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What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is known as gluten enteropathy. It is a digestive system disease caused by the body's intolerance to the gluten protein in wheat, barley, and rye. In celiac disease, when foods containing gluten are consumed, inflammation may occur in the intestines and allergic reactions may occur in the body. This situation leads to the deterioration of the so-called villi that provide digestion in the intestines; causes the absorption of nutrients and prevents damage to the small intestines.

Celiac disease, the most common cause of malabsorption in childhood, is hereditary and symptoms of celiac disease can occur at any age. It is also known as the most common small bowel disease in humans and the only lifetime food allergy. Approximately 1% of the world's population has celiac disease. Genetic factors from the family are the biggest factors in the symptoms of celiac disease. However, pregnancy, birth, viral infections, and emotional stress can also trigger symptoms of celiac disease.

What are the symptoms of Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease symptoms and time of appearance differ from person to person. Not all patients have the same symptoms, and these symptoms of celiac disease can appear in childhood or adulthood.

Common symptoms: Severe abdominal pain, abdominal distention, excessive gas formation, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, feeling of fatigue, menstrual irregularity, loss of weight, and wounds in the mouth.

Serious symptoms: Thin and weak bones, diabetes formation, inability to get pregnant, low iron levels in the blood, high tendency to depression, poor dental, and gum health.

The most common symptoms in children: pain in the abdominal region, swelling in the abdomen, diarrhea, restlessness, decreased appetite and loss of appetite, increased infection, vomiting, inability to gain weight, growth retardation, and slow growth.

The most common symptoms in adults: Abdominal region bulging forward, being below ideal body weight according to age, anorexia, muscle weakness, anemia, abnormal stool and increased need for a toilet, diarrhea, vomiting, mouth sores in the mouth, gas complaints, joint and frequent occurrence of bone pain, itchy rashes on the skin, weakness, and irritability.

How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed?

Measuring certain antibodies in the blood is important in diagnosing celiac disease. Blood values ​​of IgA, IgG, and Anti Endomysium (EMA) values ​​are checked. If the saws show signs of celiac disease, a small intestine biopsy is required to make a definitive diagnosis. According to the biopsy result, celiac disease is diagnosed by the doctor.

Early diagnosis is important in changing the course of celiac disease and reducing symptoms. Especially those who experience classic symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, malabsorption, weight loss, abdominal bloating; individuals with celiac disease in their close relatives; those with recurrent iron deficiency anemia; women with recurrent miscarriages are among individuals who should be screened for celiac disease. If it cannot be diagnosed and treated, complications of diseases such as malnutrition, bleeding, cirrhosis may occur and more serious health problems may occur.

How is Celiac Disease Treatment?

The only treatment method for this disease is to apply a gluten-free diet. There is no alternative treatment method to the diet that has been found yet. A gluten-free diet is a life-long treatment. Therefore, it is important that it has become a lifestyle rather than a treatment. All foods containing gluten must be removed from the diet. With celiac disease diet treatment, health problems are eliminated and intestinal damage can be corrected. From the first day of starting a gluten-free diet, symptoms began to improve and complaints were eliminated; The improvement in the small intestine was seen in 3-6. months.

The materials used in the preparation and storage of foods in a gluten-free diet should not be contaminated with gluten-containing foods. Therefore, the individual who has celiac disease and the person who will prepare their meals should be well informed.

Foods to Avoid While Practicing Celiac Diet

While planning the celiac diet list, the following foods are not used and individuals are advised to stay away from these foods.

· Wheat, oats, barley, rye, couscous, bulgur, semolina, pasta, noodle, bagel, cracker, red or green wheat

· All breakfast cereal, muesli, and oatmeal varieties consumed with milk/yogurt

· Pastries such as cakes, pastries, and pastries made from banned grains

· Fish or meat varieties soaked in breadcrumbs

· Breaded or floured vegetable and meat dishes

· Gluten-containing ready-made sauces for meals and salads

· Corn crispy chocolate

· All beverages containing beer, barley, and malt

Foods with Risky Consumption

Vinegar, ketchup, mayonnaise, chocolate, wafer, confectionery, potato chips, boiled rice, instant soup, creams, pudding, chewing gum, ice cream, nuts with sauce, instant milkshake, condiments, instant sauces, soy sauce, baking powder, Roquefort cheese, and delicatessen Gluten can be found in its products. The content of the product must be checked before consuming these foods.

What Should Be Considered on the Product Label in Gluten-Free Nutrition?

· It should not contain barley, rye, oats, and wheat.

· Wheat starch, oat bran, rye flour, and yeast should not be included in the product content.

· "Gluten-free" must be placed on the package.

Gluten-Free Product Samples

· Teff flakes

· Gluten-free flour

· Corn grits

· Gluten-free cake mixes

· Gluten-free pasta

· Products such as gluten-free noodle, pasta, chocolate

Things to Watch Out for When Practicing a Celiac Diet on a Gluten-Free Diet

· It should be given importance to consume milk, meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, legumes, rice, corn, potatoes, and these foods should be preferred more frequently.

· Attention should be paid to mixed cornflour and mixed rice flour products.

· The product label should be carefully examined before packaged products are consumed and unlabelled products should not be consumed.

· You should be careful while eating out.

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