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Celiac Disease

Sensitivity to cereal protein, gluten causes celiac disease, or sprue in people. This disorder is not common in occurrence and its main effect is in bringing about a malabsorption of nutrients from the diet because of the intolerance of the body to the gluten content of cereals like wheat, rye and barley-all of which are a normal part of the diet around the world. Some cereals like rice and corn do not contain gluten and can therefore be consumed by people with the disorder. The first signs of celiac disease in a child will become apparent by the time he or she is six months old, that is as soon as the child is weaned off from his or her mothers milk and begins eating food; a reaction to the gluten content in baby's formula will be the first sign that the child has celiac disease. However, the degree of manifestation of this condition may vary from one person to the next and milder cases of the condition can lie low and are often not discovered until the person reaches adulthood many years later. Some of the very usual physical symptoms associated with the disease include diarrhea along with vomiting one or two hours after a meal, the abdominal region may also become painfully bloated. At times the stools produced by the patient can be large, extremely smelly and shiny in appearance. The first sings of malnutrition become apparent when these symptoms are present over a long time. Some of these signs of poor nutrient absorption by the body can include infertility and anemia, and noticeable weight loss. Children tend to have peculiar symptoms of their own and it usually manifest itself as a lack in energy and a failure to grow. These physical symptoms come accompanied by a rash, and recurring canker sores, the patient may endure sever pain in the bones and he or she may be tormented by sudden mood swings at all times of the day and night.

Celiac disease is hereditary and the sensitivity to gluten is passed from one generation to the next. The manifestations of the disease such as the poor absorption of nutrients comes about because the gluten damages the intestinal mucous membranes-this also leads to the presence of persistent and painful diarrhea. Health is restored only by a modification in the diet of the individual and the maintenance of a strict gluten-free dietary regimen will gradually eliminate all symptoms and complications within the body. Depending on the intensity of the condition in the individuals, it has been observed that certain adults suffering from celiac disease are able to reintroduce small quantities of gluten in their daily diet, this is not the case at all in other sufferers, who may suffer severe and serious relapses if even a minute quantity of gluten is introduced in the diet. A diagnosis from a professional and qualified doctor is recommended to verify the symptoms as being caused by celiac disease as many other intestinal disorders produce very similar symptoms in people.

Supplements and herbs

The resulting intestinal inflammation during celiac disease leads to a very poor absorption of food, thus nutrients are required by the body in large quantities to make up for this deficit in the diet. Supplementation helps to correct the nutrient imbalance within the body as an added measure to the changes in diet the person must make during the treatment of the condition-the malnourishment and poor nutrient uptake of the body must be corrected by both of these measures acting together.
To promote the rate of nutrient assimilation within the body as well as to improve the overall absorption rate, supplements of digestive enzymes that digest gluten, should be taken on a regular basis as an initial approach to the treatment of the condition. To support this supplementation of enzymes, a good multivitamin and mineral supplement must also be added in the diet during the entire supplemental period. Most symptoms of celiac disease are partially brought about by a lack of vitamin B6 within the body because of poor absorption from the diet. Supplements of pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P) must be added to the diet of the patient. Difficulties in absorption within the intestines are often linked to all kinds of digestive problems that appear as symptoms. The active form of vitamin B6 is P-5-P so no conversion of this compound is required within the body and thus the compound makes the best supplemental measure for the vitamin.
In addition to these supplemental measures, the addition of a B-complex vitamin completes the picture as far as supplementation of B vitamins is concerned. Supplements of the essential fatty acids and the fat-soluble vitamins such as the vitamins A, D, E and K must also be done as the natural absorptive capacity of the body for these substances drops during celiac disease-the absorption of all fats is impaired by the condition. Multivitamin supplements will contain enough of the vitamins A, D and E, while the vitamin K can be found in abundant quantities in many green food supplements, particularly alfalfa and other dark green and leafy vegetables. Besides this vitamin the supplements containing green food are also rich in essential nutrients, such as the trace minerals including all essential minerals required by the body. A class of essential fatty acids called the omega-6 fatty acids are found abundantly in the oil of the evening primrose herb besides other sources such as fish. Supplements of this oil can also be used on a regular basis by the person.
In addition to these measures, supplements of the vitamin C along with bioflavonoids can be consumed to improve resistance to celiac disease and its related symptoms. All kinds of inflammations in the gastrointestinal tract will be reduced and soothed through supplements of silica taken on a regular basis by the person. This essential mineral is available in both capsules and in a gel form for easy consumption by the patient. The walls of the inflamed colon can be healed by supplemental use of medicinal clay; the medicinal clay also protects the irritated and abraded colonic walls from further irritation by all kinds of toxins and abrasive matter consumed by the individual.

