The recent hullabaloo over gluten-free food is more than just another diet trend, it is a response to the recent discovery of the prevalence of Celiac Disease. A seldom known autoimmune disorder, Celiac Disease is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide (according to the Celiac Disease Foundation), and often goes untreated. If you have Celiac Disease and ingest foods containing gluten, your immune system will form antibodies that end up destroying your intestinal lining. Foods containing gluten include rye, barley and wheat, ingredients that are pervasive in foods throughout the world. Thankfully the disease is hereditary, thus early diagnosis is a possible, and opens up a world of preventative options.
Short-Term Symptoms of Celiac Disease
- Digestive Irregularities like bloating, abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements, gas and pale stool are common as the intestinal lining begins to deteriorate.
- Dermatitis Herpetiformis is a severe skin condition that results in a persistent rash.
- Canker Sores and Aphthous Ulcers in the mouth.
- Menstrual Cycle Irregularities such as missed periods among women.
- Musculoskeletal Issues like muscle cramps, and joint pain accompany bone pain and overall soreness.
Long-Term Symptoms of Celiac Disease
- Abnormal Weight Loss becomes a degenerative concern.
- Iron Deficiency Anemia evolves with celiac disease and brings about other problems.
- Nervous System Damage can cause tingling sensations in the limbs.
These symptoms are common to many diseases, and as such should be corroborated with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms and their severity vary between patients and will be more prominent during regular consumption of gluten-rich foods, which include, but are not limited to: cereals, pastries, fried foods, bran, pancake mix and biscuits.
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