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Ask Dr. Gott 9/24
Symptoms of celiac not common to all sufferers
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: My granddaughter has been diagnosed with celiac disease. When I spoke with my doctor about it, he gave me information on gastroesophageal reflux disease. Can you educate me regarding celiac and gluten intolerance?
    DEAR READER: Celiac disease is a condition of the digestive tract that is triggered by eating gluten, a protein found in breads, pasta, pastries and numerous other foods that contain wheat, rye or barley. When a person with celiac disease eats foods that contain gluten, an immune reaction occurs in the small intestine that results in an inability to absorb specific nutrients contained in foods. While a problem for individuals of any age, it is particularly difficult for nutritional development in children.
    Most people with celiac disease complain of diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain, while others may not experience any gastrointestinal symptoms at all. Less obvious characteristics of the condition include tingling of the legs and feet, skin rash and stomach upset. This might be why your physician gave you information on GERD, since anemia, Crohn's disease, gastric ulcers and several other conditions mimic symptoms similar to celiac.
    The specific cause for celiac disease is not known; however, it is often inherited. Although it can occur at any age, problems will not appear until gluten is introduced into the diet. Trauma, stress, infection and injury have been linked to celiac disease. On the positive side, specific blood testing can be performed for diagnosis of the condition.
    A rash commonly appearing on the elbows, knees and buttocks can also stem from intolerance to gluten. Known as dermatitis herpetiformis, this rash itches and blisters. It may not produce noticeable digestive symptoms. Treatment is a gluten-free diet.
    Modify your granddaughter's diet to eliminate all products that contain wheat, rye and barley. With this modification, she should be symptom-free.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have been having a problem with flatulence. I know fried foods and fish cause the problem, but sometimes it's hard to pinpoint what really gives me so much gas. I want to avoid Bean-O or other medications to prevent the problem. Please advise me what I can do.
    DEAR READER: Millions of bacteria grow within the colon, and certain foods cause those bacteria to thrive. In fact, as much as 90 percent of intestinal gas is formed by bacteria that feed on certain sugars and carbohydrates.
    You have made the connection between diet and gas. In addition to fried foods, wheat products, Brussels sprouts, legumes, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, dairy products, potatoes, carbonated beverages and carrots all play a role. It would be impossible to eliminate everything from your diet, and each person is different when it comes to gas production. If you consume lots of carbonated beverages, milk products or potatoes, for example, cut back. Moderation might be all that is necessary. It can be an interesting trial-and-error period for you to determining the true culprit(s) for your flatulence.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Digestive Gas."

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