Your doctor tells you that your gut problems are from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). He treats (or mistreats) you for your symptoms when in fact you don’t have IBS. What your doctor may have missed is that you have a little known condition, celiac disease, and you do not have to suffer anymore because relief of your problems is simply a change of diet away.
The National Institute of Health, estimates that over three million Americans have undiagnosed celiac disease. Why so many? Because on average it takes 11 years to get a correct diagnosis. That’s 11 years millions of people are needlessly suffering. Could you be one of them?
The symptoms of celiac disease are extremely similar to a host of other autoimmune disorders. They are: diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and weight loss. And several patients don’t 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. Because there are a broad range of symptoms which could be readily associated with other conditions or ailments, celiac can be difficult to diagnose and often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
It is a genetic autoimmune disorder also referred to as gluten-intolerance. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley as well as its derivatives. Therefore foods and ingredients to be avoided include such staples as most flours, bread, and pasta. If you have celiac disease your body recognizes gluten as a toxin. Toxins are essentially poisons to your body. Gluten wreak havoc on a celiac’s body by causing the villi, which line the intestinal wall, to become flattened and lose the capacity to absorb nutrients from food.
It’s 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 disorder continues to eat gluten, chances of gastrointestinal cancer can 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 that can be caused by failing to treat this disease. That step can prevent almost all complications caused by the disease – with no medication – as the small intestine will steadily heal and begin absorbing needed nutrients and, thus, eliminate painful symptoms.
But a gluten-free diet is not straightforward. This means avoiding all products that contain wheat, rye, and barley or any of their derivatives. That challenge can prove to be a daunting task as many hidden sources of gluten are found in the components of many processed foods. However, the health benefits are tremendous. Imagine having to give up bread, pasta, and beer among other things. Where can you go out to eat? Where can you vacation? Where can you find substitutes for the foods that you crave? The doctors will not have the answers to those questions. The best source of information on living with celiac is hearing from others who’ve “been there, done that.”
If you have been suffering from intestinal problems and haven’t gotten relief, then find out everything you can about celiac disease. Educate your doctor about it. It can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. There are many support groups throughout the nation and lots of books that can give you advice and put you on the path to recovery.
Recall, relief might be merely a change of diet away.