Determining Celiac Sprue and Gluten Intolerance

So what exactly is gluten intolerance? Well to put it simply if you eat products that contain gluten and you suffer from a stomach ache or gas, coming from both directions, it is most probable that you have some degree of gluten sensitivity.

If you have Celiac Disease you are suffering from an ‘immunologically toxic reaction’ to gluten which interferes with nutrient absorption as a result of the damage that occurs to the tissue in the intestines also know as the cilia. Symptoms may include irritability, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue and lethargy.

A biopsy of the small intestinal tissue is required to confirm a celiac sprue diagnosis. However, by answering these questions1 will give you a good indication as to the severity of gluten intolerance and /or the likely hood of celiac sprue:

  • Scotch, English or Scandinavian ancestry
  • Family history or personal history of intestinal disease
  • Has there ever been a blistery rash on arms, knees or other bodily folds
  • Do you have a swollen abdomen?
  • Do you have severe fatigue?
  • Do you have diarrhea/ constipation regularly?
  • Is there a history of stunted growth?

If you’ve answered yes to a few of these questions and have some of the symptoms previously listed above, you may want to consult a heath care provider.

References

  1. Rheumatic manifestations of gastrointestinal Disease Volume 51 #2 Bulletin on Rheumatic Disease 2002
  2. Surviving Celiac Disease: What you need to know about gluten free diets, Sara Hoyness, September 2006
  3. Celiac disease foundation (1)
  4. Alternative Medicine and Health.com

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