Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A simple education - What is Celiac Disease?

Well here I am back again! Now let's get down to business. What is Celiac disease ? Basically it's an autoimmune disease that can starve you to death slowly over many years! One thing people need to understand is it is not an allergy . It does not present a life threatening emergency when wheat is ingested and/or contacted. However it does have the potential after prolonged ingestion and exposure to ,to cause death. I find sometimes it is easier to just agree with people when they ask if it's an allergy. I only do this as it saves me alot of explanation. I usually somehow manage to get the individual i am educating to understand that it is an autoimmune disease by the time i am done explaining what happens to me when i eat wheat products . I find alot of times i am stressing these are symptoms I have and many others may have or not have.  There is a very long list of "symptoms" for Celiacs. They range from simple annoying things to severe reactions. I will post a few websites with "lists" of possible "symptoms". I have also been on a couple of sites in their forums and read other peoples "stories" . I find alot of them talk about "symptoms" I never find listed on celiac disease "lists of symptoms" . One i found I was personally experiences was "acting" weird. I was rambling on and "singing" also had eye flinching? for lack of a better word. When i stopped eating wheat on a regular basis i found all that had gone away. When i explain that to others that i can act weird they usually laugh and say things like, that must be fun and oh I have to see that. I usually just laugh with them and respond with a well I don't want you to see it. I know and understand it does sound funny and that people aren't trying to be mean or see me hurt they just aren't sure how to respond so they respond with what comes first. As I am a simple person and prefer to be positive then negative I don't get upset as usually those who have said possible hurtful things tend to be the most concerned. It all works out in the end *Smile* 
Now more common reactions for me are: tiredness, itching all over, running to the bathroom A LOT (basically the TP companies love me at this point and I take a serious consideration of remodeling the bathroom as i am in there so much lol ), I get a feeling of complete emptiness like I have absolutely no nutrition in me at all, headaches, mood changes ( usually grumpy but sad and/or crying as well )and extreme sleeping . These are the most prominent symptoms I get. They can happen within an hour or sometimes not until the next day, really depends on how much wheat I have had. Sometimes the "poisoning" last 3 to 5 days.I have to eat double to get the nutrition back and usually depend highly on a multivitamin to get me back to "normal"  I am a fairly smart cookie and I do not give into the temptations of wheat products no matter how delicious they smell so basically my symptoms now only appear when i get cross contaminated. This is the biggest issue for any celiac! As I don't find myself as "sensitive" as others i have read about and spoken too I feel comfortable being able to live with others and share a kitchen that may have gluten in it. I currently live with my cousin and she has been fabulous about keeping the kitchen at a good level of non contamination! She is learning as we go about the different needs and concerns and has taken to it like a trooper. She tries all the foods I eat that are gluten free and generally loves them. We shop together so she can learn the brands I prefer and foods available to me.
Here are a few sites to look at for "lists of symptoms" 
You can always Google and find tons of sites. I never ever look at one website as no one knows it all about anything! 
Now an education on what exactly is happening to a person with Celiac Disease: Autoimmune disease that "attacks" the body when foods containing gluten are ingested/ contacted. The body responds by "attacking" the villi in the intestines ( small finger like protrusions that absorb nutrition) they become flattened and damaged/ destroyed preventing absorption of nutrition cause malnutrition and many other health issues for the person. Many celiacs also develop other health issues such as diabetes and osteoporosis. I have read that some research has been done as far as autism and it's link to celiac disease. For more expliantion have a look at these sites : 

this one has some pictures (drawings)  http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/   

All of the sites i have listed have a lot of information on celiac disease. I have given the link to these sites for the specific information i am trying to explain and help others understand. Feel free to browse each site for more info as you wish *smile* 
This is all for now......my brain is starting to swim hahaha 
Hope i have helped educate at least one person and given hope there is good advise out there and no one is alone in the fight against this hard to figure out disease! 
Until next time....take care !

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