December 26, 2007


COLUMBIA, Tenn.—The Maury Regional Hospital Celiac Support Group will meet on Tuesday, January 8, at 5:00 p.m. This free program will be held in the first floor conference room of the hospital. 

David Perry, a clinical pharmacist on staff at Maury Regional Hospital, will be the guest speaker and will discuss medications. Many drugs contain fillers that include gluten, even a small amount of which may trigger an adverse reaction for those with celiac disease. While some medications are labeled as gluten-free, the majority of medications do not list the content of inactive ingredients used as fillers on the package. For this reason, it is important to talk to a pharmacist about ways to determine if certain prescription drugs contain gluten.

Following the presentation on medications, the group will discuss soup options for those with Celiac Disease. Maury Regional Hospital dietitians will share recipes and provide taste samples. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own recipes and product suggestions for gluten-free soups and other foods.

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 in 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.


© 2008 Maury Regional Medical Center