Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Celiac Sprue Disease

I have Celiac Disease and it controls almost every aspect of my life. I didnt know much about it at first only that I had to avoid food with "gluten" in it, which comes in many forms. There is much misunderstanding about it because it is actually a very serious disease, as it is an autoimmune disease, but generally it is thought to be an allergy. I am very informed about my condition now and after our modules including digestion, I have an even better understanding of why my body attacks itself when the gluten protein enters the digestive system. It is one of the most misdiagnosed diseases as it has such a huge range of symptoms it is often though to be, Irritable bowl syndrome or even Crohn's disease.

Celiac disease (CD), also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is a genetically linked autoimmune disorder that can affect both children and adults. In people with CD, eating certain types of grain-based products set off an immune response that causes damage to the small intestine. This, in turn, interferes with the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients found in food, leading to malnutrition and a variety of other complications. The offending amino acid sequences are collectively called “gluten” and are found in wheat, barley, rye, and to a lesser extent, oats* (WBRO). Related proteins are found in triticale, spelt, kamut. -Celiac Sprue Association 

The grain causes the body — in all humans, not just celiacs — to produce too much of the protein zonulin. This causes the junctions between cells in the small intestine to open too much. Things such as  toxins and gluten fragments get into the bloodstream, which is known as leaky gut syndrome. With celiac disease, the body sees gluten fragments as toxins that arent supposed to be there. The body launches an attack against these invaders, but the body also attacks itself, which gives Celiac Disease the label as an autoimmune disease. 

Celiac Disease is NOT:
  • simply a food allergy (IgE).  Wheat allergies are rare among adults.  In children wheat allergies affect .04-.05% of population.
  • an idiosyncratic reaction to food proteins (mediated by IgE).
  • typified by a rapid histamine-type reaction (such as bronchospasm, urticaria, etc.).
  • an intolerance, a non-immune system response to food.
When I accidently eat gluten I get a headache within ten minutes which leads to my face turning hot from blood rushing to it. Within an hour my vision blurs and sometimes dizziness accompanies the blurry vision. It will take about two months after an accidental eating for my intestines and digestive system to start functioning normal again.


  1. This is a very good post, but I am a little confused. You mentioned that the grain causes the body to produce the protein zonulin which leads to a swelling of cells and foreign materials getting into the blood stream. In people with celiac disease, this causes the body to react, and harm itself, but what reaction does it cause in people who don't have celiac disease?

  2. My doctor explained it to me as, everyone is a little effected by gluten (which is the protein zonulin being released) but not everyone's body reacts to it the same. Some people are not even bothered by it because their body doesnt attack the protein. I could have kept going on this because there is a lot but I also didnt want to take up a huge page!