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Intestinal Distress and Celiac Sprue
Dermatitis Herpetiformis Information

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What can help with celiac sprue?


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Symptoms of Celiac Sprue

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Question on health care and healing: Do you have any information or health care advice for people suffering from celiac sprue and the rash that I get from it (DH)?

Healing Facilitation Response: I have not personally counseled anyone with celiac sprue but based on the symptoms, I would suspect that enzyme deficiency might be a factor. Supplemental enzymes might be something to consider. The medical consensus seems to be that those with celiac sprue should follow a gluten-free diet. I found an excellent site with gluten-free recipes and a wealth of information on celiac sprue, as well as the related condition, dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a skin rash associated with celiac disease. You can find recipes, guidelines for treatment, a list of symptoms for both celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, at the Celiac Association

What is dermatitis herpetiformis (DH)? DH is a skin rash that can develop, as a complication in cases of celiac disease. The rash produced when a person has DH is intensely itchy and typically shows up more in young adults.

What are the symptoms of DH? The symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis can vary in severity and can sometimes be exceedingly severe. Symptoms include often intense stinging, burning or itching around the effected areas. Most commonly effected areas for this rash are the back, hips, scalp, and around the knees or elbows. However, the rash can also appear elsewhere so if you develop an unexplained rash, it could be asscociated with food allergies.

Wheat allergies are a big culprit in cases of dermatitis herpetiformis, as are allergies to nuts. See an allergy specialist to rule this out as a cause of unexplained rash. According to the celiac spru association "As with celiac disease, the best and only known, side-affect free, treatment for dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a life-long adherence to the gluten-free diet."

What is a gluten-free diet?

Suggested Resource:
Gluten-Free Diet Support

If your doctor or alternative health care professional suggests a zero tolerance level gluten-free diet, it means consuming no products containing gluten whatsoever. Working with your doctor over time, you may be able to add back in other products not on your beginning dietary list but at first, you may have to forego foods containing gluten altogether.

Look for breads made with easy to digest flours like rice or arrowroot, rather than those made with grains like wheat, rye, barley, etc. You can find these other types of flours at your local health food store, or ask your alternative health care professional for recommendations. Part of the success of cutting out gluten in your diet depends on your learning to read labels religiously. Fresh or frozen fruits are good choices over processed fruit products that may contain preservatives or other ingredients not indicated on a gluten-free diet. Your doctor will go over all the elements of the gluten-free diet with you once a diagnosis of celiac sprue, or celiac disease, has been made. There is a great deal of information provided at the Celiac Sprue Association so, after reading all the info I've provided for you here, be sure to visit their website for more information.

Wheat allergies and enzymes: I know at least one person who managed their wheat allergies with digestive enzyme supplementation but haven't personally had anyone with your condition taking them. And, it depends on how much wheat means to you. The person I know who used enzymes to combat her own wheat allergies was a nurse and they worked well for her but that's only one instance. Certainly, with severe allergies, one would want to test the waters gently if trying wheat after taking enzymes and, check with your doctor first.

Cleansed your colon lately? A good colon cleanse could rule out parasites or colon toxicity as a factor in the problem you are having. You won't find that in the medical books and your doctor probably won't suggest it but, as a wellness counselor for many years, I've noticed that digestive and eliminatory challenges are typically made worse by a toxic colon so it just makes sense to cleanse, assuming there are not other factors which would make your doctor concerned about you cleansing. Always ask your doctor before undergoing a colon cleanse, if you have any type of eliminatory or digestive health concerns. Colon Cleansing Supplements

Spiritual meaning of celiac sprue: Spiritually speaking, problems with digestion and elimination point to stress and issues around eliminating what is no longer good for you. What's just hard for you to digest in your life right now and what are you still holding on to that might need to be eliminated from your life or your consciousness? We can hold on to thoughts, the past, emotions, fears, grief, and negative thinking.

Useful tools: Meditation, massage, and in particular, reflexology can help. Foot reflexology is wonderful for colon problems. If you could get a session at least once a week for a few months, that would be optimal support for healing. More on reflexology

Do you feel as if your food is getting stuck in your throat? Could be Barrett's Esophagus

Unexplained gas and bloating may be due to consuming foods or supplements containing Sorbitol or Xylitol

Health Care Disclaimer: The information in this alternative health care article on colon health is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment from your health care professional. If you have been diagnosed with celiac sprue, wheat allergies or other digestive problems, please consult with your chosen healthcare professional before adding new products to your wellness regime.