celiaco

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.
One out of 100 people in Italy is affected with celiac disease. It is strongly suggested that family members be tested, even if asymptomatic. Family members who have an autoimmune disease are at a 25% increased risk of having celiac disease.
Gluten is the common name for the proteins in specific grains that are harmful to persons with celiac disease.
celiaco 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.
Celiac Disease is not a food allergy - it is an autoimmune disease. Food allergies, including wheat allergy, are conditions that people can sometimes grow out of. This is not the case with Celiac Disease.
When individuals with CD eat gluten, the villi (tiny hair-like projections in the small intestine that absorb nutrients from food) are damaged. This is due to an autoimmune reaction to gluten. Damaged villi do not effectively absorb basic nutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and, in some cases, water and bile salts. If CD is left untreated, damage to the small bowel can be chronic and life threatening, causing an increased risk of associated disorders – both nutritional and immune related.

CELIAC DISEASE SYMPTOMS
Celiac Disease can appear at any time in a person’s life. In adults, the disease can be triggered for the first time after surgery, viral infection, severe emotional stress, pregnancy or childbirth. CD is a multi-system, multi-symptom disorder. Symptoms vary and are not always gastrointestinal (GI). GI symptoms can often mimic other bowel disorders.
Classic Symptoms may include: abdominal cramping, intestinal gas, distention and bloating of the stomach, chronic diarrhea or constipation (or both), steatorrhea – fatty stools, anemia – unexplained, due to folic acid, B12 or iron deficiency (or all), unexplained weight loss with large appetite or weight gain
Some long-term conditions that can result from untreated CD: iron deficiency anemia, early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia, vitamin K deficiency associated with risk for haemorrhaging, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, central and peripheral nervous system disorders - usually due to unsuspected nutrient deficiencies, pancreatic insufficiency, intestinal lymphomas and other GI cancers (malignancies), gall bladder malfunction, neurological manifestations.

CELIAC DISEASE DIAGNOSIS
A person seeking diagnosis MUST be following a daily diet that contains gluten for at least 4 weeks in order for test results to be accurate. Specific antibody blood tests are the initial step in screening for CD. Patients should always consult with a physician to ensure proper diagnosis.
A patient with positive antibody tests are strongly advised to consult with their physician regarding a small bowel biopsy (which is performed endoscopically). A positive small bowel biopsy is required to confirm the diagnosis and assess the degree of damage to the villi in the intestinal lining. Antibody test results can only suggest the presence of Celiac Disease but cannot confirm it. When antibody results and biopsy are inconclusive, or when the patient is on a gluten-free diet, genetic testing of the HLA (human leukocyte antigen) DQ2/DQ8 genes may be helpful. The specific genes DQ2 and/or DQ8 are considered necessary for Celiac Disease to develop. Since one-third of the population also has these genes, the presence of DQ2 or DQ8 does not imply that the person will necessarily develop CD, rather, that they have a genetic predisposition to CD.
Genetic testing does not diagnose Celiac Disease - its largest benefit is that the absence of DQ2 and DQ8 essentially excludes CD.
The onset of Celiac Disease can occur at any time in a person’s life. Once a person is diagnosed, family members should be urged to get tested as well.

TREATMENT OF CELIAC DISEASE
Celiac Disease/Dermatitis Herpetiformis (CD/DH) are chronic disorders. The only treatment is the lifelong adherence to the gluten-free diet. When gluten is removed from the diet, the small intestine will start to heal and overall health improves. Medication is not normally required. Consult your physician regarding specific nutritional supplementation to correct any deficiencies. The diagnosed celiac should have medical follow-up to monitor the clinical response to the gluten-free diet.

WHAT YOU CAN EAT:
celiacoMEAT/FISH
celiacoFRUIT
celiacoVEGETABLES
celiacoRICE
celiacoPOTATOES

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