What is Celiac Disease in Relation to Nutrition?

Ashley Charlebois, Registered Dietician, discusses celiac disease.

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Ashley Charlebois, Registered Dietician, discusses celiac disease.
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Video transcript

Featuring Ashley Charlebois, RD

Duration: 1 minute, 36 seconds

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine and interferes with nutrient absorption.

So what happens when you eat gluten-containing products is that it actually damages the villi, that are finger-like protrusions along the small intestine wall, and these are normally responsible for nutrient absorption from the intestine into the bloodstream, so you can see how individuals who suffer from celiac disease may have problems with malnutrition if they don’t avoid gluten-containing foods.

There is a wide range of gluten intolerance ranging from a food allergy, where an individual actually has celiac disease and can't eat anything containing gluten because it damages the small intestine and causes GI disturbances, but also there can be a food sensitivity to gluten, in which case you might have symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, and they have changes in bowel movements, or you might even have dermatitis issues such as eczema. 

You may have been diagnosed by a doctor with celiac disease, or a sensitivity to gluten, or you may have discovered this on your own through trial and error with different foods that contain gluten. In either case, there are ways to manage your diet and eliminate or decrease the sources of gluten that are contributing to your symptoms.

If you think you have celiac disease, or have more questions, you should first go visit your doctor to get diagnosed, and then to help manage the disease, go visit your registered dietitian that's close to you.

Presenter: Ms. Ashley Charlebois, Registered Dietitian, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.