What is Celiac Disease and what a celiac can eat?
The Celiac Disease It is a chronic inflammation of the small intestine due to gluten intake in individuals with specific intolerance factors. Statistically, in Italy, celiac disease affects one person out of a hundred and it is usually possible to diagnose it from weaning.
Some recent studies have highlighted the importance of the genetic factor in the spread of the disease, thereby making possible the early diagnosis in potentially at risk subject.
There are different types of celiac disease they’ll present with symptoms and clinical features quite different from each other.
Typical Celiac Disease
This is the most common and best known form of celiac disease. Usually it occurs after weaning with a range of symptoms quite clear and marked, such as weight loss, failure to gain weight in infants and diarrhea
Atypical Celiac Disease
In case of atypical celiac disease, the diagnosis could be more complicated because the symptoms occurs less precise, affecting different organs. In many adult subjects this form of celiac disease it may be accompanied by anemia, osteoporosis, neurological disorders and malabsorption typical symptoms or nutritional deficiency. Although, as mentioned above, is less easy to detect than the typical celiac disease, atypical form is the most common among patients with adult-onset.
Silent Celiac Disease
It is a form of celiac disease that does not entail any appreciable symptom.
Potential Celiac Disease
Specific antibodies are detected and only after the symptoms will appear.
What can eat and what should avoid a Celiac?
Obviously, a celiac can not assume in any way, even in small doses, gluten!
Gluten is a lipoprotein substance produced from corn and other grains, so it is good to avoid all foods which in their preparation include wheat flour, durum wheat, or wheat, rye, kamut, spelt and barley, including malt and drinks that contain it, among all the beer.
Despite no gluten is present in it, it would be good also to avoid intake of oats because, often accidentally, in the fields where it is grown it is possible to find ears of corn that could cause contamination.
Celiac can then safely eat: Rice, including its derivatives and flour, Millet, Amaranth, Sorghum, Cassava, Quinoa.
Although there are foods that can safely be taken by people with celiac disease, it is good to stress the importance and the danger of contamination. It is therefore essential that processed foods do not come in any way into contact with gluten!
To be sure that a food is completely gluten free, the Italian Celiac Association released a mark easily recognizable to be affixed on the gluten free product packaging: a green coloured crossed-out ear of corn.
To diagnose celiac disease may be sufficient some blood tests, however, may be inaccurate if the patient has followed in the days before the examination itself, a gluten-free diet. To get an 100% accurate diagnosis we have to perform an endoscopic biopsy exam of the second part of the duodenum.
Although you have more and more precise tests, it is estimated that about 5 on 6 celiac still remain unrecognized today. In the light of these data, the total number of celiacs is estimated at around 600,000 people, 73% of which are not yet aware.