It was a month ago that I had an attack of food poisoning. Three days of hell. I lost my appetite and my sense of taste. The stomach ache was debilitating, and it seemed as if writing was out of the question for at least a week if not a few more days.
It didn't help that this happened on the weekend and my personal doctor wasn't available in person. I thought I would lose my mind even if it was a simple infection that took a few day to get rid of.
With this experience, I can truly empathize with people who suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease even if my health was affected only temporarily. It is both frustrating and exhausting…
Celiac Disease – An Introduction
Gluten intolerance, in recent times, has caught the attention of one and all compared a few decades ago when doctors used to misdiagnose the medical condition.
Not only is there an increase in the number of gluten-free foods available in the market but restaurants also offer these foods as a part of their menu as well.
But what is gluten intolerance? Is celiac disease no different? If no, then how does differentiate between these two conditions?
Simply put, gluten intolerance is a reaction of the immune system which mistakes gluten (from foods containing wheat, barley and rye) as harmful pathogens that it must eliminate.
As a result, one suffers from inflammation among other digestive issues but there's one difference: there is no damage to the small intestine because the immune system attacks the gluten directly.
Alternatively, as for celiac disease, the attack is directed towards the lining of the small intestine reducing its effectiveness in being able to absorb nutrients in the process of digestion.
In other words, while being gluten intolerant isn't all that bad compared to celiac disease, which is its most severe form, and which requires one to stay off foods which contain gluten for a lifetime.
Unfortunately, there's no cure yet for the condition in both these forms!
While there are symptoms that overlap between these two variations, the truth is that these two conditions are not treated the same way. It should also be pointed out that there are separate medical tests to determine whether the patient has gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
With that said, let's look at a list of symptoms of celiac disease.
c. Inadequate Nutrition
- Weight Loss
- Missed Menstrual periods
- Delayed growth
- Tooth discoloration and enamel loss
- Dermatitis Herpetiformis
- Mouth sores
- Skin Rash
- Tingling (in the legs from nerve damage)
- Numbness (in the legs from nerve damage)
- Ambiguous or no symptoms at all
- Muscle Cramps
- Joint pain
- Bone pain