Celiac disease (also known as “sprue”) is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine. It is characterized by sensitivities and reactions to wheat gluten found in wheat and wheat subspecies (spelt, semolina, durum), as well as to similar proteins found in other common grains (including barley and rye).
In celiac disease, exposure to gluten creates an autoimmune reaction that leads to inflammation in the small intestine. This ultimately leads to erosion or wearing down of the villi lining the small intestine (known as villous atrophy).
Villi absorb nutrients from foods. Therefore, a major problem in celiac disease is malabsorption. Adverse changes in the bowel decrease its ability to absorb macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats), minerals, and important fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). Many health conditions can result from malabsorption depending on the nutrients in which the body becomes deficient.
Symptoms vary widely, but typical health effects include fatigue, chronic diarhrrea, anemia, abdominal pain (as well as distension and bloating), lactose intolerance, malabsorption, villous atrophy, failure to thrive (in children), and other adverse effects.
In addition, celiac disease has been linked with various other conditions, including malnutrition, autoimmune disorders, dermatitis, growth delay, infertility, abnormal liver function, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes type 1, nerve damage, motor disturbances, mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia), autism, as well as ulcers, stricture, and increased risk for cancers of the small intestine.
The generally recommended solution for individuals suffering from celiac disease is a gluten-free diet.
Celiac disease is basically gluten intolerance. Gluten sensitivity is different in that it may not manifest as complete intolerance (like celiac disease), but nevertheless result in some similar symptoms: digestive problems, bloating, inflammation, allergic-type responses, poor digestion, etc. Similar symptoms may also result from allergy to wheat. However, like celiac disease, the generally recommended solution for gluten sensitive individuals is a gluten-free diet.
Consuming a gluten-free diet is critically important for individuals suffering from celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy. In addition to diet, however, there are many other practices that can contribute to greater overall health. These practices can strengthen the body and the immune system, and create a more robust digestive tract.
In addition to a gluten-free diet, practices we recommend for individuals suffering from celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and/or wheat allergy include:
1) Daily or regular use of foundational supplements. Foundational supplements include a high-potency multivitamin, a Vitamin C / antioxidant formula (like PRO-C or Ultimate Protector™), essential fats, and a high-RNA superfood like Rejuvenate!™.
Some of HPDI’s recommended foundational supplements:
a) Mighty Multi-Vite!™ – complete, high potency multivitamin
b) Essential Fats Plus E – complete essential fats formula with balanced omega-3 and omega-6 plus astaxanthin and mixed tocotrienols.
c) Ultimate Protector™ – our newest and most powerful antioxidant formula (486,000 ORAC5.0™ units per recommended serving!). This unprecedentedly powerful formula provides plant-based antioxidants and Nrf2 activators, as well as superior source Vitamin C.
You can read more about the need for foundational supplements here: (http://www.integratedhealth.com/foundational-supplements/foundational-supplements.html/)
2) Additional “condition specific” supplements known to benefit individuals with celiac disease and/or gluten sensitivity. These include Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula and Bone Jour!™. Other helpful supplements include Nascent Iodine, Prescript-Assist® (probiotic), Prolyt (proteolytic enzyme), and Digase (digestive enzymes).
A few of the most important specific condition formulas for Celiac Disease:
• Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula – a unique clearing and rejuvenating formula for the entire gastrointestinal tract
• Digase: Plant-based enzymes for helping digestion and digestive health
• Prescript-Assist®: A full-spectrum probiotic formula
2) Dietary practices that emphasize variety, purity, and alkaline-forming foods. A varied diet high in plant foods is also a diet that tends to be alkaline forming. An alkaline forming diet boosts oxygenation of tissues, reduces inflammation in tissues, and generally includes more fiber, which is necessary for good gastrointestinal health.
3) Exercise. Exercise helps all aspects of human physiology. It is especially important in the context of Celiac Disease (and other gastrointestinal problems) because it helps move the intestines, thereby helping elimination functions. Exercise also boosts blood circulation and movement of lymph fluid necessary for detoxification.
Exercise need not be overwhelming or difficult. Start with shorter periods of less intense exercise, and then gradually increase intensity and/or duration. Walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, and yoga are some good types of exercise, all of which can be done at your own pace and level of comfort. Set a schedule and stick to it. Consistency is key.
4) Stress Reduction Techniques. Regular practices such as daily meditation, tai chi, qigong, prayer, walks in nature, etc. are proven to reduce stress and help balance mind and body. A well balanced mind-body system is known to improve digestion and support gastrointestinal health.
|1–2 caps||1–2 caps||1–2 caps||Take with meals. Start with 1 capsule three times daily and gradually increase to 2 caps three times daily.|
|Essential Fats Plus E||1 softgel||1 softgel||1 softgel||Take with meals|
|Mighty Multi-Vite!||2 caps||2 caps||Take with meals|
|Rejuvenate!™ Strawberry-Peach Protein Plus||1–2 scoops||1 scoop||Take as meal replacement or snack. Start slowly and slowly increase to full dosage.|
|Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula||1 tsp||1 tsp||1 tsp||Start with 1 teaspoon daily. Gradually increase to 1 or more tablespoons daily.|
|Bone Jour! – contains calcium, magnesium, and other minerals||3 caps||3 caps||Take with meals|
As noted, other useful supplements include Nascent Iodine 2% (10 drops daily on an empty stomach), Digase digestive enzymes (2 capsules with each meal), Prolyt (2 capsules with each meal), Prescript-Assist® (1–2 caps daily), sublingual Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin (5 mg daily), Hematin iron supplement (1 tablet daily), and Double Zinc Plus (1 tablet daily).
MORE ON DIET, ETC.
Consume a diet that includes zero gluten containing grains (organic brown rice, wild rice, organic corn, and quinoa are okay). Eat free-range organic meat, organic poultry and deep sea fish and foods high in fiber such as organic vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds (sunflower, flax, chia, pumpkin, walnut, almond, and sesame in small amounts — one or two ounces daily — are beneficial). Try eating Hank’s Vegetable Soup several times per week. Eat several servings of fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, etc.) on a daily basis. Avoid over consuming sweets (sugar) and processed/refined foods.
Try not to eat the same thing every day. Symptoms can be caused by allergic reactions to the food you eat. Be observant to correlations between symptoms and the foods you have eaten. Also, avoid genetically modified foods (GMOs) whenever possible, as there is a connection between GMO consumption and health issues, including leaky gut syndrome and other gastrointestinal problems.
Again, as noted, be sure you get adequate low-impact exercise on a daily basis. This could include walking up to four miles a day, yoga, swimming, or bicycling. Take warm baths daily with baking soda (one cup) and Ancient Minerals magnesium chloride flakes (two cups).
Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, like other conditions, can be avoided or mitigated with a proper program of diet, supplements, exercise, stress reduction, and other effective health-building practices.