Celiac disease is a dietary intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in the grain of certain cereals. The causes of this intolerance are not completely understood. Most frequent symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal bloating, loss of muscle mass and weight loss. The symptoms can be avoided by following a strict diet where gluten is completely avoided. Such a diet is the only known effective treatment and must be followed all through life.
Gluten is found in several cereals including wheat, rye, oatmeal, barley and triticale. People should avoid all foods that may contain any amounts of these cereals or their byproducts.
These foods must be avoided:
Prepared foods often contain gluten. People with celiac disease must carefully read the labels of the food they buy. In addition to the foods listed above, here is a list of ingredients to look for on labels :
On the other hand, other foods are completely safe:
Because celiac disease may cause malabsorption of some nutrients, it can also cause alimentary deficiencies. People with celiac disease must eat coloured vegetables and fruits (dark green, orange) and choose foods rich in iron, vitamin B12, etc.
You must remain vigilant because many foods first thought to be inoffensive can contain gluten nonetheless! Several drugs also contain gluten; you must talk to your pharmacist if you need to avoid gluten.
Consulting a nutritionist is recommended to obtain more information and prepare a more personalized diet.
For more information :
Canadian Celiac Association
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