Celiac Disease: Everything you Need to Know
What is celiac disease?
According to the Canadian Celiac Association, celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. This results in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health.
It is estimated that 1 in 133 persons in Canada are affected by celiac disease.
What is gluten and where is it found?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, and barley. It is the gluten in flour that helps bread and other baked goods bind and prevents them from crumbling. This feature has made gluten widely used in the production of many processed and packaged foods.
Read more about gluten in our guide to gluten free grains.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Common symptoms can include:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Cramps and bloating
In some cases, sufferers from gluten-intolerance develop an intense burning and itching rash called dermatitis herpetiformis but may not develop the intestinal symptoms mentioned above.
How is celiac disease diagnosed?
Simple blood tests are available to help doctors screen patients for celiac disease but a definitive diagnosis can only be made by a small bowel biopsy performed by a specialist in the gastrointestinal field.
Tips From Our Team
Tips by: Bahar Mahmudi, Nature’s In-Store Nutritionist (Newmarket)
International Pharmacy Graduate
Natural Health Practitioner
People with celiac disease must exclude gluten from their diet since ingesting even the smallest amounts could cause symptoms. The response to a gluten-free diet is usually rapid. Once gluten is avoided, the brushlike surface of the small intestine and its absorptive function return to normal. In addition to following a gluten-free diet, below are some of the products and gluten-free supplements recommended by our team that you can find in store.
Nature’s Sunshine UC3-J
- Traditionally used for celiac disease, ulcers, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and other inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Relaxes nervousness, which can lead to spastic conditions in the bowel.
- Neutralizes excess acidity.
- Shrinks swelling and tones loose tissues.
- Promotes the growth of friendly colonic bacteria.
AOR IBD Relief
- Helps control intestinal inflammation
- Promotes healthy intestinal flora
- Provides key enzymes for improved digestion and nutrient absorption
Gluten Free Supplements
- Innate Response Formulas women’s green and Innate men’s green, are whole food, blend powders contain vegetables, greens, fruits, herbs, digestive enzyme, multi Myecelia mushrooms property blend, adaptogen herbs and non-dairy probiotics.
- Biotics Research Bio-Multi Plus, Versatile, balanced multiple vitamin and mineral supplement supplying unique forms of important micro-nutrients available.
- Garden of life RAW Calcium, it is a patented form of marine algae and may reduce risk of osteoporosis, increases bone strength and increases bone mineral density.
- Metagenics Hemagenics is a blend of iron, B vitamins, to support the formation and maintenance of healthy red blood cells.
- Natural Factors vitamin K & D which supports bone development and is needed for calcium absorption.
- Bio-K+ products, these probiotics break down gluten proteins into harmless peptides before reaching the duodenum.
- Biotics Research B12-2000 Lozenges, which also contain synergistic levels of both vitamin B6 and folate.The last part of the small intestine, also absorbs vitamin B12, and untreated celiac disease patients often have deficiencies in this vitamin as well as folate.
- New Chapter Whole omega, that contains natural essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin D3 found in wild Alaskan salmon.
For more information on going gluten-free, check out these posts as well:
- Always read the label of the products you are buying and stay up-to-date as commercial food contents can often change.
- Be alert to hidden sources of gluten such as HVP/HPP (hydrolyzed vegetable/plant protein); malt; spelt; kamut; and certain drug products.
- Processed and packaged can have hidden sources of gluten which can be unintentionally ingested. Particular care should be taken in the selection of soups, luncheon meats and sausages.
Source: Canadian Celiac Association
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Nature’s Emporium, its employees, its partners or its representatives. The opinions expressed in this article are intended to be used solely for educational purposes and are not intended to be used for the diagnosis, or treatment, of any disease or health condition. Please consult your primary health care practitioner at the first sign of illness!