Celiac Disease: Gluten-Free Diet
Betty Kovacs, MS, RD
Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.
- How does digestion work?
- What is celiac disease?
- What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
- What are the dietary restrictions for celiac disease?
- Foods containing gluten
- Are there any dietary deficiencies associated with celiac disease?
- What foods are safe to consume with celiac disease?
- Gluten-free foods
- What are resources for a gluten-free diet?
- Celiac Disease (Celiac Sprue) FAQs
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
How does digestion work?
When it comes to digesting food, the human body is like a well oiled machine. Through a complex process food is broken up, the necessary nutrients are absorbed, and the waste products are excreted. A disruption in any part of this process can lead to deficiencies, diseases, or even death.
From the moment that food enters the mouth digestion begins. Food is broken up in the mouth, and moistened with saliva that also contains digestive enzymes. The food will go through the esophagus to the stomach where it is stored and mixed. It then passes into the small intestine where majority of the nutrient absorption takes place. The small intestine is a long, narrow tube that extends from the stomach to the large intestines. The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas all aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. After the nutrients have been absorbed, the remaining un-absorbed food passes through to the large intestine, also known as the colon. The primary function of the large intestine is to store waste products.
Disorders and diseases can occur throughout the digestive tract. Some of the common digestive diseases are:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Gastritis and ulcers
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease - this includes ulcerative colitis and
- Celiac disease
Next: What is celiac disease?
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