Natural Ways of Addressing Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity
Celiac disease, otherwise known as gluten sensitive enteropathy or celiac sprue, is identified to be an autoimmune disorder affecting the small intestines. The small intestine has the function of absorbing the foods eaten. In case of celiac patients consuming gluten, their body tends to produce antibodies, which can damage the small intestines and especially villi.
Villi represent the small hair-like projections lining the small intestine, which is responsible for absorbing nutrients from the bloodstream. Without the help of villi, the body cannot absorb proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins that we need, irrespective of the amount or the quality of food consumed. When the absorption ability is impaired, it results in malnutrition or other health concerns.
The reason behind the celiac disease has not yet been identified but is known to have a genetic association. It can occur irrespective of age and gender. The diagnosis of celiac disease is tough owing to its similarity in symptoms with many other diseases. Symptoms include intestinal gas, abdominal cramping, bloating, constipation, chronic diarrhea, fatty stools, weight loss or gain, and many more.
In addition, nutritional deficiencies like osteoporosis, vitamin K deficiency or anemia can also occur. Though there has been no identified treatment for the disease, there are a few natural remedies to be incorporated into the life of celiac patients to restore their health.
Stick to a gluten-free diet. Try not to consume foods containing wheat, kamut, spelt, faro, rye, einkorn, triticale and barley. Always read the labels of the foods which you are intending to buy well before purchase in order to identify the ingredients, which may sometimes include hidden gluten. While sticking to such a diet, most of the people experience significant improvements in a few weeks time.
Do not add milk or milk products into your diet or at least until the time when your symptoms start subsiding. This is because most people also become lactose intolerant as a result of celiac disease. In the long term, after the symptoms subside, dairy products can be added slowly into diet.
Check your bone density, since osteoporosis and bone loss are common symptoms for celiac patients.
In order to deal with nutritional deficiencies, take some vitamin or mineral supplements as recommended by a healthcare professional. Take care that these supplements that you take do not contain any gluten unknowing to you, since gluten or wheat starch (rich in gluten) is used in capsules and tablets for binding purposes.
Colostrum or some probiotics help to heal the villi damage.
You can include a digestive enzyme for precaution. Many studies prove that celiac patients lack the necessary amounts of digestive or pancreatic enzymes.
Foods containing omega 3 can help in reducing the inflammation of villi or the small intestine lining.