Celiac disease is the condition that causes me to get sick whenever I eat foods that have gluten. One in every 100 people has Celiac disease, which is not really rare at all. Gluten is a protein that comes from wheat, barley, and rye. Even if there is only a tiny bit of gluten that I can’t even see in food, I still can’t eat it because it can make me sick.
One of the hardest things about having celiac disease is making sure these tiny bits of gluten don’t get into my food. There are many ways that people with celiac disease may feel sick when they eat gluten. Some people may get belly aches. Some people may stop growing. Some people may break their bones too easily. Others may not feel bad at all, but they may still hurt their body if they eat gluten. Celiac disease affects a part of your body called the small intestine. It is a long tube that helps us digest food.
The small intestine is not smooth. Instead, it has lots and lots of small finger-like projections called “villi” which help you absorb nutrients. If you have celiac disease, the gluten in some food will cause the villi in your intestine to become flattened or injured. This will make you sick because your body can’t use the good stuff it needs from the food you eat, and your intestines can become inflamed.
But if you avoid foods that contain gluten, the villi in your intestines will heal. Your belly will stop hurting. You may start to grow again. You may feel better than before. If you suffering from Celiac disease, you have to avoid all gluten contain food in them. This is called the “gluten free diet.” There are lots of good foods that you can eat that are gluten-free, but sometimes it’s hard to know what foods are safe to eat.
The people at the Colorado Center can help you learn about the gluten free diet, so you can feel better and live a happy and healthy life.