Coeliac disease (celiac disease) is a genetic disorder affecting a huge number of people. It is estimated that anywhere from 1 in a 100, to 1 in 500 people are affected by this disease. There may be even more people affected who simply have not been diagnosed.
What is celiac disease? It’s when the intestines become inflamed because they cannot process gluten. Gluten is a protein that is present in many foods such as wheat, rye, and barley. Oats may also be a contributing factor in causing symptoms of the disease, but to date there is still conflicting information regarding the safety of oats for celiacs. A celiac’s intestinal tract is unable to process the proteins in gluten and these proteins, in turn, damage the villi which line the small intestine. Villi are crucial in aiding with digestion.
Celiacs suffer from numerous symptoms such as excessive fatigue, constant diarrhea and bloating, and possibly weight loss. Celiacs are not able to properly absorb the nutrients form their food. Thus, they become malnourished which opens the door to other health problems as well.
Currently, the best and easiest way to alleviate symptoms for people suffering from this disease is to avoid foods containing gluten. In recent years, a lot of progress has been made in terms of manufacturing gluten free products and labeling foods so the celiac can easily navigate the supermarket and buy non-irritating items.
Now there is a lot of assistance online for people with this disorder and new breakthroughs in research are just on the horizon. There are many websites offering support, information, foods and supplements. Here is a partial list of sites you may want to visit if this issue is of concern to you. If anyone has any other great sites or suggestions, please feel free to add your experiences.