Balancing Diabetes and Celiac Disease
Have you ever stood in the middle of a see-saw, right over the center with one foot on each side? Trying hard not to put more weight on one side to keep it stable? Unless you are incredibly focused, it can be very difficult to keep a proper balance without one side touching the ground.
The struggle is similar when trying to balance two medical conditions, such as diabetes and celiac disease. While each one has specific needs, they both need to stay balanced which can be hard to achieve.
This article explains celiac disease and its relationship with diabetes.
What is celiac disease?
It’s a condition where the body recognizes gluten, a protein found in some foods, as a poison. The body tries to attack it to prevent it from being digested and entering into the bloodstream. When someone with celiac eats gluten (which is found in foods that are made with rye, wheat, or barley), the small intestines react by changing the lining. Normally, there are long, fingerlike structures that line our intestines that absorb the nutrients in the food that we eat. With celiac disease, those finger-like structures become flat to protect the body from absorbing the gluten. Additionally, the gut stops making digestive enzymes, to also prevent from any absorption. The image below gives a good illustration of what happens in the small intestines when gluten is eaten.
The problem with this is that over time, it permanently damages the small intestines and prevents nutrients and vitamins from being absorbed. Long-term malabsorption can cause issues such as:
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