Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Celiac Disease. Why Gluten affects so many people? Are you aware of this digestive problem? - English

First things first: What is Celiac Disease?

Accordingly with the Celiac Disease Foundation ( Celiac Disease (CD) is a lifelong inherited autoimmune condition affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even when there are no symptoms present.

Gluten is the common name for the proteins in specific grains that are harmful to persons with celiac disease. These proteins are found in ALL forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn and faro) and related grains rye, barley and triticale and MUST be eliminated.

I am 37 years old and I was diagnosed celiac a few months ago. I've always ate wheat and other grains that contains gluten without any symptom more apparently until I moved to the U.S. We all believe that something different in the way wheat is produced here made my body say: no more!

I don't want to extend myself here. My main point of writing about this is mostly because gluten intolerance is not something doctors think about when we go seeking their help. In the past the statistics showed that the percentage of people with some sort of gluten allergy was 1:5000 people. Today the reality is different and it is probably more like 1:130 people. That number is probably more realistic and that is my main reason of bringing your awareness for this problem.

I was suffering a lot before being diagnosed. There is no cure for this disease. The only thing I needed to do was remove gluten from my diet. As simple as this. The hard part is to realize the amount of products available in the market that uses wheat. The other day I wanted to drink a juice made with fruits from Brazil and reading the label I saw that the company uses wheat as a thickening. How sad is that???

BTW, that is another characteristic about gluten intolerant individuals: we need to became a label reader. We need to be more patient while shopping for groceries. Safer is to buy products that has the gluten free label and to return to the old fashion cook your own food. That is another positive change since my discover. I've been cooking more and enjoying even more to eat my food. I've been feeling healthier and happier.

Well, as far as for ordering pizza, so far I couldn't fill the necessity, but I will. Even that I need to make my own crust, I will suppress my graving for pizza.

Sending your way peace and light.
Be the change that you want to see in the world. -MAHATMA GANDHI

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