Celiac disease is a disease that can occur with or without diarrhea, and sometimes its only symptom is deficiency of vitamins and minerals. The classic form of full-blown celiac disease occurs only in 10%; It manifests itself with abdominal pain, flatulence, weight loss, change of temperament, depression and consequently deficiencies (iron, vitamin K, B vitamins) that result from malabsorption syndrome. In contrast, asymptomatic celiac disease is most often manifested by parenteral symptoms such as menstrual disorders in women, infertility, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, type I diabetes and kidney disease.
Celiac disease requires a lifetime gluten free diet. If it is not observed or unconsciously consumed with products containing even small amounts of gluten, it may lead to worsening of the body’s cachexia, and in some cases to the formation of tumors, eg intestinal lymphoma. A gluten-free diet is a diet that requires a lot of commitment from the patient and his family. It often requires reorganization of many areas of the patient’s and his family’s life.
Products containing gluten are primarily foodstuffs based on wheat, barley, rye and oats. These are flours, cereal and groats. Consumers must, however, be aware that, apart from the products that can be described as „natural sources of gluten”, there is a whole bunch of other articles produced on its basis. For people on the elimination diet the only safe products should be those that are clearly marked and do not contain gluten in the composition even under a latent form (eg wheat starch) – preferably marked so-called. „Crossed out with a bullhorn”.
The basis of a gluten-free diet are products obtained from rice, maize, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, manioki and quinoa (rice cosmos). Of course, these raw materials can also be contaminated with gluten during production or transport processes, which creates serious problems for people on a gluten-free diet. Occasionally, contamination of entire plantations is also possible, for example, through self-seeding wheat grains or other gluten crops. According to the definition, in Poland gluten-free foods are products containing no more than 1 mg of gliadin in 100g of dry matter of the finished product.
Safe spirits include wines and other fruit-based alcohols, such as home-made tinctures. People suffering from celiac disease should not primarily consume beer produced in most cases from barley malt. One should also pay attention to vodka and whiskey, which, depending on the country of origin, are produced from other raw materials. For example, whiskeys from Ireland and Scotland are made from barley, wheat or rye, while some American whiskeys are made from corn. All so-called „Colored alcohols that have flavors of unknown origin should also be treated with great care.
The response to the diet is extremely fast, and the prognosis of patients diagnosed and administered is very good. It is worth remembering that when using a gluten-free diet, you should not consciously consume even small amounts of gluten, because they automatically lead to the formation of new morphological changes in the treated intestine. In contrast to clinical improvement, the histological most often occurs after a longer period of diet – even after 2 years after the restrictive use of a gluten-free diet, changes may still be present. Gluten-free diet is not only for people with celiac disease, but also for people with unrecognized nonspecific digestive problems and caring for a healthy lifestyle.
Do not approach the diet as a lifetime limitation! Treat it as a way for a good, conscious life and a better frame of mind.