Villi: The Victim

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease characterized by an allergic reaction to a particular protein, gluten. For those who suffer from this condition, the consumption of gluten eventually causes damage to the small intestine, the main organ responsible for the absorption of nutrients. This often results in nutritional deficiencies, in addition to many inconveniences and complications. Small intestine is somewhere around 20-23 feet in length. The entire small intestinal tube is covered in villi. Intestinal villi are tiny, finger-like projections made up of cells. Villi are really tiny—each one is no more than about 1.6 millimeters long and may be as short as 0.5 millimeters long. The movement of the intestines turns the broken food into chyme and then the villi really get to work!  The villi’s job is to help your already broken down food absorb into your blood stream; to provide you with energy and the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to properly operate and stay healthy. The villi aid in absorption by increasing the surface area of the intestine and contain specialized cells which transport different types of nutrients into the blood. The main job of your villi, is to produce enzymes that make your food absorbable and guide it to your blood stream where it can really do your body good.

In celiac disease, consumption of the protein gluten triggers your immune system to attack your intestinal villi and wear them down (a process called villous atrophy). Many people with celiac disease have vitamin and mineral deficiencies when they’re first diagnosed because their intestinal villi are damaged. D had severe villious atrophy and the calcium and vitamin D was very low.   If you don’t have functioning intestinal villi, you can become malnourished or even starve, regardless of how much food you eat, because your body simply isn’t able to absorb and make use of that food. Damaged villi results in poor absorption, not being able to properly break down chyme to usable vitamins and nutrients, inflammation, and malnutrition. Besides all of this, you are more likely to have a wide range of symptoms as well as a host of other health issues caused by malnutrition.

 Good news is that the villi are not permanently damaged in celiac disease. In fact, the cells in the intestinal wall regenerate every 72 hours as long as they are not being exposed to gluten. The amount of time it takes for the villi to heal, however, depends on the person, how long they have had celiac disease, and the amount of damage to the villi. For most people, the intestine is expected to recover over a period of weeks to months on a strict gluten-free diet. For others, it may take years for the villi to fully recover.  The only known treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet and carefully following the gluten-free diet is the best and only way to take care of our bodies and our long-term health.

Save your villi, go gluten free!

This is my alphabet V for “Villi: The Victim”, in #BlogchatterA2Z #AprilA2Z in Parenting Tales with A Celiac Child. Do share your experiences as it’s always incredibly beneficial to connect with others who share similar experiences.

Understanding Wheat Allergy and Celiac Disease

  Gluten is a family of storage proteins, formally known as prolamins that are naturally found in certain cereal grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. Glutenins and gliadins are the prolamins in wheat, secalins are in rye, and hordeins are in barley. Gluten offers a variety of functional culinary benefits and is responsible for the soft, chewy texture that is characteristic of many gluten-containing, grain-based foods. Gluten is a protein found mainly in wheat, barley, oats and rye. When heated, gluten proteins form an elastic network that can stretch and trap gas, allowing for optimal leavening or rising and maintenance of moisture in breads, pasta, and other similar products. Because of these unique physical properties, gluten is also frequently used as an additive to improve texture and promote moisture retention in a variety of processed foods. Gluten doesn’t get along with every digestive system. Some people have wheat intolerance syndrome. That’s one of three conditions that gluten can trigger:

Celiac disease: A disorder in which gluten causes your immune system to attack your small intestine; over time, the attacks can damage the lining of your intestine.

Wheat allergy: Your immune system fights gluten (gliadin and glutenins in wheat) like a virus or bacteria; if you eat it, you may have trouble breathing, a skin reaction, or problems digesting.

