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Celiac disease


Everybody feels bloated and tired and has digestive issues, headaches, and achy joints on occasion. Those of us who live with invisible and chronic illnesses can relate, no doubt! But if you have these symptoms on the reg, you could have celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive disorder triggered by gluten. Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye, and barley and in the foods that contain these grains. Some risk factors include having a parent or sibling with the disease (that accounts for roughly 20% of cases) and how many infections you had as a kid. A blood test can tell if you have celiac, and it’s important to get tested before you experiment with a gluten-free diet (if you do experiment, your blood test could seem normal). If you test positive, going on a gluten-free diet will help clear up your symptoms. You’ll have to get savvy about reading food and product labels, because there can be hidden traces of gluten in lots of different processed products—everything from oatmeal to lipstick. If you’ve never had to adjust your diet before, this can definitely be hard at first. Fortunately, there are tons of gluten-free products in grocery stores now, and many restaurants have extensive gluten-free menus. That helps, especially when you’re going through the grieving process for pasta or bread. You won’t have to give these things up entirely—you’ll just have to choose a gluten-free alternative. It’s important to know that not everyone with gluten allergies has celiac disease. Instead, you could have a wheat allergy or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). In fact, NCGS may actually be more common than celiac disease. In both celiac and NCGS, your symptoms (fatigue, diarrhea, brain fog) will clear up when you stop eating wheat, rye, or barley. GI issues can be notoriously hard to crack, so check in with a practitioner you trust who has experience with digestive disorders. A dietician can also be super helpful since gluten hides in many foods, medications, and nonfood products like toothpaste and envelope glue. Since celiac interferes with your body’s absorption of nutrients, if you have deficiencies, the dietician may also recommend supplements like folate, iron, vitamin B12, and more. It takes a team to solve celiac!

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Books about Celiac disease


Celiac Disease (Newly Revised and Updated): A Hidden Epidemic

From Dr. Peter H.R. Green, internationally renowned expert on celiac disease and director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, and medical writer Rory Jones, this is the definitive book on celiac disease, one of the most underdiagnosed autoimmune diseases in the U.S. Do you suffer from gastrointestinal complaints, fatigue, headaches, joint pain, anemia, and/or itchy skin conditions? Have you consulted numerous doctors, and been prescribed drugs and diets that have only temporarily alleviated some symptoms? If so, you may have celiac disease, a hereditary autoimmune condition that affects nearly one in every hundred people—97 percent of whom remain undiagnosed and untreated. The real answer to your medical problems may lie in this book. Dr. Green, together with Rory Jones, an accomplished medical writer who was diagnosed with the disease in 1998 and has been researching it ever since, have written this authoritative guide on how celiac disease is properly diagnosed, treated, and managed. The disease is triggered by gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, which damages the lining of the small intestine so that it cannot properly absorb food. Without essential nutrients, the entire body begins to suffer. Complications from celiac disease can include infertility, depression, liver disease, other autoimmune diseases (such as type 1 diabetes and thyroid disease), and even cancer. This is a disease that you do not outgrow. At present, the only way to treat it is to follow a lifelong gluten-free diet. This revised and updated edition contains the most current information on celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and gluten sensitivity. It examines the disease’s many manifestations and includes an entire section devoted to coping with the psychological aspects of living with a chronic illness and following a gluten-free diet. It also includes a guide to ingredients and safe grains, a selection of gluten-free manufacturers, and a list of national and international support groups.

Podcasts about Celiac disease

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