Celiac disease is a permanent intolerance to gluten, which only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet that allows to lead a completely normal life without giving up the pleasure of the taste.
The ancient Greek name is coeliac, it derives from the Greek word koilia that means abdomen, cavity. Celiac is the one who has a permanent intolerance to the protein called gluten found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and kamut. These cereals are toxic for a celiac person, in fact even the swallowing of a small amount of them induces an immune response at intestinal level that results in chronic inflammation, which causes progressive atrophy of intestinal villi.
When the villi are damaged, the body is unable to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to malnourishment. Moreover, when it is left untreated, celiac disease can develop further related diseases and complications such as, among all, other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, infertility, repeated miscarriages, adolescents short stature, diabetes mellitus, autoimmune thyroiditis, alopecia, epilepsy with brain calcifications, intestinal lymphoma and cancer.
How can celiac disease been diagnosed?
The first step is the dosage of the serological E.M.A. (anti-endomysium antibodies IgA - IgG). If they results positive, in order to confirm the celiac disease diagnosis, it is necessary to perform a gastroscopy with biopsy of intestinal villi of the second duodenal part.
Before a person affected by celiac disease will receive a correct diagnosis, before he will be able to modify his diet in an appropriate way, preserving himself by the appearance of its numerous related diseases and complications.
It is therefore extremely important to monitor our health paying attention to each sign, even the smallest, that our body conveys us.
For additional information, please visit the AIC (Associazione Italiana Celiachia) official web site: www.celiachia.it