Tip-A-Day for May: Celiac Awareness Month - #9

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Category: Wellness Walk Talk

Tip-yellow postit # 9: Healing Takes Time

When a person is first diagnosed with Celiac disease, some damage has been done to the gut that effects how well nutrients are absorbed from foods. How much varies from person to person, depending on how long Celiac has been active and not diagnosed or treated. Generally, the gut tends to begin healing in the first couple of weeks after starting a gluten-free diet.

That certainly was true for us! Andy went from having what we called, “life-limiting diarrhea” to being just fine in a matter of days. What’s hard to remember is that just because there’s no diarrhea, bloating, gas, or other symptoms of Celiac, doesn’t mean the healing is complete. It’s only just begun!

It’s usually hard to know exactly how long a person has had undiagnosed Celiac disease. Children are usually diagnosed more quickly than adults. The average time from experiencing symptoms to diagnosis for adults is seven years!

Think about it. During that time, the person with undiagnosed Celiac disease is not absorbing all the good nutrients from the foods they eat – regardless of symptoms. In other words, having diarrhea or loose stools does not necessarily mean that person is at a higher risk for not getting nutrition from food than those who have dermatitis or bloating.

Implementing a gluten-free diet is the first step to healing the gut so that nutrients can be fully absorbed. It can take weeks or months for this healing to be complete.  Remember, for someone with Celiac disease, gluten-free is not an option. It is the treatment and the only road to quality lives with quality health. 

Rather than try to include the common nutrient deficiencies in one post, I will touch on which nutrients to focus on throughout this Tip-a-Day series. If you’d like to receive them daily in your email, you can sign up here (keep in mind, they begin with Tip #1!)