Gluten-Free questions, Uncategorized

What is Celiac Disease?

“What’s Celiac Disease?”  If you have Celiac, you probably get asked this question often too!  Since I have been at this for a while, I’ll give you my spiel, then I’ll share the technical definition from Celiac.org, let’s see how close I get!  Here’s my response:

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects my small intestine when I ingest gluten.  Gluten is found in: wheat, rye, barley, some oats, and many things derived from them. (A hidden example would be modified food starch.) Inside your small intestine are villa (think ocean plankton or, typically I wave my fingers slowly to demonstrate) that help your body absorb nutrients and vitamins.  Since I have Celiac, when I eat something with gluten, I get very sick for several days, damage the villa, and basically make it harder for my body to absorb necessary nutrients and vitamins.

Ok so here is the definition found on the Celiac.org site:

Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.

When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning that it runs in families. People with a first-degree relative with celiac disease (parent, child, sibling) have a 1 in 10 risk of developing celiac disease.

Read more at Celiac.org

Ok-so I may not have been as technical-but I was pretty close! 😉 So hopefully that helps answer any questions you have.  Again if you have further questions I have found Celiac.org to be amazingly helpful!

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