When doctors, nutritionists, bloggers, and other experts talk about a healthy diet and nutrition, they err on the side of covering common issues. Obesity, for example, is always a hot topic for nutrition publications. This is often the case of the “squeaky wheel”. Basically, when a big issue demands attention, the ones that aren’t urgent get pushed aside. This isn’t because they are not as important, but it is often because it is not as overwhelming. It is not unlike the idiom of the squeaky wheel. So, when people who are suffering from cancer or anorexia pick up a publication, they will not find the help they are looking for.
So, we will cover nutrition issues OTHER than obesity, to help people with a variety of problems. Because everyone is different, and there is no “one size fits all” thing for everybody outside of a general rule of thumb. So, take it with a grain of salt.
When we hear about gluten-free diets without any given context, usually we think of it as a passing fad. And while it is true that not everyone should believe every single thing they hear from dieting magazines or mlms, that does not mean that there isn’t a grain of truth (pun not intended) behind it.
There are people with gluten sensitivities out there. These conditions range from mild to severe, and there is legitimate scientific and medical evidence to support it.
The condition that causes the most issues with gluten sensitivity is celiac disease. But it is so rare, that most people are more aware of a gluten-free diet then they are the condition that requires it. So, what is it?
What Celiac Disease Looks Like
Celiac disease, according to Mayo Clinic, “If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction damages your small intestine’s lining and prevents it from absorbing some nutrients (malabsorption). The intestinal damage often causes diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anemia, and can lead to serious complications.”
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating or a feeling of fullness
- Bone or joint pain
- Itchy, blistery rash (doctors call this dermatitis herpetiformis)
- Headaches or fatigue
- Mouth ulcers
- Nervous system injury, including numb or tingling hands or feet, balance problems, or changes in awareness
- Poop that’s pale, smells especially bad, or floats (steatorrhea)
- Weight loss
Causes of Celiac Disease
The interesting thing is that while we don’t know the specifics of what causes Celiac Disease, doctors and scientists are able to at least find a series of commonalities.
Genetics is a large contribution to the possibility of having Celiacs Disease. There has been speculation that the DNA of gut bacteria is also involved but there hasn’t been confirmed evidence as of yet.
Celiac Disease is also commonly found in other conditions such as:
- A family member with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis
- Type 1 diabetes
- Down syndrome or Turner syndrome
- Autoimmune thyroid disease
- Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic or collagenous colitis)
- Addison’s disease
All of the above conditions have a genetic correlation or component, so there is a strong chance that genetics would be the key contributing factor to having Celiacs Disease.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Celiacs Disease. However, there is no cure for the condition. The only way to head it off is to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in grains. So, things like wheat, barley, rye, etc are right out in a gluten-free diet. That sounds simple, but the unfortunate truth is that a lot of materials that we use in foods are often utilized in other markets. Gluten can be found in certain types of kinds of toothpaste and medications.
Thankfully, there are hypoallergenic options for things like cosmetics and medication can exist without the presence of gluten as a binding agent. It just means that you need to exercise vigilance and check everything.
If you need whole grains, but can’t eat gluten, one of the ways that you can mitigate that is by substituting wheat with things like rice or potato. It can give you the same filling effects and fiber as some starches and it doesn’t rely on gluten as a binding agent.
Talk to a doctor or nutritionist if you think that you have celiac disease.