What is Celiac Disease?

(also known as “Gluten Enteropathy” or “Celiac Sprue,” and, informally, as “Gluten Intolerance”)

Celiac Disease is an abnormal reaction of the body to a certain substance in the diet, the elastic protein, gluten. Gluten is the main ingredient in native cereal varieties such as wheat, rye, barley and spelt.

Many people believe that the disease is a gluten allergy, but Celiac Disease is, in fact, an autoimmune disease. In the presence of gluten, the immune system of the affected person overreacts. It then incorrectly recognizes the body itself as an enemy to be combated. As a result, the small intestine is inflamed.

The inflamed small intestine causes the body to absorb nutrients badly - and brings unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting as well as other, less obvious symptoms.

How common is Celiac Disease?

For a long time, Celiac Disease (also known as "Gluten Enteropathy" or "Celiac Sprue", and, informally, as "Gluten Intolerance") was considered a rare childhood disease. However, improved diagnostic methods suggest that about three out of every 1,000 Germans suffer from this type of gluten intolerance. Experts estimate a much higher number of unrecorded cases: Although Celiac Disease has been gaining increasing attention in the last few years, experts expect that a large number of patients have not yet received the correct diagnosis.

Celiac Disease: Life-long dietary change required

The bad news with this form of Gluten Intolerance is that there is no chance of healing. You live with Celiac Disease all your life. The only available therapy is a strictly gluten-free diet.

The good news with Celiac Disease (also known informally as Gluten Intolerance) is that a celiac patient who strictly adheres to a gluten-free diet can lead a completely normal, symptom-free life like any other human being. Relatively frequently, celiac patients also suffer from a temporary Fructose Intolerance. For them, many Frusano products are easy to digest because most of them are gluten-free, as well as fructose-free or low-fructose.

Healthy through eating gluten-free

Many individuals with Celiac Disease see it as a benefit that the only treatment for their illness is the correct diet and that they do not have to take medication for a lifetime. The initial phase, in which the newly-diagnosed patient must change their diet, can be particularly frustrating. Over time, however, new dietary routines develop. In addition, the selection of gluten-free products in supermarkets and drugstores is now so great that celiac patients can find a good substitute for almost every kind of gluten-containing food.

Please see also:

Symptoms of Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance)

Diagnosing Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance)

Therapy for Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance) / What can I still eat?