Novak Djokovic, who came forth with a bang, has been following a special diet. The tennis sensation that everyone has been talking about, has made an about turn in terms of performance and strength. The superstar who was diagnosed with celiac disease switched over to a gluten free diet the effects of which are now gradually unraveling. With his new found winning streak, Djokovic has managed not only to reclaim his game but also his health.
Celiac disease is a condition in which individuals are severely intolerant to the wheat protein gluten. Gluten can also be found in other grains like barley and rye. Any ingestion of gluten triggers an autoimmune response in the body where the body turns on itself in an attempt to protect it from the mistakenly invasive gluten. This results in serious damage incurred to the intestinal lining of the gut. Since the small intestine is responsible for the proper absorption of various nutrients, a damaged lining causes inadequate or malabsorption of foods. When nutrients are not properly absorbed by the body, different health problems and deficiencies occur.
Celiac disease symptoms
The resulting nutritional deficiencies can cause a series of symptoms like fatigue, anemia, and gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, flatulence and abdominal cramps. Individuals who suffer from celiac disease may often find themselves suffering from unexplained weight loss, a tendency to bruise easily as well as osteoporosis. In many cases, the symptoms are rather generic and so become difficult to diagnose; in others individuals suffering from celiac disease may not experience or exhibit any symptoms at all.
Because of increased awareness it is now becoming easier to diagnose the condition. There are blood tests and intestinal biopsies carried out to determine the possibility of being a celiac patient. Once the tests come out positive, a course of action can be executed to treat the condition.
Gluten free diet
There is neither medication nor any procedure which can treat celiac disease. In fact, the only way to overcome the painful symptoms and prevent the condition from recurring is to follow a lifelong gluten free diet. By completely eliminating gluten and gluten based products celiac patients can recover fully. The recovery process, however, is going to be different for every individual patient. Based on the extent of the damage as well as the recovery speed, it can take anywhere between a couple of months to a few years to completely correct the intestinal damage.
Most patients, however, do start to feel their symptoms subside in as early as two weeks after going gluten free. Since the trigger is removed from the diet, the healing can start smoothly. Once all internal damage has been rectified, every symptom and associated discomfort also vanishes.
In order to steer clear of celiac symptoms patients need to adhere to their gluten free eating regimen religiously. Any reintroduction of gluten accidentally or deliberately can restart the damage once again.
A gluten free diet can seem rather restrictive initially, especially if patients are used to having, breads, cereals, pastas and other grain based products on a regular basis. All these foods need to be replaced with gluten free options and even non grain foods need to be examined carefully for the threat of cross contamination. Going gluten free also involves taking extra precaution in the kitchen to make sure that equipment used for preparing regular meals is not simultaneously used for preparing gluten free meals. This can also lead to gluten cross contamination easily.
All this seems like a lot of extra work but the good news is that there are a lot of gluten free products now available commercially as well. Due to the growing number of celiac cases diagnosed, the food manufacturing industry is now a lot more sensitive to this dietary requirement. Many brands carry specialized gluten free products and health stores and supermarkets may even have a separate gluten free aisle.
As is the case with Novak Djokovic, a gluten free eating plan has put the tennis star on the path to super stardom. Getting rid of all things gluten has done wonders for this man and makes for an awesome tale for inspiration. If simply cutting out gluten can supercharge someone into such power mode, then why not give it a try and see how you fare… you never know where it will take you!