The natural tendency when you start a blog about celiac disease is to assume all your readers know what celiac disease is. That’s a bit unfair and rather presumptuous so this post is specifically for the folks that are newer in their exposure to the disease.
Let’s start with what Celiac Disease is not:
- It is not a gluten free fad diet.
- It is not a choice.
- It does not mean we can or should “cheat” occasionally.
- It is not a joke.
Celiac is, however,
- Life threatening
- Life Impacting
- Serious – touching the same spoon in our dish can hurt us.
- treatable and the only way we feel better.
Celiac disease is an auto-immune condition. You can add it to the list of other auto-immune conditions that you’ve heard of: Hashimoto’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes Type I, etc, etc. An auto-immune is very specific. The word auto is a Greek based prefix that means self. The immune part is specific to the immune system within the body. Auto-immune then is then an illness or immune response that attacks itself. Specifically in celiac disease, the body sees gluten and goes spastic and attacks itself. More specifically, it attacks the lining of the intestinal walls or the villi. These villi guys are responsible for the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and make use of them. Many of the symptoms surrounding celiac disease can be traced back to mal-absorption. (See my post about the Neurologic Symptoms for more specifics).
This is the simple version to get you started. Keep reading and following to understand more.
Celiac.org has a great article on this as well: What is Celiac Disease?
Other great links: