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    Scott Adams

    What are the effects of celiac disease?

    Scott Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Untreated celiac disease can be life-threatening.

    Celiacs are more likely to be afflicted with problems relating to malabsorption, including osteoporosis, tooth enamel defects, central and peripheral nervous system disease, pancreatic disease, internal hemorrhaging, organ disorders (gall bladder, liver, and spleen), and gynecological disorders (like amenorrhea and spontaneous abortions). Fertility may also be affected. Some researchers are convinced that gluten intolerance, whether or not it results in full-blown celiac disease, can impact mental functioning in some individuals and cause or aggravate autism, Aspergers syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and schizophrenia. Some of the damage may be healed or partially repaired after time on a gluten-free diet (for example, problems with infertility may be reversed).



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    Celiacs who do not maintain a gluten-free diet also stand a much greater chance of getting certain types of cancer, especially intestinal lymphoma.

    Untreated celiac disease can cause temporary lactose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products. To be digested it must be broken down by an enzyme called lactase. Lactase is produced on the tips of the villi in the small intestine. Since gluten damages the villi, it is common for untreated celiacs to have problems with milk and milk products. (Yogurt and cheese are less problematic since the cultures in them break down the lactose). A gluten-free diet will usually eliminate lactose intolerance. However, a number of adults (both celiacs and non-celiacs) are lactose intolerant even with a healthy small intestine; in that case a gluten-free diet will not eliminate lactose intolerance.

    Celiacs often suffer from other food sensitivities. These may respond to a gluten-free diet--or they may not. Soy and MSG are examples of food products that many celiacs have trouble with. However, it should be noted that these other sensitivities, while troublesome, do not damage the villi. As far as we know, only gluten causes this damage.

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    I have run copies of this article for my family to help them better understand what this condition is that I have to thank you so much for your time and effort that you have put into this site for all of us-God Bless You!!

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    I completely agree. Thank-you so,so much. All of this info has really helped me. I'm understanding this complicated disease much easier now with this very helpful info. It has all the answers people are looking for, all in one place. I don't have to look everywhere now. Thanks a million.

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    I'm a 15 year old kid as of my 22/08 and my whole one side of my family is severely prone to being celiac. I have lived in fear thinking I might become celiac. I have thought about what you said about celiac and lactose intolerance. I've had this for a while and I thank you for this information. I really do thank you.

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    I'm a 16 year old kid, I learned I had Celiac about two years ago.

    And I've never once been "Gluten-Free"... it's hard to do when the rest of your family continues eating "regular" and don't buy you special foods.. Is it true that if I don't start living a gluten-free life Celiac Disease can become dangerous?

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    I'm a 16 year old kid, I learned I had Celiac about two years ago.

    And I've never once been "Gluten-Free"... it's hard to do when the rest of your family continues eating "regular" and don't buy you special foods.. Is it true that if I don't start living a gluten-free life Celiac Disease can become dangerous?

    Yes, there are over 250 negative effects of gluten on the body of a celiac, including stomach cancers, diverticulitis, yeast infections, diabetes, etc. I recently found out I am also a celiac and I can feel the effects of gluten on my body as opposed to how I feel when I'm not consuming gluten. It would be a wise decision if we both abstained from gluten for the rest of our lives, I know sounds difficult but after a few weeks you won't want to destroy your body with something that is virtually poison.

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    I have had celiac and DH since I was 11, I am now 58. I have been on Sulfapyridine 500mg daily all these years. Allergic to Dapsone. I have had a rough life because of it, many medical problems, from the medication, but unable to function without it.

    This article was great, I'm glad I'm not alone, although I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I've had the worst of the worst and every side affect known. Thank goodness none of my children or grandchildren have it.

    The store bought gluten free products are just expensive for me.

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    I am very concerned about the article on cognitive impairment. I had no idea that this could be a complication from celiac disease. I am 67 years old and have been gluten-free since I was 62.

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


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