If you’re sensitive to gluten(Wheat Allergy) you may experience symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) such as brain fog, gas, diarrhea, and constipation as well as and skin conditions such as rashes when eating gluten-containing foods. Since food sensitivities often produce delayed reactions rather than sudden immune responses, signs of gluten sensitivity can take as long as 36 hours to show up. Unlike a food sensitivity, those with celiac disease will have a full-blown immune reaction when they come in contact with gluten. This can result in sudden cramping and diarrhea, several days of severe digestive symptoms, vomiting, fatigue, irritability and over time, extreme weight loss

Anyone with a wheat allergy should avoid products that contain wheat (gliadin and glutenins). For those who have a celiac, eating products that have even the smallest traces of gluten (whole gluten family)  can trigger an IgE allergic reaction within minutes, which is accompanied by sneezing, itching, swelling, and in severe cases, anaphylaxis . Digestive symptoms can also occur and may last for days.

Celiac disease is caused by an abnormal immune reaction to gluten in the small intestine. Blood tests are frequently used to identify patients with high likelihood of having celiac disease. To confirm a diagnosis of celiac disease, a biopsy of the small intestine is obtained by a GI specialist. If a patient with celiac disease eliminates gluten from the diet, the small intestine will start to heal and overall health improves. Medication is not normally required. A celiac disease is lifelong. There is no vaccine or medication available till now.

In contrast, a wheat allergy is an overreaction of the immune system specifically to wheat protein. When a person with wheat allergy ingests wheat protein, it can trigger an allergic reaction that may result in a range of symptoms such as skin rash, itching, swelling, trouble breathing, wheezing, and loss of consciousness. Patients with wheat allergy must strictly avoid wheat, and must have quick access to epinephrine in event of an allergic emergency. Wheat allergy is most common in children. Many children outgrow wheat allergy in early childhood. Many patients with wheat allergy can consume other grains.

The bottom line is gluten is a protein found in many grains and processed foods, which can cause serious immune responses and allergic reactions in some people, and continues to be a growing food sensitivity. A wheat-free diet removes wheat, which is a common food allergy, but still includes other grains and foods that contain gluten. While people with celiac disease cannot eat any food containing gluten, which is also found in other grains such as barley, rye, and sometimes oats.

This is my alphabet U for “Understanding Wheat Allergy and Celiac Disease”, in #BlogchatterA2Z #AprilA2Z in Parenting Tales with A Celiac Child. Do share your experiences as it’s always incredibly beneficial to connect with others who share similar experiences.

Papa’s Parenting

Dr. Jyoti Arora

It’s not just me who takes care of D’s food requirements, his Papa gives his best too. I am a vegetarian but D’s Papa K, dies for non-vegetarian food. I don’t make non veg at home. Earlier for K, Non-Veg was ordered from outside. But now as D also wants to have non veg, we have to make it home.

So now it’s his Papa’s turn to go to the Kitchen. He gets the chicken, marinates it, and prepares the dish the next day. And I don’t go to the kitchen that time. It’s all on him. The butter chicken prepared is taste full as D savors it a lot. And he enjoys it for at least 2 days with his favorite Naans(Indian bread). Not just him, but my daughter and my niece also relishes that. Every time she come comes, she asks, “K papa apne chicken banaya hai…

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Accepting August 2015

August, the month of start of festivities. Life was flourishing as right as rain. Raksha Bandhan was on its way and we had plans for Nanihouse for all the Masti and fun. Both my kids(Y my elder daughter and D my son) were luxuriating in their school and eagerly looking forward for the festival and the gifts along with best of Mithai’s and yum food. I was promoted to Professor from Assistant Professor in my College. Family life was well settled when suddenly one day I got a call from my son’s school. The teacher said that your son D is suffering with fever, please take him back from school.  I pushed off from the college to my earliest and reached the school.  We went straight to our pediatrician, she gave us the medicines and we were back to our home sweet home.

