Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu Reveals She Has Celiac Disease: What Is It?

If you have skin breakouts, or you feel bloated, gassy, and too full after eating, you need to read this.

2 min read

Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu revealed that she suffers from celiac disease, a disease triggered by eating gluten.

Gluten is a protein that's found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. It acts like a binding agent and is found in several dishes.

Almost 1 in every 100 Indians suffers from celiac disease.

Celiac disease, which is also called gluten sensitive enteropathy or celiac sprue, is more common in India than the numbers suggest, however, because many Indians don't get tested for it.

Left unchecked, it can lead to nutrient and mineral deficiencies, damage to the teeth's enamel,

So, what is celiac disease? And should you get tested for celiac disease?


What Are The Symptoms of Celiac Disease?

Before we can discuss what causes celiac disease and how it's treated, we need to identify some common symptoms of celiac disease. This makes it easier to identify whether you may be suffering from it, or to get tested for gluten intolerance and celiac disease.

Some of the more common symptoms of celiac disease are:

  • Bloating

  • Nausea

  • Fatigue

  • Brain fog

  • Weight gain or loss

  • Skin breakouts

  • Pain in your abdomen

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vomiting

As you can see, none of these symptoms are desirable. The problem is, many Indian dishes like naan and roti contain grains and gluten; And they're more than likely triggering your gluten intolerance and causing some of these problems, without you even knowing it.

What Causes Celiac Disease?

While the exact cause for celiac disease isn't known, one of the most common triggers is a genetic predisposition to the disease, i.e., if your parents have it, you're likely to have it.

Further, eating a diet that's high in gluten-rich foods can also lead to inflammation and potentially lead to developing a gluten intolerance and celiac disease.

Gluten tends to irritate the lining of your small intestine. The small intestine is lined with small, hair-like projections called villi. Damage to the villi affects your body's ability to absorb nutrients.

In time, repeated damage to your villi and malabsorption of nutrients leads to nutrient deficiencies, which can cause short-term discomfort and in time, more serious complications.

Some of the long-term effects of celiac disease, if left unchecked, include:

  • Osteoporosis

  • Arthiritis

  • Dermatitis

  • Damage to the spleen

  • Mineral deficiencies

  • Cancer


How Can You Treat Celiac Disease?

Well, unfortunately, the best and really only treatment for celiac disease is abstinence. Abstinence from foods that contain gluten will make the most significant difference to your health, but that's easier said than done.

Most Indian cuisines contain gluten in some form or the other. You would have to consult a doctor, get tested for gluten intolerance or allergies, and chalk out a detailed diet plan for what foods you can eat, and what foods you must avoid.

Avoiding gluten will let your gut lining heal from any damage that's already been done to it.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of some of the grains you have to avoid:

  • Wheat

  • Barley

  • Rye

  • Durum

  • Wheat germ

  • Couscous

  • Bulgur

  • Semolina


Apart from these grains, here's a non-exhaustive list of general foods that usually contain gluten:

  • Bread

  • Pasta

  • Cakes

  • Pastries

  • Beer

  • Noodles

  • Biscuits

  • Crackers

  • Processed meat

  • Commercial salad dressings

  • Some cereals and granola

So what foods CAN you eat? Well, here are a few that are safe on a gluten-free, celiac-friendly diet:

  • Rice

  • Vegetables

  • Fruits

  • Meat

  • Fish

  • Potatoes

  • Dairy products

If you suspect you may have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, consult a doctor, because that's the only way to know for certain.

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