Updated: Feb 11, 2019
(Although, if your like me, you may feel it in your head as well... with a migraine)
Now I am a total geek for a good diagram and I have found one that I LOVE!!! Lets dissect through it and get a visual for what is happening inside your body with celiac disease. Looking deep inside the small intestines, in particular, the villi which their functioning role is to absorb nutrients and carry it to the rest of the body. When these villi's are damaged then they can not do their job.
You can see the on the bottom right hand side of the diagram that this is the process of a normal villi and just right above that you can see the damaged villi that is caused by consuming gluten... yes even a crumb!
Look closely at the villi… it is so damaged… this is what we talk about when we say that your body is literally attacking itself. The villi are on a ‘self destruct mode’ when gluten is present. So as you can see here, the nutrients are not being absorbed into the bloodstream.
Now we must eat food for survival right… and if the food that we are consuming is the very thing that is attacking us… then we have a major problem. Most celiacs will experience extreme GI issues such as chronic diarrhea or even chronic constipation. Why? Because the body is not functioning properly and breaking down the food as it should be. It's more like a dumping effect, the food goes straight through us causing damage all the way down.
This is exactly what my 3 year old was facing with extreme side effects… she was malnourished, below the 0 percentile and labeled as ‘Failure to Thrive’ in her medical charts because of her lack of nutrition in her body (which believe me, I was making sure she was consuming good wholesome foods she just wasn't benefitting from it) she also experienced skin discoloration and she even lost a good portion of the hair on her head. Why? Because she has celiac disease and … gluten is self destructing her body, just as it is for all celiacs! (Click here to see her pictures and see how she is doing now.)
So next time you are tempted to have just a bite... remind yourself IT IS NOT WORTH IT!!!
For more information that dives deeper into what celiac disease is, what a celiac life looks like and how to help with the tough emotions like isolation, stress, fear and anxiety... check out the Celiac Coach eCourse HERE