Celiac Sprue, or simply Celiac disease, is considered an autoimmune disease; in other words, your body is fighting against itself and damages the small intestine, where the most nutrient absorption takes place.
Celiac causes you to be allergic or sensitive to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and some oat products. Gluten is also commonly used as a thickener in processed foods. When the digestive track is exposed to gluten it causes damage, and over time this damage inhibits nutrient absorption. The consequences, including malnutrition and neurological issues, can be quite severe. It is important to speak to your doctor if you are having any symptoms that could be indicative of Celiac.
The treatment for Celiac is eliminating gluten in your diet. Recently, that is becoming easier due to the increased number of products on the market. You should not eliminate gluten without being under a doctor’s supervision, a gluten free diet is restrictive of some essential nutrients and supplements are necessary.
Symptoms of Celiac disease include:
- Frequent bloating and pain in the abdomen
- Chronic diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Bone pain
- Behavior changes
- Muscle cramps
- Tingling or numbness in legs
Symptoms vary, seem vague and can be hard to pinpoint.