Celiac disease or coeliac disease is a genetic disease. In this disease small intestine of a person is damaged by gluten, a protein present in wheat and barley. This intolerance to gluten destroys the small intestine whose function is toabsorb nutrients from the food.
Celiac disease can lead to life long health problems. In celiac disease, the immune system overreacts to the presence of gluten in the small intestines and this unique reaction actuallydamages the small intestine for long lasting problems.
The function of small intestine is to absorb nutrients from the digested food. There are tiny hair like substance on the inner wall of the small intestine called villi. This substance helps the small intestine to absorb the nutrients from the digested food and transfer it into the blood. So an individual remain well-nourished. If this villi is damaged or dysfunctional, the nutrition from the food is not absorbed and transferred to the blood which cause malnutrition. The consumption of gluten, through food or supplements, destroys this extremely important part of small intestine and causes problems like inflammation, irritation and swelling.
Celiac disease is hereditary, implying that people can inherit it from their ancestors. People who have history of disease in their family line are at higher risk of the disease. Such people are advised to talk to their doctors in case of any irregularity in their health. Celiac disease left unnoticed may become a cause of long term health problems like anemia, itchy skin rash, migraine, multiple sclerosis, infertility and in severe cases it can also lead to cancer.
The only treatment of celiac disease is to convert the patient on gluten free diet. Food like wheat, rye and barley contain gluten which can damage small intestine. Therefore, the medical sciences only advise to follow lifelong gluten free diet and a complete restrain from gluten. However, NIH “Consensus Development Conference on Celiac Disease 2004” enlists the following six steps in the management of individuals with celiac disease.
1) Consultation with a skilled dietitian
2) Education about the disease (label reading is a must) Lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet
3) Identification and treatment of nutritional deficiencies Access to an advocacy group
4) Continuous long-term follow-up by a multidisciplinary team
5) Lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet
6) Access to an advocacy group
Functional medicine is a patient oriented way of addressing health problems. One of the basic tenets of Functional medicine is looking into your body as a whole being and finding what relations body organs’ functions have with one another. In order to get to the root of the problem, following Functional Medicine, SuperGenes take guesswork of your body by blood tests to determine what is wrong inside you. For Celiac disease, Functional Medicine has recommended the following tests.
BMI, B-12, CBP, CMP, CRP, Dexa test, ESR, Food allergy testing, FU stool analysis, Lactulose- Mannitol Test, Thyroid Panel, Vitamin D etc.