Celiac disease is a complex autoimmune enteropathy. This is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestine after ingestion of gluten-containing cereals, including wheat, barley and rye in genetically susceptible individuals. It is characterized by damage to the lining of the small intestine in genetically predisposed individuals caused by gliadin (the protein fraction of wheat gluten) and similar alcohol – soluble proteins (prolamines) in barley and rye.
The consumption of wheat, barley and rye proteins triggers an immune system reaction. The only successful long-term celiac disease treatment is the removal of toxic foods from your diet. This includes all food made from wheat, barley, rye or oats. Usually the baked products are the cause of the disease, but such proteins can be also found in sauces, creams, prepared meats and beverages, as well as in cosmetics. It has been proven that the spare protein in barley and rye are toxic for celiac disease patients. These proteins include gliadins and glutenins in wheat, sekalini in rye and hordein in barley (De Meo et all, 2011)
The estimated prevalence of celiac disease is approximately 1%. The disease may be diagnosed by a number of clinical manifestations, including the syndrome of poor absorption of food and range of symptoms affecting multiple target organs. It is proven that a strict gluten-free diet decreases the chance of manifestation of related conditions such as gastrointestinal tract cancer.
Strict gluten-free diet is the only effective way of treatment, which ensures that patients with celiac disease have an excellent digestion, disappeared clinical symptoms, normalized results of blood tests and restored normal structure of the intestinal lining. During the treatment of celiac disease all foods containing wheat and its derivatives, including lesser-known varieties, should be excluded from the diet. This also applies to beer because it is made from malted barley. The “golden standard” for treating celiac disease is adherence to a strict gluten-free diet throughout the whole life which means avoiding proteins from wheat, rye, barley, and related cereals.