The first thing those who have celiac disease are asked to do is to switch to a gluten-free diet.
This autoimmune disorder affects approximately 1% of the global population and is triggered by consuming gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
While the change required to remove this ingredient from your food can be challenging, it is worthwhile. You’ll protect your small intestine from deteriorating, treat existing gut damage, and reduce the chronic inflammation caused by disease.
However, as a celiac, gluten isn’t the only thing you need to avoid to maintain your health.
If you don’t give up smoking, all your efforts will be in vain. Indeed, smoking diminishes the effects of a gluten-free diet for celiac disease – here’s how it affects you and how you can give up for good.
How smoking diminishes the effects of a gluten-free diet for celiac disease
Celiac disease isn’t an ordinary food intolerance with mild symptoms.
If you’re a celiac who consumes gluten, your immune system creates antibodies to expel the protein. In the process, the antibodies erode and damage the surface area of your small intestine—the part of your digestive system that absorbs the nutrients in your food.
If your celiac disease is continuously triggered, your small intestine will eventually be unable to intake nutrients as it should, leading to malabsorption and, in turn, malnutrition. You’ll also feel abdominal pain, heartburn, and diarrhea.
Avoiding gluten can help prevent these symptoms—but only if you steer clear of smoking as well.
Cigarette usage can cause its own host of issues; for instance, smoking increases the likelihood of developing peptic ulcers, which are painful sores that line your stomach or small intestine.
You’re also more likely to get Crohn’s disease, another chronic inflammatory bowel illness that can cause burning sensations in your GI tract. It does not yet have a cure or a reliable treatment.
This is why it’s vital to quit smoking. Giving up cigarettes allows you to protect your body from further damage and take full advantage of the specificity of a gluten-free diet as an effective remedy.
How to quit smoking
Use alternate nicotine products
Many struggle in their smoking cessation journey because they fear withdrawal symptoms, like headaches and tremors. However, you can avoid this by quitting gradually with alternative nicotine products that contain the stimulant but are smoke-free and toxin-free, including nicotine pouches and inhalers.
Nicotine pouches are packets filled with food-grade fillings, flavorings, and nicotine. You use one by placing it between your gum and upper lip, allowing the nicotine to absorb into your bloodstream.
The VELO nicotine pouches listed here are all made from high-quality materials, including fibers derived from eucalyptus and pine, alongside pH adjusters that aid with nicotine absorption.
The pouches’ perfectly balanced flavors don’t include gluten as an ingredient, making it a great option to try for those with celiac disease.
You can also use nicotine inhalers, a tube-like oral device you puff to intake nicotine in your mouth and throat. They’re also gluten-free and are a good choice if you want to replicate the hand-to-mouth habit of smoking. This article cites Nicotrol brand inhalers as reliable products to try.
Do low-impact exercises
When you first quit smoking, you’ll often crave cigarettes. To circumvent these urges, engage in low-impact exercises that can energize you, boost your mood, and help you recover from smoking faster.
According to this report, this can also mitigate secondary issues that result from celiac disease, like weight fluctuations and bone weakness. You can try yoga, walking, or kayaking.
Keep a health journal
You can use a journal to track both your smoking recovery and celiac disease. This allows you to record any noteworthy strategy that aids you with either condition, document any detrimental symptoms you want to discuss with your doctor and notice and celebrate your progress in maintaining your health.
A gluten-free diet is the best way to stay healthy despite celiac disease. To take full advantage of it, use the above strategies to quit smoking.