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The Truth about Celiac Sprue

If you believe that you may be suffering from celiac sprue (also referred to as celiac or coeliac disease) then read on. In this article we’ll explain what celiac sprue is, what the common symptoms are and the best known way of treating this potentially life threatening disease.

What is Celiac Sprue Disease?
Essentially, celiac sprue is a disease of the small intestines. In people with celiac disease, when a form of protein called gluten enters the small intestines, an immunological reaction occurs. This reaction causes inflammation of the small intestines which in turn destroys the lining. The lining is responsible for the absorption of nutrients. With a damaged or destroyed lining a variety of nutritional malabsorption symptoms can arise. This disease can be very serious. In advanced cases it is possible to die due to lack of nutrition. If you think that you or someone in your family may have celiac sprue disease, please consult your physician as soon as possible. They will be able to perform a few blood tests and possibly a simple intestinal biopsy to accurately diagnose your condition.

Celiac Sprue Symptoms
Since celiac sprue impacts intestinal function, many of the symptoms can be related to digestive or nutritional issues. While not everyone has all of these celiac disease symptoms, and some individuals don’t even manifest any symptoms, these are the most common symptoms.

  • Weight loss or emaciation
  • Abdominal pain, particularly a few hours after consuming gluten
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Nutritional absorption issues like Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Absent mindedness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Failure to thrive or stunted growth in children

Celiac Sprue Diet
The best way to treat celiac sprue disease is to carefully follow a strict gluten free diet. Gluten is a protein found in some cereal grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Most people with celiac sprue disease also avoid oats because most oats are processed along side gluten containing grains and become contaminated. At first, the idea of a diet that does not contain wheat sounds daunting. However, there is an ever expanding variety of gluten free foods on the market in addition to all the naturally occurring gluten free food. The key is to try new things – whether it’s cooking quinoa for the first time or making bread with brown rice flour, being open minded can make all the difference.

Celiac sprue is a serious condition, but fortunately it is treatable. Most doctors recommend that patients immediately begin a gluten free diet. Since there are so many processed foods on the market that contain gluten, it is wise to begin by cooking your own meals and then slowly branch out into eating processed foods as you learn about foods containing gluten. Once you adjust to gluten free cooking you’ll find that living a gluten free life is not so difficult after all – and it’s well worth the health benefits.

What is Sprue?

Sprue is a name given to a disorder where nutrients are unable to be absorbed and results in weight loss, diarrhea and can lead to emaciation and death. In this article we’ll talk about celiac sprue and how it’s different from other forms of sprue, give an overview of symptoms and the diet that is typically recommended for treatment. Sprue is the most serious of all gluten intolerance disorders and should not be taken lightly.

What is Celiac Sprue?
There are two forms of sprue – tropical and celiac. Tropical sprue is an infection that can be either viral or bacterial. While tropical sprue and Celiac sprue can have similar symptoms their causes and treatments differ greatly. In this article we will focus on Celiac sprue which is caused by a body’s reaction to certain proteins called gluten that are found in wheat, rye and barley. Both forms of sprue cause nutrient malabsorption and cause weight loss and can even lead to death.

Celiac Sprue Symptoms
Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the person. However, here is a list of the more common symptoms. Remember that not everyone has all the symptoms and some people do not present any symptoms at all.

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss or emaciation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas and Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • A severe, itchy rash
  • High liver levels in blood tests
  • Stunted growth or developmental delays in children

Celiac Sprue Diet
The only known way to treat celiac sprue is to follow a very careful gluten free diet. You may be wondering, what is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in certain cereal grains like wheat, rye and barley. At first it may seem that there is gluten in everything. And it is true that gluten can be found in a wide variety of products, particularly breads and baked goods. However, when you start to think about all the food available, you will begin to realize how much food does not contain gluten. All fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, oils and dairy do not contain gluten. There is also a huge assortment of gluten free food available as well as gluten free flour if you like to do your own baking.

Celiac sprue materially impacts the ability to absorb nutrients. When a body does not receive the nutrition it needs a host of illnesses and complications can arise. From anemia to diabetes – celiac sprue is thought to contribute to a wide variety of diseases and can itself lead to malnutrition and can even be life threatening. If you’re concerned about celiac sprue, be sure to consult your physician who can provide a diagnosis and create a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.