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Celiac and Colitis: The Link

By Expert HERWriter
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Colitis related image Photo: Getty Images

Have you been diagnosed with colitis and feel like there is more to the picture? Microscopic colitis is a condition that affects the colon, resulting in chronic diarrhea. In the June, 2011 journal, Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics researchers found a strong correlation between celiac disease and colitis.

What does that mean for you?

It means if you have chronic diarrhea or have been diagnosed with colitis, really consider eliminating gluten products from your diet for the time being and see how you feel. Celiac is an autoimmune condition that affects the mucosa of your intestines creating a lot of damage. Unfortunately, the blood testing for it isn’t 100 percent accurate and may result in false negatives. The intestinal biopsy, currently considered the gold standard, is also not 100 percent accurate and is rather invasive. If you’re up for it, consider going gluten free for a good 30 days (no cheating!) and see how you feel.

Gluten is the protein in typical wheat-based foods such as wheat or white flour, cookies, bread, cake, noodles, bagels, and doughnuts. Of course, there are gluten-free options for those foods. You won’t starve and you may find out a lot of your symptoms disappear. I understand you might be addicted to bread and carbohydrates; however, your health is more important.

Try gluten-free bread for toast in the morning or a gluten-free energy bar. Have a salad for lunch without croutons and with a gluten-free salad dressing like balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Snack on almonds, dried cranberries, or plain yogurt with blueberries. For dinner choose a meat (steak, fish, chicken, pork) add a vegetable or two and round it out with some brown rice (as rice is gluten free). Looking for something higher protein then make quinoa (cooks like rice!) or a sweet potato full of vitamins. Starving yet? I doubt it.

There are a lot of websites out there to help guide you through a gluten-free life. If you can reverse the inflammation and damage in your intestines and colon through diet, why not make the change? Your health is worth it.

1) The Association Of Coeliac Disease And Microscopic Colitis
2) Celiac Disease Foundation
3) National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

Reviewed July 1, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Alison Stanton

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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