been diagnosed in babies and it has been diagnosed in the elderly. Adult onset celiac disease is not uncommon.

In case you can’t tell, the definition of celiac disease is a little confusing for many people. Often times, the only distinction between gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance and celiac disease involves clinical diagnosis. People suffering from non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) can experience severe consequences of eating gluten despite not being diagnosed with celiac disease. 

The means for diagnosing celiac disease seems to be evolving. Different degrees of gluten-sensitive enteropathy seem to indicate more genes than just the ones I’ve mentioned, and I wouldn’t be surprised if our definition of celiac disease changes a bit within just the next couple of years.

Celiac Disease Symptoms and Signs
While the effects of celiac disease are not entirely understood yet and may be more far-reaching than we currently realize, the main effect we do understand is this: over time, people with celiac disease have a high concentration of antibodies (AGA, EMA and Anti-tTG) that attack their intestinal lining. These antibodies cause intestinal inflammation and gradually atrophy the tiny finger-like hairs along the intestinal wall called villi or microvilli. These villi absorb nutrients from foods as they pass through the intestine.

When these villi are worn down, several things happen. First you are less able to absorb nutrients from the food you consume, causing even people with healthy diets to manifest symptoms of malnutrition or malabsorption. Secondly, because these foods aren’t as well-digested earlier in the intestine, they catalyze various problems later in the digestive tract, which include constipation and increased toxicity in your intestinal tract. And third, because the intestinal wall is less protected, the gluten peptides triggering this problem can pass across your intestinal wall and into your bloodstream, further exacerbating the autoimmune response.

The phenomenon where proteins, toxins and perhaps more pass through the intestinal membrane and into the blood is often called leaky gut syndrome. In the past, the term leaky gut syndrome was used by alternative medicine practitioners, but recent research by Dr. Alessio Fasano, professor of pediatrics and physiology and director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland, suggests an association between intestinal permeability and not only celiac disease, but other autoimmune diseases as well.

There are over 250 documented celiac symptoms, which makes listing all symptoms feel pretty futile, but I will try here anyways as I really want to help my readers identify and treat their ailments.

Celiac Disease Symptoms In Children:

Abdominal pain
Abdominal distention
Intermittent diarrhea
Malodorous flatulence
Weight loss
Delayed growth, stunted growth or Failure to Thrive
Grayish stools with a foul odor
Dermatitis Herpetiformis
You should note several serious conditions which many people associate with celiac disease, although a direct connection isn’t 100 percent clear at this point. These include:
Sjogren’s Disease
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Turner Syndrome
Peripheral Neuropathy (including tingling in your feet and legs)
Type 1 Diabetes

For more on children with celiac disease, read Gluten Intolerance In Children and the challenges often faced by Children With Celiac Disease. You can also learn to appreciate the confusion of the different terminology used by reading my article on gluten allergy symptoms in children. And for my essay that narrows down the focus to just symptoms most likely to occur in children, read my comprehensive guide: Celiac Disease Symptoms In Children.

Celiac Disease Symptoms In Adults:
Bone density loss
Borborygmi (stomach rumbling)
Depression and irritability
Joint pain
Numbness in the patient’s hands and feet
Dermatitis Herpetiformis
For more discussion specific to to the symptoms of celiac disease in adults, please see my article: Celiac Disease Symptoms in Adults.

Inclusive Celiac Disease Symptoms List:

Abdominal pain
Constipation, specifically Celiac Disease Constipation
Weight loss
Delayed growth, stunted growth or Failure to Thrive
Gluten Ataxia
Sjogren’s Disease
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Turner Syndrome
Peripheral Neuropathy
Type 1 Diabetes
Bone loss
Bone pain
Depression, irritability or Celiac Depression
Joint pain
Mouth sores or mouth ulcers
Seizures, Epilepsy
Numbness or tingling in the patient’s hands and feet
Stomach pain
Foul smelling or bloody stools
Hair loss (Alopecia)
Lactose intolerance
Teeth and gum problems
Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies
Dermatitis Herpetiformis (a skin rash)
Steatorrhea (high fat or lipids within the stool or feces); often causes floating stools

In addition, it may be critical to mention that often times we may experience silent celiac disease symptoms, which make the disease all the more insidious and troublesome, especially among otherwise healthy adults. Latent celiac disease symptoms may make diagnosis difficult as well. A latent celiac disease symptom is a delayed symptom that may seem to come and go while not occurring consistently, making it difficult to define as a celiac symptom rather than a symptom of an altogether unrelated condition.

For more information visit Coeliac New Zealand

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