Celiac Disease- What IS It?

Celiac disease is a genetic intolerance to gluten contained in wheat, rye, spelt, and barley. The immune response to gluten damages the lining of the small intestine leading to decreased absorption of food and nutrient deficiencies.

Celiac Disease affects 1 in 133 people.

Since it is genetic, if a family member has Celiac, chances are another family member could be affected and should be tested.

Testing for Celiac

Your physician can order blood tests that measure antibodies to gluten. If the antibodies are positive, a biopsy of the small intestine will be recommended. In order to get an accurate test result, gluten must be eaten for 4-6 weeks before and during testing.

Celiac Disease is Increasing

A recent study posted in the Annals of Medicine in 2010 found that people could lose their tolerance to gluten as they age. These people are not born with the genetic intolerance commonly seen with Celiac disease but are developing the intolerance later on in life.

The Symptoms

Celiac Disease can affect any body system and often patients experience symptoms for 5-10 years before a proper diagnosis is made.

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Some common symptoms include, skin rashes, congestion in the throat, ears, or sinuses, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and body inflammation such as fatigue foggy brain, and aching joints.

What Does it Mean to be Gluten Free?

There are no medications to treat Celiac disease. Elimination of gluten in the diet is the only treatment. Often a diagnosis of Celiac Disease is overwhelming and patients need additional support. Local Support Groups offer a safe forum to discuss common concerns and a way to make new friends.

Natural Medicine Has A Lot to Offer the Celiac Patient…

  • Provide education about a nutritious gluten free diet.
  • Testing for nutrient deficiencies commonly seen with Celiac disease.
  • Offering relief of Irritable Bowel Syndrome by identifying other trigger foods and eliminating them.
  • Natural support of the digestive lining to enhance absorption.
  • Promote individualized care so each patient gets what they need.

Dr. Purcell, We want to thank you for taking the time to come to our meeting tonight to answer questions and share your knowledge with us. It is so nice to get a holistic view of health. We also greatly appreciate the donation of your gluten-free cookbook to our Library Thank you!

Celiac Disease Foundation AZ East Valley Chapter

Your book inspired me to get back to very basic, simple meals and eliminate as many processed foods as possible, as well as reduce refined flours, sugars, and cut out dairy again since I have a sensitivity. We have been eating "clean" for 2 weeks. Mike has lost 6 lbs and my skin has cleared up. I have a ton of energy and feel great!

Roberta Z.