Many people are gluten-intolerant, and if you are one of them your life just got a little bit harder because the only way around it is to avoid gluten altogether. This can, at least initially, seem like an impossible task because gluten seems to be in everything. Experts believe that an amount as small as an eighth of a pinkie nail can cause damage to the digestive tract .
Gluten is a gluey protein that is present in common dietary staples, such as pasta, bread, cereals and desserts. Gluten is what creates the fluffy quality of cakes, muffins and binds the dough together. This aside, a gluten-intolerant person has to be eternally vigilant because gluten is found in the most unlikely sources, such as processed cheese and salad dressings .
Gluten insensitivity is distressing enough all by itself, but it doesn’t stop there because Celiac disease is a far more serious condition. Celiac disease attacks about one in every 100 people, and many times the condition remains undiagnosed. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease , a condition where something goes wrong, and the immune system attacks itself.
The way Celiac disease functions is to first attack the gluten and then attack its own cells. Over time this can cause serious damage to the body. The glutinous food never gets fully digested, leading to inflammation in different areas of the body.
Gaucher’s disease (go-shayz) is genetic, with 34 known mutations that can cause the disorder. The enzyme that is responsible for metabolizing a particular fatty substance (glucocerebroside) is deficient. This disorder more often attacks those of the Askenazi descent (Eastern European Jewish descent).
There are three types of Gaucher, these are:
The most common, which accounts for 90% of the cases and most common in adults (30 being the most common age). It does not damage the brain, but can cause skeletal deformities, enlarged spleen or liver, yellow spots in the eyes, excessive fatigue, susceptibility to nose-bleeds, bruising and anemia.
A rare but most severe form which develops during a baby’s first year and is rapidly progressing. The symptoms include those of type-1 and can include seizures, mental handicap, dementia and rigidity.
Rare and beginning in childhood, it progresses slower than type 2, and it tends to be chronic. The brain is affected but it is milder than in type 2. Symptoms may include those of type 1 and 2, but may occur more frequently. Abnormal eye movements , and loss of coordination could also be a symptom.
Diagnosis includes testing for the deficient enzyme, as well as genetic testing . Type 1 doesn’t always require treatment if the symptoms are mild, however both type 1 and 3 may be treated with enzyme-replacement therapy, bone marrow transplant and medication. There is no particular treatment for type 2, but just keeping the baby as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
Because the symptoms of Celiac disease are so varied, people may go for years assuming they have some other kind of disease. For instance, symptoms of Celiac disease include gastrointestinal problems such as chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, and acid reflux, along with malnourishment, arthritis, osteoporosis , anemia, infertility and recurring miscarriages.
As with any allergy test, one way to test for gluten insensitivity is to cut out foods that have gluten in them (for one month) and then add back a little at a time. However, in this case you must be absolutely meticulous because even a little bit of gluten will mess up the test, and it will not work.
I am not a doctor, so if you have any of the above symptoms you need to seek the care of a professional. It is my opinion, that anyone suffering from any of the above conditions should ask the doctor for a simple blood test or intestinal biopsy, which can rule out (or in) Celiac so that you know right away what your plan of attack needs to be.
Gaucher’s disease is a difficult disease to deal with, and it is hard on the sufferer, as well as the family. Many people with Gaucher’s disease benefit from being in a support group, which can be found on-line if you don’t live near an actual one. The Gaucher Foundation website can keep you updated on research and clinical trials . It is also wise to be under the care of a doctor who is familiar with this disorder. www.GaucherDisease.org
If you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease you will never be able to eat foods with gluten in them again. Go to glutenfree.com to start tracking down hard-to-find gluten free foods at relatively low prices.
Also for help learning to live with the diet without going crazy, go to celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.edu
This center is run by Dr. Peter Green, one of the world’ leading authorities on celiac disease.
Some healing foods for Celiac disease are:
Healing nutrients and phytochemicals:
* Viatmin D
* Vitamin B6
* Vitamin A
Other gluten free products include:
* Lara Bars-an energy bar which is great for breakfast on the go
* Blue Diamond Almond Nut thins-tastes like “real” crackers, and they come in multiple flavors
* Whole Foods gluten free bread-a standard size loaf of bread, that has a nutty flavor
* Glutino duo cheese pizza-This is true pizza bliss
* Bob’s red mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour-good for baking “real” food.
* Pamela’s pancake mix-for fluffy pancakes
A place to go which will provide 100’s of healthy recipes…Low carb, vegan and gluten-free: veria.com