Celiac disease often brings other complications with it. Anemia, osteoporosis, and malnutrition are some of the more obvious things that accompany celiac disease.
But did you know that celiac disease can also cause lactose intolerance ?
If you have celiac disease and are wondering why you can no longer eat dairy products, wonder no further.
In people with celiac disease the protein in gluten causes an auto-immune reaction in the body that ultimately flattens the villi in the small intestine. Unfortunately, lactase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down the lactose in dairy products, is produced in an area called the brush border at the ends of the villi of the small intestine. So there is a direct connection between celiac disease and the decrease in production of lactase which is responsible for lactose intolerance.
The good news is that with a gluten-free diet the villi can rejuvenate themselves and people can recover from their lactose intolerance. It often takes between six months and two years for that recovery process to be complete. So fear not celiac sufferers and mothers of celiac sufferers! You and your child will be eating gluten-free pizza soon enough!
Here is another interesting tidbit. Celiac disease also causes depression.
An article by Dr. Vikki Petersen (a chiropractor and medical nutritionist) explains the connection. Dr. Petersen says that a celiac’s immune system responds to the protein gliadin that is found in gluten. But gliadin has a similar structure to other proteins in the body including those in the brain and nerve cells that the body sometime mistakes for gliadin. Consequently, when the immune system starts to attack itself in response to these proteins it can cause inflamation in the brain and nervous system which causes depression, among other things.
Also good news
This is actually good news for depression sufferers. Usually depression is attributed to chemical imbalances, and is treated with anti-depressants. But now instead of popping a pill with all kinds of side effects, a depression sufferer can try a gluten-free diet!
It just might work.