The Celiac disease is a permanent intolerance to gluten, a protein found in oats, wheat, spelled, Khorasan wheat (usually marketed as Kamut ®), barley, rye, spelled and triticale.
The incidence of this intolerance in Italy is estimated for a subject in every 100 people. The celiac patients would then be 600.000 potentially, but barely over 100.000 have been diagnosed up to date. Every year new 10.000 are diagnosed, with an annual increase of about 10%.
To treat the celiac disease, at present, some of the most common foods such as bread, pasta, biscuits and pizza should be excluded from the diet, but also the smallest traces of gluten should be eliminated from the plate. This implies a strong commitment to nutrition education. In fact, the consumption of gluten, even in small amounts, can cause several more or less serious consequences.
The gluten-free diet, rigorously conducted, is currently the only therapy that guarantees a perfect state of health to the celiac patient.
WATH IS THE GLUTEN?
The Gluten is a protein complex present in many cereals. The prolamin is one of the protein fractions that form the gluten being responsible for the toxic effect for celiac patient. The prolamin wheat is called gliadin, while similar proteins, with the same effect in the celiac patient, are also found in barley, rye, barley, spelled, kamut, triticale and oats.
The consuming of these grains causes an adverse reaction in celiac patient due to the introduction of prolamins from the food into the body.
In fact, the intolerance to gluten generates serious damage to the intestinal mucosa, such as intestinal villous atrophy.
The treatment of celiac disease is defined with a gluten-free diet, based on the diet without the grains that contain gluten.
[Source: AIC – Associazione Italiana Celiachia – For more information: www.celiachia.it]