WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE?
Celiac disease is a common immune disorder in which you can’t eat gluten, a protein found in rye, wheat and barley because it damages the small intestine. Gluten is sometimes present in supplements, vitamins, lip balm, toothpastes, and skin or hair care products. While there’s no cure for celiac disease, making dietary changes can relieve symptoms and allow your intestines to heal.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CELIAC DISEASE?
Celiac disease and intestinal damage associated with it can contribute to the following signs or symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
An untreated case of celiac disease puts you at risk of malnutrition, anemia, weak bones, infertility, nervous system problems, joint pain and cancer. In children, celiac disease can cause failure to thrive, delayed puberty, short stature and weight loss.
Anybody can develop celiac disease, but your risk increases if you have an autoimmune disorder related to your thyroid, a family history of celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, Down syndrome or Addison’s disease.
HOW IS CELIAC DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
To diagnose celiac disease, your gastroenterologist discusses your symptoms and medical history. They complete a physical exam and use blood tests to confirm a diagnosis. Your doctor might also complete endoscopy, which is a procedure in which they use a special scope to view the inside of your digestive tract.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR CELIAC DISEASE?
To manage symptoms of celiac disease and prevent intestinal damage, your gastroenterologist might recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Gluten can lurk in numerous foods, drinks and cosmetic products. Wheat, barley and rye are common sources of gluten, but always read food labels to help you steer clear of it.
VITAMIN AND MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS
Taking vitamin supplements helps reduce or prevent nutritional deficiencies associated with celiac disease. Your doctor might recommend oral supplements or injections containing iron, copper, folate, zinc and vitamins B12, D or K.
Taking certain medications helps control intestinal inflammation associated with celiac disease. Your gastroenterologist lets you know which medicines, if any, are right for you.
Don’t live with unpleasant symptoms of celiac disease or long-term complications associated with it. Call us today to receive expert guidance and treatment.