Saturday, March 19, 2011

What is Celiac Disease?

Are you tempted to say that Celiac Disease, or Gluten-free diets, are nothing more than the "in" diet fad? You could not be more wrong. 
You think this is something that Corban will just "grow out of?" Nope. 
I am beginning to educate myself on the seriousness of his disease. I have a lot to learn, but I will share the basics of what I know so far:

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.

Celiac disease is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the finger-like villi of the small intestine. When the villi become damaged, the body is unable to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to malnourishment. Left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and cancer. - Did you see that? Because I sure did.  Untreated, celiac disease can cause cancer in my sweet, beautiful, little boy! Now do you see why this must be taken seriously.

Celiac disease can be difficult to diagnose because it can present in a variety of different ways. The disease can be diagnosed using a blood test and confirmation biopsy. The only treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet. - Corban's celiac was diagnosed following an endoscopy, where the tissue of his small intestine was biopsied. It was also confirmed through a blood test.

Symptoms of celiac disease can include abdominal bloating and pain, diarrhea, vomiting, poor weight gain or failure to thrive in young children, weight loss, fatigue, irritability, depression, mouth sores, late puberty, and skin rashes. Corban's symptoms were/are vomiting, pain, and poor weight gain/failure to thrive.

  1. One in 133 Americans have celiac disease.
  2. Three million Americans across all races, ages and genders suffer from celiac.
  3. 95% of celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.
  4. 10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed. -I am learning Corban was lucky to be diagnosed so quickly.
And the 2 most important things I have learned about Celiac Disease are:
  • There are NO pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease.
  • A 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac today.
And those two reasons are why I have started this blog. I need to do everything I can to educate myself in order to keep my son healthy and safe.  After all, I'm his mommy, it's in my job description!

1 comment:

  1. Relieved that you guys know what is going on and that you found out this young. My Mom has Celiacs. It can be tough. I told Kat this, but Betty Crocker has some good cakes, cookies and brownies now. :) As well as Bisquick.