Celiac Disease and Gluten Issues
Have you noticed the new buzzword on the packaging of food products? Yep, that’s the one….Gluten-Free. But what does gluten-free mean? Why is this such an important topic as of lately? Well, gluten comes from barley, rye, and wheat, and is a form of protein. In breads, it is what gives dough its elasticity and chewy texture when baked into bread products. It is even added to certain foods to increase the protein levels. So, then why gluten-free? As it turns out, some people can be genetically predisposed to have an autoimmune disorder in which the small intestine is not able to properly absorb certain nutrients from foods. This is known as Celiac Disease in the USA. Keep in mind that this is completely separate from a wheat allergy. Some of the symptoms of Celiac Disease can include abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and fatigue.
The PediatricConsultant has done a wonderful article on this topic, outlining some of the history of this disease, the epidemiology of this disease, the presenting symptoms of such, and the diagnosis/management of this disease. I encourage you to read the article linked below. For some of you, it will be a review of things that you are already experiencing, but for others, this may be an eye-opener and could possible give you insight to help your family live a more comfortable life.
The issue of food sensitivity to gluten and use of the Gluten-Free Casein-Free (GFCF) diet will be addressed in an upcoming blog.