Celiac disease

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Overview

A rapid change in the dietary lifestyle has been observed since few years along with urbanization, globalization and economic development leading to increase in the number of people suffering from poor health, which is reflected by increased incidence of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, and some types of cancer . Recently a rapid increase in consumer awareness and interest about the health-enhancing roles of specific foods or physiologically active food components has been observed . Beside satisfying of hunger and providing the nutrients for humans, food should also prevent nutrition-related diseases and improve physical and mental well-being of the consumers . This has led to the development of new concepts in the area of food and nutrition such as the development of health foods. There is no specific definition for health foods but generally used for all the foods that provide health benefit beyond nutrition. Health food is thus, used as an umbrella term encompassing functional foods, nutraceuticals, designer foods, along with all natural foods, organic foods, whole foods and sometimes even dietary supplements.


Health food plays an important role in health improvement in celiac disease in which the only treatment includes nutritional therapy . As in this disease, people are allergic to gluten (a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, barley and oats) and thus require avoiding all such type of foods. Therefore, specific considerations are important when designing such health food products. Various factors should be kept in mind such as health problems, current demand, cost and acceptability. The design of health foods should focus on the special age groups such as elders, youths and infants. Therefore, an attempt has been made to review all the considerations which play an important role in the development of health foods for celiac patients.

Symptoms

Pain areas: in the abdomen or joints

Gastrointestinal: belching, diarrhoea, fat in stool, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, or flatulence

Whole body: bone loss, fatigue, or malnutrition

Developmental: delayed puberty or slow growth

Also common: cramping, itching, lactose intolerance, skin rash, or weight loss

bloating.

chronic diarrhea.

constipation.

gas.

lactose intolerance due to damage to the small intestine.

loose, greasy, bulky, and bad-smelling stools.

nausea or vomiting.

pain in the abdomen.

Causes

Normally, the body's immune system is designed to protect it from foreign invaders. When people with celiac disease eat foods that contain gluten, their immune systems attack the lining of the intestine. This causes inflammation (swelling) in the intestines and damages the villi, the hair-like structures on the lining of the small intestine. Nutrients from food are absorbed by the villi. If the villi are damaged, the person cannot absorb nutrients and ends up malnourished, no matter how much he or she eats.

Risk factors

A family member with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis.

Type 1 diabetes.

Down syndrome or Turner syndrome.

Autoimmune thyroid disease.

Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic or collagenous colitis)

Addison's disease.

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Complications

Untreated, celiac disease can cause:


Malnutrition. This occurs if your small intestine can't absorb enough nutrients. Malnutrition can lead to anemia and weight loss. In children, malnutrition can cause slow growth and short stature.

Bone weakening. Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D can lead to a softening of the bone (osteomalacia or rickets) in children and a loss of bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis) in adults.

Infertility and miscarriage. Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D can contribute to reproductive issues.

Lactose intolerance. Damage to your small intestine might cause you abdominal pain and diarrhea after eating or drinking dairy products that contain lactose. Once your intestine has healed, you might be able to tolerate dairy products again.

Cancer. People with celiac disease who don't maintain a gluten-free diet have a greater risk of developing several forms of cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and small bowel cancer.

Nervous system problems. Some people with celiac disease can develop problems such as seizures or a disease of the nerves to the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy).


Prevention

Eat a gluten-free diet to prevent symptoms and damage to the small intestine. Even a small amount of gluten may cause damage. Avoid all foods that contain wheat, rye, and barley. Foods that are often made with these grains include bread, bagels, pasta, pizza, malted breakfast cereals, and crackers.

Eat a gluten-free diet to prevent symptoms and damage to the small intestine. Even a small amount of gluten may cause damage. Avoid all foods that contain wheat, rye, and barley. Foods that are often made with these grains include bread, bagels, pasta, pizza, malted breakfast cereals, and crackers.