Celiac Disease: What It Is & What It Isn’t

I’ve posted so much about eating gluten free and Celiac Disease, but I haven’t really said what Celiac is (and what it isn’t). *Note: I am not a licensed health professional…yet 😉 I am working towards becoming a Registered Dietitian. This information is what I have learned from my 8 years of being gluten free and from doctors I have seen.

What Celiac Disease Is:

  • An autoimmune disorder- this means that the immune system produces antibodies against itself, suppressing the immune system
  • When gluten is ingested in someone with Celiac Disease, it destroys the villi in the small intestine. The villi are what help absorb the nutrients from the food you eat. When they are destroyed in someone with Celiac, nutrients are unable to be absorbed which can cause delayed growth, malabsorption, and a bunch of other symptoms.
  • Only “treated” with a strict gluten free diet (although more research is being done…yay!)
  • Very symptomatic. Symptoms can include: stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, weight gain, failure to thrive (difficulty gaining weight), headache/migraine, fatigue, joint pain, nutrient deficiencies, infertility, and even cancers.

What Celiac Disease IS NOT:

  • A weight loss diet…..this is what makes eating gluten free so hard..
  • An allergy
  • Not deemed a “healthy” diet or because you want to eat “healthier”–rice flour is higher in calories and carbohydrates than wheat flour is…
  • “Just in your head…”–again, it’s an autoimmune disorder
  • Not curable
  • Not a FAD Diet
  • Just in children..can affect anyone at any age.

Have a recommendation of what Celiac Disease Is and Isn’t, comment below!