Gluten-free lifestyle part 3:What are long term affects when Gluten sensitivity is not recognized?

green smoothieYou have probably read part 1 and part 2 of our gluten free posts.

In this post we talk about long term effects when a gluten intolerance, Celiac disease or gluten allergy are not recognized. As we have learned, a gluten free diet might be a life long commitment. In case that a gluten sensitivity remains untreated, serious complications may occur:

  • Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis (also: bone loss) is the most common effect of untreated gluten allergy and gluten intolerance. The disease, which is commonly known as “old age disease” is characterized by the rapid loss of bone substance and structure.
Only recently scientists have pointed to the connection between Celiac disease and Osteoporosis: not just people who suffer from a gluten allergy or gluten intolerance are in high risk of osteoporosis and higher risk of cancer. Also, in the majority of patients with Osteoporosis arises in the course of time an intolerance to gluten.

Since people who suffer a low or medium sensitivity to gluten live with their symptoms untreated, the risk to suffer of osteoporosis is not addressed at all and treated too late. Patient who suffer of Osteoporosis and are tested on gluten intolerance and keep a strict diet can positively influence the treatment of Osteoporosis. Various scientific studies have shown that switching to gluten-free diet is not only diminishing the symptoms of the gluten intolerance, but they witness also a clearly noticeable increase in bone density.

  • Colon Cancer

Cancer and tumors in the colon are probably the most serious diseases which might develop after long time of untreated gluten sensitivity and gluten allergy.  Often several parts of the intestinal tract (usually rectum and colon) are affected by malignant tumors.  People who suffer of Celiac disease are 10 times higher in risk to develop colon cancer when unrecognized.
About 112,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer annually, and about 41,000 new cases of rectal cancer are diagnosed each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

The intake of high quality fiber in foods, such as green smoothies, chia seeds, flax seeds or chufa flour may help to protect the delicate inner layers of the digestive tract and colon. Especially greasy foods have a higher negative impact when the person is suffering of gluten sensitivity.

Disclaimer: The statements made on this blog have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this blog is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this blog for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. 


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