Your doctor tells you that your gut problems are from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). So he treats (or mistreats) you for your symptoms when in fact you don’t have IBS. What your physician might have missed is that you have a little known condition, celiac disease, and you don’t have to suffer because relief of your troubles is only a change of diet away.
The National Institute of Health, estimates that over three million Americans have undiagnosed celiac disease. Because on average it takes 11 years to get a proper diagnosis. That is 11 years millions of people are needlessly suffering. Could you be one of these?
The symptoms of celiac disease are very similar to a host of other intestinal disorders. They are: diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and weight loss. And several patients do not experience those signs but instead report so-called atypical symptoms, including: a blistering, itchy skin rash, anemia, short stature, delayed puberty, infertility, and tooth enamel defects. As there are a broad range of symptoms that could be readily associated with other conditions or disorders, celiac can be tricky to diagnose and often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
It’s a genetic autoimmune disease also referred to as gluten-intolerance. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley and its derivatives. Therefore foods and ingredients to be avoided include such principles as most flours, bread, and pasta. In case you’ve got celiac disease your body recognizes gluten as a toxin. Toxins are basically poisons to your body. Gluten wreak havoc on a celiac’s body by inducing the villi, which line the intestinal wall, to become flattened and lose the ability to absorb nutrients from food.
It is important to properly diagnose and treat celiac disease for two reasons. First, with proper treatment the small intestine will heal and your symptoms will disappear over time. Another more important reason is that if a character with the disease continues to eat gluten, chances of gastrointestinal cancer may increase by 40 to 100 times that of the standard population. Additionally, gastrointestinal carcinoma or lymphoma develops in up to 15 percent of individuals with untreated celiac disease. Osteoporosis is another condition which can be caused by failing to treat this disease.
The only acceptable treatment for celiac disease is strict adherence to a 100% gluten-free diet for life. That measure can prevent almost all complications caused by the disease – without medication – as the small intestine will steadily heal and start absorbing needed nutrients and, therefore, eliminate debilitating symptoms.
But a gluten-free diet is not easy. It means avoiding all products that contain wheat, rye, and barley or some of their derivatives. That challenge can prove to be an overwhelming task as many hidden sources of gluten are found in the ingredients of several processed foods. However, the health benefits are tremendous. Imagine having to give up bread, pasta, and beer among other things. Where can you vacation? Where can you find substitutes for the foods you crave? The doctors will not have the answers to these questions. The best source of advice on living with celiac is hearing from others who’ve “been there, done that.”
If you’ve been suffering from intestinal problems and haven’t gotten relief, find out all you can about celiac disease. Educate your physician about it. It can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. There are lots of support groups throughout the country and several books that can give you advice and set you on the path to recovery.
Remember, relief may be merely a change of diet off.