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     What Is Coeliac disease?

     In the treatment of celiac disease, it is very important not to consume any foods containing gluten and to maintain the gluten diet for life. Consumption of bread, pasta, semolina and pastries without “Gluten Free” warning on it can lead to very dangerous consequences for celiac patients. In addition to food and beverages some kitchen utensils and cosmetic products also contain gluten, which requires celiac patients to be selective in these products. From the Department of Gastroenterology at Güven Hospital, Assoc. Dr. Muharrem Taşkoparan explained celiac disease in 4 questions.

     What Is Coeliac disease?

     Celiac; It is an malabsorption disease that develops with sensitivity to gluten, which is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats. It is an autoimmune familial disease, and its clinical findings improve with a gluten-free diet.

     What Are the Symptoms of Coeliac Disease?

     The symptoms of celiac disease differ in children and adults. Common symptoms of celiac disease in adults; diarrhea, constipation, gas, abdominal pain, weight loss, recurrent mouth sores. Celiac disease occurs with findings such as treatment-resistant reflux, recurrent elevated liver function tests, recurrent pancreatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, and steatohepatitis. Along with celiac, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium deficiency, anemia due to folic acid deficiency, osteoporosis, infertility, dermatitis (eczema), myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation), dilated cardiomyopathy, fatigue, depression, psychiatric diseases can also be seen. Some of the symptoms seen in children are; vomiting, diarrhea, swelling in the abdomen, loss of appetite, developmental delay.

     How celiac disease diagnosed?

     When celiac disease is suspected, specific blood tests and antibody tests are done first. If the examination and test results are positive, upper endoscopy (gastroscopy) is applied. The food taken into the body is decomposed into its components in the small intestine and mixed with the blood through the intestinal mucosa. The body's ability to take in enough food is provided by many folds in the small intestine called villi protrusions. When celiac patients consume gluten-containing foods, the villi protrusions are destroyed and reduced due to allergies in the intestinal mucosa. Thus, the intestinal surface area becomes smaller and the food taken becomes unabsorbable. This leads to malnutrition and subsequently to the emergence of the disease. Biopsy is taken from the 12 finger intestines with upper endoscopy. Pathology detects these changes and a definitive diagnosis is made.

     How to treat celiac disease? What foods should celiac patients avoid?

     Treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet and follow-up. Celiac patients should stay away from foods containing grains such as wheat, barley, rye and oats for life.They should not consume foods such as bread, pasta, bulgur, semolina, and pastries unless there is a "Gluten Free" statement on their packages. However, it is not possible to get rid of celiac complaints by simply not consuming these products. Although the person pays great attention to the gluten diet, their complaints may persist. There are many reasons for this situation. For example, no matter how much the bread board and wooden spoons are washed, gluten can get into them. For this reason, it is recommended that celiac patients use tools made of other materials, if possible, instead of kitchen tools such as wooden spoons and cutting boards. At the same time, the cosmetics and chemical industry uses gluten as a raw material in some products. Therefore, gluten can be found in shampoos, lip balms, creams and body lotions. Celiac patients should take care to use gluten-free cosmetics.

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