Whether you’re a celiac disease newbie in need of a little background information and a list of foods to eat and avoid, or an old-timer looking for new gluten-free recipes to try, this post will let you know everything about celiac diet disease! you will know the signs and causes of celiac disease, plus a list of foods to eat and avoid to help alleviate symptoms and promote healing of the small intestines, and tons of easy to make delicious recipes to help you create your own celiac disease diet that satisfies your food cravings and preferences so you don’t feel like you’re missing out!
What Is Celiac Disease?
When someone has celiac disease, eating gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye) causes an immune response in their small intestines. This immune reaction causes damage to the lining of the small intestines over time, causing diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia. Untreated celiac disease can also prevent the small intestine from absorbing nutrients, which can interfere with growth and development in children. In adults, malabsorption can lead to loss of bone density, infertility problems, miscarriage, and more serious conditions like coronary artery disease, certain cancers, and other autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. There is currently no cure for celiac disease, but following a gluten-free diet can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing of the small intestines.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Celiac Disease?
It is estimated that 1 in 100 people have celiac disease (source) but many go undiagnosed since the symptoms can be so varied and the damage to the small intestines can happen slowly over a long period of time. It can sometimes take years to get a proper diagnosis, with many people never finding out they have celiac disease.
It’s also important to note that while the symptoms of a gluten intolerance/sensitivity are similar to celiac disease and also improve with a gluten-free diet, the 2 conditions are different in that a gluten intolerance/sensitivity doesn’t cause an immune response and doesn’t damage the small intestines.
If you suspect you or someone you love has celiac disease, here are some of the common signs and symptoms in children and adults.
Symptoms of celiac disease in children:
- Bloating/swollen belly
- Foul-smelling faces that’s pale in color
- Upset stomach
- Weight loss
- Damage to tooth enamel
- Delayed growth
- Delayed puberty
- Learning disabilities (i.e. ADHD)
- Changes in mood
Symptoms of celiac disease in adults:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating/feeling of fullness
- Weight loss
- Mouth ulcers
- Itchy/blistery rash
What Causes Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease can develop at any age, and while the exact cause of celiac disease is unknown, it runs in families. Having a first-degree relative (parent, child, or sibling) with celiac disease increases your risk of developing celiac disease. You may also develop celiac disease if you have another autoimmune disease or genetic disorder such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, Addison’s disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, Down syndrome, etc.
What Is The Celiac Disease Diet?
Also known as a ‘gluten-free diet’, the celiac disease diet requires you to remove gluten from your diet completely. If you have celiac disease, ingesting even small amounts of gluten can damage your intestines, even if you don’t display symptoms. Following the celiac disease diet helps reduce the symptoms of celiac disease, allows the small intestines to heal, improves the absorption of nutrients, and can offer other, long-term benefits like improving your fertility and lowering your risk for more serious conditions like coronary artery disease, certain cancers, and other autoimmune disorders.
13 Types of Food to Avoid on the Celiac Disease Diet