The use of the various herbal remedies given below will help in soothing intestinal irritation caused by the disease and also being about a reduction in the level of inflammation. Additionally these will help heal damaged and irritated mucous membranes within the body.

The tincture of the agrimony is an excellent herbal supplement, and the use of four drops of the tincture in water thrice a day is recommended as an herbal supplemental measure. The importance of the mineral silica to the strengthening and restoration of the connective tissues has already been mentioned and it is known that good amounts of silica in the intestines can lead to a quick reduction in the inflammation during the disease. Supplements of this mineral can be taken in dosages of three cups of a silica-rich horsetail herbal tea or fifteen drops of a horsetail tincture mixed in some liquid thrice everyday during the treatment period. Different types of inflammations arising in the gastrointestinal tract can also be alleviated through the use of a combination herbal formula tea made from herbs like the burdock, the slippery elm, the sheep sorrel and the Turkish rhubarb-drink this tea on a regular basis as a supplemental measure to treat the disease. Another good herbal tea for treating the disease can also be made from herbs like the dandelion, the saffron and the yellow dock; this herbal tea will also aid in the purification of the blood while substantially adding to the nourishment of the body.

Additional things you may do

Damaged intestinal walls as a result of celiac disease can be healed and quickly treated through regular hydrotherapy on the abdomen.

Usual dosage

  • Evening primrose oil, 2 x 500 mg capsules thrice a day.
  • Multivitamin supplement (take as directed).
  • Vitamin B12, 100 mcg.
  • Vitamin B complex, 50 mg two times a day.
  • Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 1,000 mg 1 - 3 times a day.
  • Silica, three to six capsules (take as directed).
  • Papain, 500 mg thrice a day.
  • Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate, 50 mg a day.
  • Medicinal clay - dissolve one tsp. of clay in half of cup of water at room temperature and drink two times a day.
  • Green food supplements, one tbsp.

For kids

See age-appropriate dosages of herbal remedies

A diet free of the compound gluten is the primary treatment for celiac disease; in children the condition is commonly diagnosed before a child attains two years of age. It is important for the child to persist with the dietary regimen and in this endeavor the child will need a lot of support from his or her parents. The greatest challenge posed to children with celiac disease as that they are unable to consume what their friends are eating-this is a very big hurdle to cross for children with the condition. The condition of celiac disease extends throughout the life of an individual and is considered a chronic problem-consequently children must be disciplined to deal with it as something they have to live with. A relapse is very easy as even minor deviations from the restricted diet at any given time will cause great problems and will engender the reappearance of the symptoms. Emotional issues arise for the child and the parents of children with the condition as well as children with celiac disease must find counseling and support groups to help them deal with these issues on a long term basis.

Inflammations in the intestine can be reduced and healed with the aloe vera herb, when it is taken in small amounts as a regular or daily supplemental measure. For supplemental purposes of this sort make sure that you purchase only the edible-food-grade form of the herb. Dosages of the herb for children can be about 1/2 teaspoon of the herb, taken two times every day, or as and when it is necessary. The irritations in the digestive tract can also be soothed and healed through the use of the slippery elm herb as a supplemental measure. This herb can be consumed in the form of an herbal tea or as a capsule; alternately it can be made into a paste with water and mixed in the child's food. The taste of the slippery elm is rather mild and easy for children to eat. Dosage of the herbal supplement can be a single dose, once or two times every day, as and when necessary.

Comments

From Tamra
I found out from a pharmacist who has celiac that polyethylene glycol that can be found in some supplements causes bloating. I had horrible bloating and only 3 months diagnosed and the next day my bloating went down, when I stopped all my supplements. Now I am taking one supplement at a time and making sure it does not contain this polyethylene glycol. My pharmacist also said whey protein caused her bloating too. This made a huge difference for me so much so I wondered why doctors and others in celiac groups do not know about this, hope it helps!
From Martine
Even if corn or rice do not contain gluten, read the label of the cereal boxes. The ingredient list may contain Malted Barley or Malt flavouring, which contain gluten.
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