Celiac disease interferes with nutrient absorption; therefore it can cause malnutrition. Malnutrition is defined as a lack of proper nutrition. Children need a constant supply of macro and micro nutrients to develop normally. Inadequate growth and weight loss is a common problem affecting malnourished children. Knowing the above to be true, one can safely say, children suffering from undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease; may fail to grow to the heights recommended as normal by the standard growth charts.

The most important thing for individuals starting a gluten-free diet to know is that they can say goodbye to all their gluten related health problems and not have to say goodbye to all the foods they love; well! maybe one or two – but that may actually be a good thing.

Call on your non-celiac friends to go gluten-free for Lent next year. It’s a win/win for celiacs and non-celiacs. They may find a wheat-free diet during Lent to be – energizing, healthier (if losing some weight is a goal) and beneficial in helping them to understand the difficulties celiacs face, with regard to knowing whether the food is gluten-free or not when eating out.

Have no problem eating gluten-free at home, but when it comes to eating out; I’am plagued with doubt. The prevailing first impression, displayed by non-celiacs toward anyone with gluten intolerance seems to be one of absurdity. Until the harmful effects of gluten are taken seriously by the non-celiac population; our doubts, justifiable so – will remain up front and center when in a social setting.

Processed gluten-free foods should be eaten with caution. Always read the nutrition label on the package. They can be manufactured with the same high fat, sodium and sugar as non-gluten free foods.

Prescription meds (taken orally), synthetic vitamins, lipsticks and glue on envelopes are just a few of the non-food products that may contain gluten and possibly trigger a reaction.

Genetics will largely determine whether a person is predisposed to developing gluten intolerance also known as celiac disease. Having knowledge of a family member or close relative with celiac disease is reason enough to get tested.

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