Celiac disease – a disease that behaves like a chameleon

In the past, the diagnosis of celiac disease (permanent intolerance of the immune system to the gluten protein gluten) was referred to as a disease of children.


celiac disease - inability to eat bread

Only a gluten-free diet is considered an effective remedy for this disease, celiacs have no other alternative. Ignoring celiac disease is not recommended, because untreated it usually ends with the aforementioned cancer.




Today, newly diagnosed celiacs between the ages of 45 and 65 make up the largest group. “Patients mostly end up with psychiatrists and psychologists, precisely because they have incorrectly diagnosed them,” said the chairman of the civil association of celiacs in Bratislava, Ing. Mikuláš Hajtáš. He added that thanks to the improvement of diagnostic methods, many patients who suffered from various unspecified diseases and diagnoses come to celiac disease. The state of health will improve significantly immediately after establishing a diet regimen, or following a gluten-free diet.

The insidiousness of celiac disease lies precisely in the fact that it hides behind a lot of other diagnoses. “Celiac acts like a chameleon. You may just be anemic or have osteoporosis or another diagnosis,” pointed out Hajtáš. And it can even be the reason for infertility. Moreover, it is not only a genetically determined disease.

The trigger can be childbirth, surgery, stress, severe angina or some other type of illness. “Nobody ever knows when and how celiac disease may manifest itself. It is the loss of one enzyme, which causes a huge problem in life. But by cooperating and exchanging information with each other, we don’t put a burden on the budget like patients in the last stage of cancer do,” said Hajtáš.

Only a gluten-free diet is considered an effective remedy for this disease, celiacs have no other alternative. Ignoring celiac disease is not recommended, because untreated it usually ends with the aforementioned cancer. “We are happy that we have the opportunity to be treated, not just to eat, with contributions from the state,” said Mikuláš Hajtáš and explained that the system cannot be abused.

The new patient must go through a series of examinations and only when the diagnosis is definitively confirmed will he be assigned a partial allowance. “It’s not like I get a prescription and leave the pharmacy with a big purchase. The patient contributes,” he explained further.

Celiac disease is a permanent intolerance of the immune system to the gluten protein gluten, which is found in many types of grain such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, oats and triticale. Affected persons must not eat any products containing cereals with gluten. In children and adults with a genetic predisposition, the intake of foods containing gluten, or those that contain even traces of gluten, leads to an immune reaction in the intestine.

There is chronic inflammation and atrophy of the villi of the small intestine. The mucosa of the small intestine is lined with villi and small protrusions, so-called microvilli, which increase the surface and ensure the absorption of nutrients. People affected by celiac disease have almost obliterated villi and microvilli of the intestine, while the mucosa of the small intestine is damaged.

More information about the disease can be found on the website www.celiakia.sk

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