News

October 10, 2008

MAURY REGIONAL OFFERS SUPPORT TO THOSE WITH CELIAC DISEASE

COLUMBIA, Tenn.—The Maury Regional Medical Center Celiac Support Group will meet on Tuesday, October 14, at 5:30 p.m. During this seminar, Cindy Dugger, chief dietitian at Maury Regional Medical Center, and Heidi Knudsen, nutrition support dietitian, will lead a discussion about calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium including recommended amounts, food sources and supplements. This free program will be held in the first floor conference room of the hospital. 

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, one of every 133 people in America live with celiac disease, a digestive disease triggered by the protein gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.  When people with celiac disease eat foods with gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine.

    

The specific cause of celiac disease is unknown; however, there is a genetic link, so it tends to affect several members of families. Sometimes the disease is triggered—or becomes active for the first time—after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth or viral infection. Symptoms include:

  • abdominal cramping, intestinal gas, distention and bloating
  • chronic diarrhea or constipation (or both)
  • steatorrhea (fatty stools)
  • unexplained anemia
  • weight loss with large appetite, or weight gain
  • delayed growth
  • failure to thrive in infants 

    

The cornerstone of treatment is a gluten-free diet in which all foods that contain wheat, rye, and barley are avoided. These foods include most grains, pasta, cereal, and many processed foods. When gluten is removed from the diet, the small intestine will start to heal and overall health improves.

To find out more about celiac disease or the Maury Regional Gluten Free Support Group, call 931.381.1111, extension 1275.

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