Diagnosed with Celiac Disease?
The Kitchener-Waterloo Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association provides support and education to people with celiac disease in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Owen Sound, and all the regions in between.
What is Celiac Disease?Celiac disease is a medical condition where the surface of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients from food is damaged by a substance called gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley.
This damage results in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health. Although statistics are not readily available, it is estimated that 1 in 133 people in Canada are affected by celiac disease.
People with untreated celiac disease can show a wide range of symptoms including:
- indigestion and nausea
- abdominal bloating, pain, cramping or gas
- lactose intolerance
- anemia – iron, folate or B12 deficiency
- extreme weakness and fatigue
- bone/joint pain
- swelling of ankles and hands
- recurring/persistent diarrhea
- weight loss
- deficiency of vitamins A, D, E, and K
- mouth ulcers/canker sores
- menstrual irregularities
In other cases, sufferers from gluten-intolerance develop an intense burning and itching rash called dermatitis herpetiformis. The intestinal symptoms of celiac disease may or may not appear in dermatitis herpetiformis.
TreatmentCeliac disease is treated with a gluten–free diet that contains no wheat, rye, barley, or commercial oats. For details on the gluten–diet, check the Canadian Celiac Association web site (opens in a new window).