Celiac Disease is of the common form of gluten intolerance. It occurs when the proteins in gluten (glutenin and gliadin) is considered as a threat by our immune system. The immune system then overreact and produce certain antibodies, these antibodies attack the villi in our intestine and may eventually lead to villous atrophy. The Villi will slowly be destroyed and hence our body will get very little nutrition from the food, it then results in a domino effect resulting in several disorders, allergies and rashes.[box type=”info” ]The most common cited statistic indicates that more than 3 million people in the US suffer from celiac disease, which is approximately 1 in 133 people. However, more recent numbers suggest the number may be closer to 1 in 100. Either way, the more disturbing statistic is that only 1 in 4,700 have received an official diagnosis.1[/box]
Hence there are millions of those who are undiagnosed. These people in due course will develop other autoimmune diseases as well, without even realizing that it is gluten which is making them ill.
Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance[starlist]
- Weight loss
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Low Bone Density
- Thyroid Disorders
- Lactose Intolerance
- Liver Disease
- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (Cancer)
- Unexplained Weight Gain
Gluten Free Diet
A simple solution to gluten intolerance is opting for a gluten free diet. Without a shred of doubt a gluten free diet is extremely important as well as much healthier than normal diet for someone with trouble digesting gluten. However they should plan their gluten free diet, because a whole grain diet with gluten usually has more fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein than a normal gluten free diet. So when you try and completely eliminate gluten from your diet you should focus on substituting it with gluten free foods that has similar nutrition profile as the foods that you replace. However most gluten free foods that we purchase from a supermarket are highly processed and have simple carbohydrate profile with very little fiber and other nutrients. This many in turn increase food craving and result in obesity and other disorders. It might also result in chronic inflammation.
Even when cooking at home we should be careful in selecting nutrient rich ingredients. There are few websites which provide complete information about gluten free diet and tasty gluten free recipes. One such recipe is Gluten Free Pan Fried Catfish, see the recipe here.
Reference: (1) Fasano A, Berti I, Gerarduzzi T, et al. Prevalence of celiac disease in at-risk and not-at-risk groups in the United States. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2003;163(3):268–292.