Che cos'è la celiachia

intolleranza-glutine

THE CELIAC DISEASE OR GLUTEN INTOLERANCE

AN EVER-GROWING PATHOLOGY

The celiac disease is a chronic intestinal malabsorption, triggered by intolerance to gluten proteins, called prolamins, present in some cereals such as wheat, rye and barley. This hypersensitivity appears to be permanent, incurable and partly genetically determined.

Gluten intolerance can occur at any age but is seen most frequently during the weaning period and is irreversible.
The intake of food containing gluten in celiac patients causes inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, often accompanied by the destruction of liver cells.

The nutrients are not assimilated properly and remain in the intestine. The typical symptoms are weight loss, diarrhea, anemia, bone pain and weakness, fatigue, mood swings and, in the case of childhood celiac disease, child development problems.
The diagnosis is made by biopsy of the small intestine, which show a flattening of the intestinal mucosa with consequent reduction of the absorbing surface.

Currently there is no treatment in this regard, but the preventive action of a diet completely free of gluten and in some severe cases, regular intake of steroids.
The gluten-free diet must be followed carefully by patients with celiac disease for a lifetime,even occasional contact with gluten would trigger an immediate exacerbation of the problem, leading to long-term risk of intestinal cancer.
In recent years, celiac disease is dramatically increasing:  it is the most common eating disorder in the western world and is today a problem in the health care system, especially considering that only one in 7 cases is diagnosed.

 

SYMPTOMS OF CELIAC DISEASE

Celiac disease is not, as many believe, only a disease of the child, but can affect adult people.

The disease can occur in adults in many ways: from the typical condition  with severe gastrointestinal disturbances and impaired absorption of all components of food, to less critical conditions such as small intestinal disorders, intermittent episodes of diarrhea or sometimes constipation, bloating, nausea, dyspepsia. There are even more subtle symptoms caused by intestine absorption defects, such as, for example, anemia, bone pain, skeletal deformities, cramps, tingling, difficulty in blood clotting even after minor trauma, leg edema, abnormal menstruation period.

A correct and prompt diagnosis is very important.

MEDICAL INFORMATION

The preliminary exams to be performed to find out weather you are affected by celiac disease or not, are complete blood count, serum iron, prothrombin activity, serum protein electrophoresis, serum calcium and a dose of urinary xylose.

The Italian Celiac Association provides support for all "newly diagnosed" by providing guides and tips for dealing with the disease with confidence.

www.celiachia.it

 
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