Learn all about gluten and how to live without gluten properly
Including helpful tips and tricks for your everyday gluten-free life, news, facts, information on ingredients used, gluten-free family life, and frequently asked questions! Whether you suffer from celiac disease or not, here are the answers to all your questions in our article
What is celiac disease ?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects about 1% of the total population. It is caused by gluten. When consuming gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye, spelt and barley, it leads to inflammation of the small intestine. Even tiny amounts of gluten can cause symptoms. If gluten is not excluded from the diet, the intestinal villi will flatten together or even disappear and the lining of the small intestine will not be able to absorb adequate nutrients, eventually leading to malnutrition.
Symptoms of celiac disease
Symptoms of celiac disease or celiac disease can vary greatly. In many cases - but not always - the disorder is defined by symptoms on the digestive system:
-Flatulence or flatulence in the abdomen
In people with celiac disease, symptoms may also generally appear:
-Weight loss and energy Anorexia
-Iron deficiency with anemia Osteoporosis
-Fertility disorders or miscarriage
-Vitamin or mineral deficiency In children, celiac disease develops at an early age, often after weaning when switching from breast milk or breast milk to foods containing gluten. If the disease goes undetected, there is a risk of growth and developmental disorders. Children with celiac usually have poor build and are very sensitive.
Types of celiac disease
Celiac disease may take a classic, symptomatic or subclinical form. All of these forms are associated with damage to the mucous membrane of the small intestine. In addition, there is possible celiac disease, which is usually discovered by chance and the intestinal mucosa appears normal on biopsy.
Celiac disease diagnosis
Celiac can affect people of all ages. If celiac disease is suspected, the first step is a blood test. This is until the tissue transglutaminase (IgA tTG) antibody is determined, as well as the determination of total IgA. Determination of anti-endomysium antibody (EMA) is reliable for diagnosis, but is less frequently used. If antibodies are detected, a biopsy is taken from the small intestine to confirm.
Because celiac disease is often hereditary, first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, children) should also be tested for celiac disease, even if they don't have any symptoms. It is important to see a doctor before starting a gluten-free diet. If you remove gluten from your diet before medical tests, the antibodies can be difficult to detect in your blood, preventing the disorder from being diagnosed.
Celiac disease treatment
If the diagnosis of celiac disease is confirmed, you will be immediately advised by a specialist to start a gluten-free diet. The only effective treatment for celiac disease is to completely avoid foods containing gluten for life. Switching to a gluten-free diet alone usually results in rapid improvement. Many people with celiac symptoms resolve shortly after switching to a gluten-free diet. However, it may take several months for the mucosa of the small intestine to completely regenerate.
What substances should be present in foods classified as gluten-free?
As already mentioned, the "gluten-free" label guarantees that the food contains no more than 20 parts per million of gluten, and sometimes less, as in the case of GFCO-certified gluten-free products. The UK Food and Drink Association recently updated its guidance on gluten-free labeling to ensure that oats continue to be listed as an allergen, even when oats are certified non-gluten-free beyond the 20ppm limit. A small number of celiac patients suffer from an allergy to oats, even though it is classified as gluten-free, as it can be contaminated if it is made in the same places as products containing wheat and barley.
Some tips for buying gluten-free foods:
How do you read gluten labels? It's a major problem for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or who follow a gluten-free diet for other reasons. Regardless of gluten-free labels and certifications, you should always check the ingredients list. Wheat, barley, and oats are the main ingredients to check. Do not forget that if a product is wheat-free, it does not necessarily mean that it is gluten-free.
Check for allergen warnings. Although the ingredient list may all be straightforward, you will often find “may contain” at the end, which is another thing to be aware of. “May contain traces of gluten” or “made in a factory that also handles wheat” are examples of other products to avoid. Finally, be careful with fresh and prepackaged foods, such as cake. In such cases, the best solution is often to ask for a full explanation of the components.