It was almost 3 days and there was no improvement in my son’s condition. So we again went to the Doc and she changed the medicines.  But even after that there was no betterment, his fever was not going down and he was not eating anything. Both me and my husband took a week off from our work, as the Pediatrician said this may be typhoid and we need to perform Ultrasound for this condition. And every second day my child had to go for an ultra sound. Even after 15 days of fever and 7 ultrasound and unlimited medicines there was no result. My son was getting weak and we all felt so hopeless and defeated. He got extremely ill in the span of almost one month, he had a swollen belly and his face was getting thin but the doctors had no clue.  Then we took him to another doctor and he got the blood test done. In that report also everything was in range with hemoglobin a little low. The doctor said the medicines are good but don’t know why the child is not reacting. D was put through test after test and ultimately, misdiagnosed at every turn. We desperately tried to figure out what was making him feel so sick. The fear of the unknown and frustration that came along with each misdiagnosis began to take its toll as his health continued to decline. This is when the seemingly infinite number of doctors’ visits began. It was a dark time for everyone in the family. We practically lived in doctors’ offices – something that no child and parents should ever have to experience. Finally, after visiting  many specialists and exhausting every resource that we had, a doctor described the symptoms of something called celiac disease and recommended to get Ttg tested.

Ttg (tissue trans glutamiase) test is a simple blood test done to diagnose Celiac Disease. We had never even heard of Celiac Disease. By that night we had goggled every document known to man on Celiac Disease – an autoimmune disorder in which the ingestion of gluten by way of wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats. Condition in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestines. It impacts the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. 

It took more than a day to get the result of blood test.. The result was positive and everyone in the family was shaken. But the worst was still to come. The test said that the Ttg is very high and an endoscopy with small bowel biopsy needs to be done as soon as possible to confirm the test result. Standard endoscopy reaches the duodenum where Celiac is most commonly found.  Although it was an exhausting and tiresome process, we were fortunate to get a concrete answer as to why he had felt so sick for so many days.

The food restriction took everything away from that moment of time and August was all gone in diagnosis. The Raksha Bandhan was celebrated but at our home with only homemade delicacies in a gluten free Kitchen. Gifts were exchanged but the enthusiasm was much low. It was really hard for us to accept and make him understand that why he is being restricted. Because he was so young to know about his own disease. But life goes on and so did we. and we finally accepted the fact of our son being a Celiac. A challenging life was about to start for my 4 year old D.

Before I end, I want to acknowledge that things could be so much worse.  He has a disease that is managed through diet. He does not have any life threatening disease and I am so grateful for that.

That was my A for Accepting August: Parenting tale with my celiac child for the blogchatterA2Z challenge. And would continue my parenting stories to help everyone in need for growing up with the Celiac disease. I would like to know about your or your loved ones Gluten Free version, as its always incredibly beneficial to connect with others who share similar experiences. 

Theme Reveal BlogchatterA2Z Challenge

Theme Reveal April 2020

 Hey all!

I am so excited to do this, A2Z challenge. I have just heard this A2Z challenge and was so eager to know all about it and take part in it. And finally have the chance to get myself registered well in time and start this blogging Journey.

My theme for April 2020 BlogchatterA2Z will be

“Parenting Tales with my Celiac Child”

26 days of writing of my ups and downs with my special child to help others deal with the celiac indiviual easily and appropriately. I’ve always felt that it’s incredibly beneficial to connect with others and share experiences. From day one of the test to how to make a child to beat the challenges of his life with his disease, i’ll try to explain every detail of the needs and precautions to take in everyday gluten free living. So this April, I’d like to share my parenting tale with you, with the hope that this can help to prevent the needless suffering caused by celiac disease. As many patients feel alone in their daily struggle to cope with the disease and it influences on nearly every aspect of their lives.  These blog posts will help people to be happy and enjoy with friends and family despite their special needs of food. Taking travel and adventure easy with few tips and tricks from our celiac’s travel stories.

The face of life that I have gone through and the things I have learned for the betterment of my child. I would love to share that with all the parents so that we can make the world better for every celiac.

Hope this April blogchatterA2Z helps people with celiac disease and their loved ones to try the new recipes, make healthy food choices and enjoy the benefits of their healthy food habits.

See you all soon !!

Till then Happy Gluten Free Eating !!

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.