Celiac Disease affects 1% of the Worlds Population – and it is estimated that 90% of the disease is undiagnosed!
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People with Celiac Disease may have all, some or none of the symptoms listed below.

Your Doctor may TEST you for celiac disease – but you could test NEGATIVE even though you have the symptoms.  This condition is called “NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY”.

Here are some of the symptoms of celiac disease

  • Irritability or depression
  • Anemia
  • Stomach upset
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Skin rash
  • Mouth sores
  • Dental and bone disorders (such as osteoporosis)
  • Tingling in the legs and feet (neuropathy)
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps, gas and bloating
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Foul-smelling or grayish stools that may be fatty or oily
  • Stunted growth (in children)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Generalized Itching
  • Rash
  • Eczema
  • Bowel Polyps
  • Bowel Cancers
  • Vitamin B12 or D deficiency

If you have recurrent or ongoing symptoms like those list above – then that is all you need to consider celiac disease or “non-celiac” gluten sensitivity as your diagnosis.  No blood test of biopsy can 100% prove one way or another whether or not you have one of these two conditions – so what to do?

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STOP ALL GLUTEN

This means that you have to stop eating anything made of wheat:

No crackers, cookies, cakes, breads, pizza crusts, gravies thickened with flour, donuts or many cereals.  Rice and potatoes are just fine.  So are rice crackers and Gluten-free anything.

Barley and Oats are a no-no, but Corn, Quinoa, Amaranth and Buckwheat are just fine.

You have to do this for a couple of months to see if your symptoms improve.  Often a probiotic taken daily can help improve things.

There is some evidence that Gluten and once of its components called Gliadin – may stimulate hunger and behaviour that increases the consumption of these substances.  Interestingly, Gliadin was not present in wheat before about 1960.  During the 1960’s and 1970’s, wheat genetics was modified in order to increase crop yields.   The resulting wheat plants were much smaller than traditional wheat – reaching only about 18 inches at maturity.  It is these shorter, genetically bred plants that contain high levels of Gliadin (the cause of Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity).

Increasingly, Gliadin is looking suspicious as the cause of carbohydrate cravings and weight gain – in addition to the damage it can cause to people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

 

The Skinny on Celiac Disease

Dr. John Fernandes

B.Sc., M.Sc., M.D., LMCC, CCFP, FCPC Clinical Lecturer, University of Calgary I am a Physician with over a decade of experience in my own Private Clinic as well as a full admitting Physician to a Tertiary Care Hospital in Calgary. Married with two daughters that both want to be Physicians as well. Hobbies include skiing, golf, mountain biking and Karate.

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