Plant-based eating has been growing in popularity over the past few years. People have been swearing by eating a plant-based diet as a means to good health. As we all know, nutrition is a key aspect of overall health and wellness. With the United States …
This post is going to be a lot different from my other posts. It’s going to be somewhat informal and it’s going to be a very personal and very real post. Learn about the lessons I learned, the diet philosophies I adopted, the symptoms I endure, the frustrations I have, and why I ultimately don’t hate having celiac disease.
I’m not following a fad diet – Celiac disease 101
Hi, my name is Tayler Silfverduk and some of you may or may not know that I have celiac disease. This diagnosis means I’m not following a fad diet by eating gluten-free. No, I am following a medically prescribed diet that helps ensure that I stay healthy.
This is true for anyone else with celiac disease. Someone following a gluten-free diet due to a diagnosis of Celiac disease is not following the diet because it’s a fad diet. Going gluten-free will not be a temporary change for them. This isn’t one of those diets where they follow it strictly for a few months and then fall off the wagon and can return to normal eating. No, a gluten-free diet is a medically prescribed diet for those diagnosed with celiac disease. They have to follow this diet for the rest of their lives. It’s serious and deserves support.
What is Celiac Disease:
Reminder, it’s not a fad diet! Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease diagnosed after someone undergoes a series of serious tests. It’s when someone’s body literally attacks itself after consuming gluten. Hence, celiac disease is deemed an autoimmune disease.
What happens to the body when someone with Celiac eats gluten?
Like mentioned above, when someone eats gluten, the body attacks itself. While no, someone with celiac disease won’t fall over dead immediately after consuming gluten, their bodies can endure irreparable damage that can lead to the development of serious conditions and possibly death.
Damage is done to the lining of the small intestine when someone with celiac disease eats gluten. The lining of the small intestine is lined with finger-like projections called villi. Villi help increase the surface area of the small intestine and thus, promote nutrient absorption. When someone with celiac disease eats gluten, the body launches an immune response that attacks the villi of the small intestine. Remember, the Villi aid in absorption so when they are damaged it can cause malabsorption of nutrients in the small intestine and thus, it can lead to nutrient deficiency.
Outward symptoms of eating gluten with Celiac Disease:
While everyone with celiac disease experiences damage to their small intestinal villi when eating gluten, the outward symptoms are not all the same. This isn’t a pretty disease guys, some of this can get gross. Some people have no symptoms and some people have more symptoms than they care to mention but here is a list of some common ones:
- Pain in the abdomen (stomach)
- Canker sores
How to prevent permanent damage and symptoms?
People with Celiac disease must eat a gluten-free diet to minimize/eliminate symptoms and prevent permanent damage to their small intestine. There is no way around eating gluten-free with celiac disease. Eating gluten-free foods is important and so is making sure foods aren’t cross-contaminated. Cross-contamination can be something as minuscule as you eating a sandwich and not washing your hands before preparing a salad for someone with celiac disease. This means at group gatherings, don’t use the same serving utensils for the wheat pasta and the gluten-free pasta.
Someone diagnosed with celiac disease is not following a gluten-free diet temporarily. Doctors medically prescribe a gluten-free diet for people with celiac disease. People with Celiac must follow this medically prescribed diet for the rest of their lives to prevent serious complications.
To reiterate in applications related to me. I’m not following a fad diet, I am following a life-long medically prescribed diet in order to prevent irreparable damage to my body.