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What if your doctor told you that eating a certain food say pizza would be devastating to your health You might not like it but youd learn to live with it But what if it was more than just pizza What if you were told to avoid all bread breadcrumbs and pasta And dozens of breakfast cereals canned soups luncheon meats and salad dressings And a wide variety of ice creams ice cream cones cookies cakes puddings and pies And most chewing gum beer canned tuna and hot dogs Thats what its like for people who have celiac disease Celiac disease also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy celiac sprue nontropical sprue and idiopathic steatorrhea is a disease whose extensive and variable symptoms challenge physicians to make a correct diagnosis in a timely fashion The term celiac sprue has been applied to a clinical syndrome characterized by signs and symptoms of malabsorption such as diarrhea and weight loss caused by eating grains The term gluten-sensitive enteropathy more correctly defines the clinical pathologic disease caused by an immune-mediated sensitivity to gluten a protein found in many cereal grains principally wheat barley rye and to a lesser degree oats Most nutritionists agree that gluten is not present in rice white or sweet potatoes and corn Over 100 years ago a British physician named Samuel Gee described the coeliac affection Dr Gee observed the syndrome in people of all ages but especially in children who had chronic diarrhea weight loss edema and a distended abdomen The led to death unless cured by various diets Many other physicians followed in the footsteps of this pioneer prescribing diets based on rice bananas and lamb which often led to symptomatic improvement of these children with celiac sprue It wasnt until the end of World War II that the connection between the consumption of wheat and rye flour and the incidence of celiac sprue was made Dutch pediatricians noted that during the war
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