Always reading the ingredient list on every box or package. As though this was not enough for celiacs, they also have to worry about the gluten hiding in little places like toothpaste, shampoo and lotion.
I still remember the day when my friend called up. She was crying continuously and I could hardly hear her voice through her constant sobs. Later when she calmed down she told me that her son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Okay! I had heard that he often complained about stomach aches, bloating and lately decreased appetite. I was still soaking in all the information when my friend burst out crying again.
She: What will he eat, he can’t eat rotis anymore
She: He is not allowed to eat anything which contains gluten like wheat
That day she literally cried out her guts but that was also the last day she cried. After that, she started looking at everything in a positive manner and introduced a healthy gluten-free diet for her son. And since then he has been doing good.
What is Celiac Disease:
Most of us eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. We have no trouble but for those who have celiac disease, the gluten can create a reaction in their bodies.
Once we eat the food it goes to the stomach followed by the small intestines. The small intestines are an important part of the digestive system. These small intestines are lined, yes literally lined with many microscopic finger-like projects called ‘villi’. Why are we talking about villi … well because they play an important role in absorbing the nutrients in the body.
When a child with celiac eats gluten, like a piece of cake, then it leads to a reaction of the immune system. The work of the immune system is to help the body from getting ill again and again. However, in celiac disease, the body starts hurting itself and in turn destroy the villi. When the villi are damaged they are not efficient enough to absorb the nutrients from the food. When a child does not get the nutrients from the food, he cannot grow in a healthy way. Despite eating everything the child may lose weight and may develop anaemia.
Myths And Facts About Celiac Disease:
Myth: Celiac disease is termed as a childhood disease
Fact: earlier the disease was being diagnosed only in children. But now all over the world, even adults are being diagnosed by it.
Myth: It is a rare disease
Fact: 1% of the population of the world is affected by celiac disease. HIV affects 0.8% of the population of the world. So celiac is more than the common disease like HIV.
Myth: Celiac disease is an allergy
Fact: Celiac disease is not an allergy, but an autoimmune intolerance which cannot be cured. The only way to go beyond celiac disease is to religiously follow a gluten-free diet.
Myth: If the symptoms go away then celiac disease can be cured
Fact: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. This cannot be cured but definitely kept under control by a gluten-free diet. Even if the symptoms fade they may regenerate if gluten is introduced and cause damage later.
Myth: India does not have gluten-free food
Fact: India has many grains which are gluten-free. Bajra, jowar, kuttu, ragi, makki, are all grown locally thus these are available in abundance. Everyday food like dal, rice and vegetables are a great option as well. Since India offers so many options for a gluten-free diet, the cuisine is recognised as the most accepted by the gluten-free diet followers.
Myth: A small amount of food with gluten is harmless
Fact: Even a tiny crumb of cake or bread with gluten can be harmful. Similarly, cross-contamination can also be harmful. Children may often be tempted to take a bite of the cake. But since the only treatment for celiac is gluten compliance it is very necessary to understand the safe amount.
Here is some Gluten Math:
- The acceptable limit of gluten in food to be marked as gluten-free is 20 ppm (20 mg of gluten in 1 kg of food item)
- A slice of bread weighs 25 grams
- Gluten present in the slice of bread is approximately 5grams
Now we can calculate how much more gluten is there in the slice of bread
- For every 1000 gram of bread, the acceptable gluten limit is 20 mg
- Thus for every 25 gram (a slice) of bread, the acceptable gluten limit will be 0.5mg
- Amount of gluten present in the slice of bread is 5000mg (5 grams)
- The number of time the amount of gluten in the slice of bread is higher than the acceptable gluten limit of 20ppm = 5000mg/0.5mg
The amount is way too much than the acceptable gluten limit. So yes even a tiny crumb of cake can cause havoc.
Theme Reveal, A – Autism, B – Bronchiolitis, D – Dyslexia, E – Eating Disorders, F – Fever, G – GERD, H – Hand Foot And Mouth Disease (HFMD), I – Imaginary Friends, J – Juvenile Arthritis, K – Kawasaki Disease, L – Leukaemia, M – Meningitis, N – Neuroblastoma, O – Omphalitis, P – Pica, Q – Q Fever, R – Retinoblastoma, S – SIDS, T – Tetanus, U – Urinary Tract Infection, V – Vomiting, W – Wilms’ Tumour, X – Xeroderma Pigmentosum, Y – Year-Round Allergies, Z – Zika Virus