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Celiac Disease

SYMPTOMS—Diarrhea, weight loss, and nutritional deficiencies such as anemia. Other symptoms
include frequently pale and/or light-yellow, foul-smelling stools that float; fatigue; depression;
abdominal swelling; muscle cramps; wasting; and bone and/or joint pain. Diarrhea is the most commonly observed symptom.

Infants and children may show vomiting; stunted growth; intense burning sensation of the skin; and a red, itchy skin rash. Ulcers may develop in the mouth. The child may look anemic and undernourished.

Babies may lose weight or gain it more slowly, and do not seem to be thriving well. The disease can begin in the first few months of life.

CAUSES—Celiac disease affects the small intestine. There are abnormalities in the intestinal lining, due to a permanent intolerance to gluten. Gluten is in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. (Corn, rice, millet, soybeans, quinoa, and amaranth do not contain gluten. There seems to be a little uncertainty about buckwheat.) The protein, gliaden, is thought to be the toxic part of the gluten. It interacts with the lining of the intestines, causing the tiny absorptive fingers which jut from it (the villi) to flatten and atrophy. As a result, nutrients are not absorbed (including vitamins A, D, and K) and the disease symptoms appear. Unfortunately, many physicians and the food industries recommend that grains be introduced into the diet of the infant when they are less than a year old. This can prompt celiac disease to first appear then or even decades later.

This is important! Tell every expectant mother not to feed her child grains until it is at least a year old. Removing gluten from the diet of a celiac produces a marked change; whether an infant, child, or adult, the person starts feeling better again. But he must not return to gluten foods.
Some infants do not tolerate cow's milk protein, and react to it with celiac symptoms, even before gluten is given to them. So remove that also from them.

Celiac disease is often misdiagnosed as spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome, or something else which affects the intestines. Yet, if left untreated, celiac disease can be quite serious. It can lead to pancreatic disease, infertility, miscarriages, internal hemorrhaging, bone disease, gynecological disorders, nervous system damage, intestinal lymphoma, and many more. For example, anemia is common, due to poor absorption of folic acid, iron, and vitamins B12 and K.

Scarring of the intestinal lining can progress so far that, by the age of 45 to 50, 90% of the intestine can be damaged, resulting in a significant reduction (as much as 70%) of the absorptive surfaces.

But there is evidence that partial repair to those walls can be made within several months, if you
permanently part company with the offending foods.

• You will want to avoid the gluten foods, which are wheat, oats, rye, and barley.
• The follow grains do not have gluten: corn, millet, and rice. Soybeans, quince, and amaranth are also okay. Buckwheat is okay for some celiacs, but not for others.
• All grains fed to babies (and adults too) should be cooked for 2-3 hours, if the preparation is done by boiling at 212o F.
• Do not eat products containing cow's milk. Breast-feed the child, to avoid using cow's milk.
• Do not overeat sugar or white-flour products.
• Eat a nourishing diet, including fresh fruit and vegetables, and vegetable juices. Fiber is important in the diet of celiacs.
• Allisatin, found in garlic, is said to help treat celiac disease.
• Ripe bananas are tolerated well, and help control the diarrhea.
• Avoid processed, fried, and junk food. Do not eat sugary foods, chocolate, and processed
• Read the labels, and watch for "hidden" gluten or cow's milk ingredients in bottles and
packages. Some of these are malt, modified food starch, some soy sauces, garin vinegars,
binders, fillers, excipients, and "natural flavorings." Almost all commercial breads, bread
mixes, crackers, etc., contain gluten. It is often found in commercially prepared puddings,
candies, cookies, cakes, ice cream, salad dressings, luncheon meats, frankfurters, canned
chili, macaroni, noodles, spaghetti, bread stuffings, and anything thickened with flour
(soups, vegetables, bottled meat sauces, gravies, flavoring syrups, sauces, cocoa mixes.
• Only eat homemade desserts.
• Frozen, fresh, or canned vegetable and vegetable juices are all right.
• Breads and cereals made from rice, millet, soybean, corn, or potato starch are okay.
• Do not eat meat.
• Avoid tobacco, tea, coffee, and alcohol.
• Helpful herbs include aloe vera, burdock, pau d'arco, psyllium, saffron, slippery elm, and alfalfa.

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