People with celiac disease must follow some dietary guidelines. Without proper food counseling from a gastroenterologist, patients could experience uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms. Here’s more information on diet for people who have this health condition.
Why Must People With Celiac Disease Avoid Gluten?
Gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the lining of the small intestine in people who have this condition. Villi are the tiny tubules that take nutrients from food to transfer them to the blood, and when they’re destroyed in the intestine lining, the body cannot absorb nutrients.
This results in symptoms such as weight loss, diarrhea, indigestion, abdominal pain, headaches, and malnutrition. There is no way for affected patients to safely eat gluten, so your gastroenterologist will tell you to stay away from wheat, rye, flour, barley, and other grains.
What Should You Eat if You Have Celiac Disease?
There are many foods that are naturally gluten-free. Animal proteins, such as chicken, seafood, turkey, beef, eggs, pork, and dairy, are all safe. Consume healthy fats and oils, such as avocado, olives, and coconut oil. You can eat all types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.
If you want to consume grains, look for specialty bread, pasta, crackers, cereals, and baked goods that are labeled gluten-free. These are made with wheat alternatives, such as oats, corn, and rice, and don’t become cross-contaminated with gluten during manufacturing.
Take care when shopping for beer, candy, chips, cold cuts, French fries, and soups, as these may contain hidden gluten. Check ingredient lists to determine whether a product is safe to eat.
The gastroenterologists at Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home in Gloversville, NY, help patients manage celiac disease. This full-service acute care hospital is staffed by qualified professionals in both pediatric and adult medicine. They also offer nutritional services to help patients plan diets appropriate for their health conditions. Learn more about digestive health on their website, or call (518) 725-8621 to discuss your needs.