What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is the gluten intolerance of wheat, barley, oats and rye. When one of these nutrients is ingested, our small intestine becomes inflamed, making it difficult to eat.
How is it diagnosed?
Through a clinical examination and a blood test. If the patient suspects that he has the disease because of the symptoms he has or because he notices many alterations in the digestive system, it is best to attend a specialist as soon as possible to help us in the treatment of the disease, as well as to detect the type of celiac disease that we suffer.
In some cases, an intestinal biopsy is necessary, that is, the removal of a small sample of tissue from the small intestine to see if it is damaged or not. Of course, it has to be during the gluten intake to see the bowel reaction.
What are its symptoms?
The most common symptoms are usually:
- Loss of weight and appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Growth retardation
Although depending on the age of the patient, the symptoms may vary, depending on whether you are a teenager, an adult or a child.
What is its treatment?
Not taking food with gluten is the most effective solution. Therefore, generally, it must be avoided to take food from industrial bakery, packaged and processed. Follow a diet rich in fresh foods such as fruit, fresh vegetables, meat and fish. Above all, avoiding frozen products is the key.
Which are banned products?
Bread, pasta and wheat derivatives such as cereals, pastries, cake, biscuits and beer mainly.
Other products to check if have gluten or not are: candies, sweets, coffee, sausages, sauces and condiments, ice cream, preserves, cheeses and especially processed products.
Consumption of a forbidden product should not be bad for the intestine, as long as it is not consumed consciously and often, since sometimes it is very difficult to resist the temptation to buy something or when we go out to eat it is very complicated to know with what ingredients the food has been prepared.
To avoid distractions and intestinal problems, we must always read the label of the food we buy.
How should we make the purchase?
Good products for celiac people are generally fresh products such as:
- Unprocessed meats
- Fish, not frozen
- Fresh Seafood
- Fruits and vegetables
- Eggs and milk
- Serrano ham
- Infusions and soft drinks
- Wine and sparkling drinks
The best way to cook our food is to make them with cornmeal or rice, since they are the only cereals that do not contain gluten.
Buying gluten-free foods special for celiacs is no longer as difficult a task as it was a few years ago now, at least in supermarkets where there are many foods for these people, but also much more expensive.
What advice do you have to follow when preparing food?
- Having a toaster for gluten-free breads is a way to avoid mixing white bread crumbs for example if there is someone celiac in the house.
- Buying food in separate jars is another remedy.
- Thoroughly clean the kitchen countertop and cutting boards as well as kitchen utensils frequently.
- Store the gluten-free products above, and those containing gluten down, to prevent crumbs from falling down.
In the Vithas Xanit International Hospital, we recommend an annual checkup in the Checkups Unit, to review the health status before foreign symptoms in the digestive system. Thus, we can detect that a person is celiac when he thought that it was a simple problem or that some food was bad.