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Saturday, October 9, 2010

The celiac disease, and life without gluten!

Celiac Disease is a condition in which small intestine cells are attacked by immunity, in case of gluten ingestion. Studying the literature, you can find that this disease is named in different ways, for example: Gluten Disease, Celiac sprue, Coeliac disease, and Ciliac disease. However, let’s focus on Pathogenesis, Symptoms, and treatment of this “Not-deadly-but-annoying” condition.
First of all, we have to explain what is Gluten, and it’s pathogenic role in this disease. Gluten is a protein found in several types of wheat, and its derivatives, also in barley and rye. This protein contains a small alcohol-soluble protein, called Gliadin, which is the real “bad guy” in this case. Entered in contact with intestinal cells, gliadin starts an immune reaction, that finishes with the atrophization of the intestinal villi, creating a smooth intestine, not capable of absorption anymore. But, this is not a reaction that happens in every human body. To have the celiac disease, a person has to be predisposed genetically. It’s documented that this disease is mainly a familiar one.

celiac sprue
Gluten disease

The celiac symptoms are:
Steatorrhea-Excessive fats in the feces
Diarrhea-Large quantities of feces
Weight loss
Dyspepsia- Difficult digestion (pain in the center of the abdomen, chest burn)
The diagnosis of Celiac disease is made:
Finding histological signs of this disease, like the smoothing of the intestine, the enlargement of the crypts and infiltration of lymphocytes.
Finding specific antibodies in the serum of the person, that are compliant with Celiac disease. These antibodies are:
Treatment of Celiac Disease
The treatment of this disease is theoretically easy. You just have to stop eating or drinking foods containing Gluten, for the rest of his life. You can find gluten-free diets everywhere in the Internet or in the literature. Practically eating gluten-free foods is not the easiest thing, and will really make your life difficult. However, you should still be happy, keeping in mind that you are suffering from a disease that CAN be cured, and you can live your life standing on your feet and not laying down on an hospital bed. And, just for saying, don’t try lying your physician, if he asks you: Have you eaten Gluten-containing foods? There are a lot of techniques around, that allow the doctor to monitor your “gluten-really-free diet”.

No gluten
No gluten for life

How long will I live with celiac disease?
You will have a healthy and long life, but only if you are strict about your diet. You should never ever use gluten containing foods. If you are using gluten, and your disease is chronic, the consequences are SEVERE, because of the risk of Lymphomas, or deaths, from malabsorbtion
and fast weight loss.

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