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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Is wheat diet the cause of Celiac Disease in India?

Is wheat diet the cause of Celiac Disease in India?

Celiac Disease can be attributed to genetic and environmental factors as well as diet. In the 17th International Celiac Disease Symposium (ICDS 2017), which was held in Delhi, Chris J Mulder, Hepatogastroenterologist and Head of Department, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands, said, “Wheat consumption, particularly in northern India, is huge. Compared to 25 g in Western Europe and about 17 g in countries like Italy, India consumes about 30-40 g of wheat daily. This could be a possible reason for the higher incidence of Celiac Disease in India. About 50 g of wheat can induce villous atrophy. Gluten can gradually erode the villi in the small intestine and prohibit the body from absorbing nutrients from food. There is also a lack of awareness about this disease due to which it remains undiagnosed for the major part.” Here are 4 things to know about Celiac Disease.

Can Celiac Disease be treated?

As it is an autoimmune disease, Celiac Disease can only be managed. Successful management of Celiac Disease requires a team approach, including patients, families, physicians, dietitian and patient support groups. After a diagnosis is made, all the patients should be referred to a dietician for nutritional assessment, to be followed up every 3 months. Some other approaches at the individual level include meal planning and assistance with the social and emotional adaptation to the gluten-free lifestyle. At a larger level, industries can be motivated for large-scale production of gluten-free food products ranging from snacks, flour, sweets, ice creams and ready-to-eat packets. Encouragement should also be provided for making home-made food from naturally occurring gluten-free items. Here are 5 expert-recommended tips celiac disease patients should follow.

Although the absolute number of patients with Celiac Disease at present is not very large, this number is expected to increase over next few years/decades. It is thus appropriate that medical community define the extent of the problem and get prepared to handle impending epidemic of Celiac Disease in India. Also read about 3 signs you must get tested for Celiac disease and go gluten free.

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