From A to Z, the ABCs of Celiac Disease. An autoimmune disease that means more than just being gluten-free. A Celiac must learn so many terms, so many new habits, precautions, and facts, but they are not alone. 1 in 133. A Celiac is strong, we can learn how to handle our disease and we can do it with a smile on our face and a positive outlook on the healthy life we can have once we are diagnosed.
Autoimmune disease – It’s not an allergy.
Bloating – The all too real “Celiac Baby” that forms when you get glutened. Also, Buckwheat is a magic food.
Celiac Disease – This is self-explanatory.
Dermatitis Herpetiformis – The skin manifestation of Celiac Disease.
Eating out – It can be done…with some preparation and major precautions.
Food fears – Those foods you got sick from will be ingrained in your head as forever evil.
Gluten-free – It’s a lifestyle, not a fad.
Heredity – Celiac Disease is a genetic condition.
Invisible illness – Most of the time Celiac Disease can’t be seen, or diagnosed by a look. The suffering is inside.
Just pick the croutons off – An all too familiar phrase Celiacs hear. Two words. Cross-contamination.
Kindness – The most important thing for a newly diagnosed Celiac is kindness.
Life-long – Celiac Disease never go away. The is no cure.
Mal-absorption – While still ingesting gluten, the body can not absorb necessary nutrients to thrive.
New products – You will never see a happier person than a Celiac finding a new gluten-free product.
Oats – That tricky grain that IS gluten-free by nature, but must be certified for no common processing cross-contamination.
Protein – Gluten is the protein that is triggers the body to wage war on itself by attacking the small intestine, creating a false immune response to the “invader”.
Quinoa – Quinoa is a life saver.
Regular cleaning – To keep gluten from getting into your body, a Celiac must constantly be cleaning the kitchen and areas of contamination.
Symptoms – Celiac Disease can manifest in many symptoms or no symptoms at all. That’s what makes it so tricky to diagnose
Testing – Not always reliable, but there are a host of options including: genetic tests for HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8, blood tests for Total IgA, IgA-tTG, IgA-EMA, IgG/IgA-DGP, IgG-AGA, or of course an endoscopy and biopsy of the small intestine.
Undiagnosed – The average time a Celiac goes undiagnosed is 6-10 years. That’s a whole host of suffering and damage to an untreated body which may be extremely detrimental to ones health in the future.
Villi – The little hair-like structures of the small intestine that get destroyed while still ingesting gluten.
Wheat – The gluten-filled king, however NOT the only gluten-filled grain. Nor is a wheat allergy the same as Celiac Disease.
Xanthan gum – Since gluten can’t be used to thicken and hold things together, xanthan gum is a safe gluten-free replacement for baking.
You can do this – Another important thing a Celiac must keep in mine is they CAN do this. They are strong warriors and with some practice and kindness, they will prevail!
Zillions of delicious foods and recipes – Contrary to popular belief, eating a strict gluten-free diet is delicious and nutritious and you don’t have to be deprived of old favorites (just eat the, reinvented)!