Celiac disease is a chronic digestive condition evolving from an allergic response to gliadin, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and occasionally oats.
It causes inflammation and degradation of the inner lining of the small intestine and can contribute to malabsorption of minerals and nutrients.
Symptoms can include chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and tiredness. In certain cases, anemia is the only symptom.
Celiac disease affects approximately one in 141 Americans.
There is no remedy, and the only safe treatment is a gluten-free diet.
Quick facts about celiac disease:
Here are some of the key points concerning the celiac disease.
• Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that causes people to become gluten-intolerant.
• Long term effects include anemia and malnutrition.
• A gluten-free diet is only recommended for those who have an allergy.
Some of the popular symptoms of celiac disease include:
• Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, gas, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, and bloating.
• Foul-smelling stools with excess fat in them, bone and joint pain, depression, panic attacks and irritability, weakness and fatigue, easy bruising, nose bleeds, infertility, iron deficiency anemia, fluid retention, malnutrition and nutrition deficiencies, mouth sores and tooth discoloration, lack of vitamin B12, D, and K, migraine headaches, blood in the stools or in the urine, nerve damage or muscle cramps.
Many people with mild symptoms experience weakness and anemia, or maybe just vague abdominal pain, such as bloating, abdominal distention, and excess gas.
Variations in symptoms can depend on:
• The volume of gluten used
• The age at which a person begins to eat gluten
• The degree of damage to the small intestine
The doctor will examine the patient and ask for signs and symptoms, and some tests may be required.
Blood tests can detect the following:
• Antigliadin antibodies
• Endomysial antibodies
• Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies
• Blood is examined for antibodies to deamidated gliadin peptide (TTG) and occasionally antigliadine (AGA) and and andomysium (EmA) antibodies.
Small intestinal biopsy is known to be the most effective examination for celiac disease. The doctor uses endoscopy to take samples of the intestinal liner. Typically, multiple samples are collected to improve the precision of the diagnosis.
Conditions with similar symptoms to the celiac disease include:
• Pancreatic Insufficiencies
• Crohn's small intestine disorder
• Irritable intestinal syndrome
• Bacterial small intestinal overgrowth
• Sensitivity to gluten
At present, the only cure is to stop life-long gluten.
Items with or without gluten
A broad variety of gluten-free branded items are available. These include gluten-free bread, pasta, cookies, etc.
An individual who has a gluten-free diet should avoid the following:
• All foods made from wheat, bran, rye, bulgur and barley, enriched flour, including cereals, bread, croutons, pasta, rackers, cakes, and biscuits.
• Beer and other cereal-based beverages
A variety of processed foods contain gluten, including:
• Canned soup
• Salad sauce, ketchup, and mustard
• Soya sauce
• Ice cream bars and candy bars
• Canned and frozen meats and sausages
Foods that are healthy to eat
Cereals such as maize, millet, sorghum, teff, rice, and wild rice are healthy to eat.
Non-cereals such as amaranth, buckwheat, or quinoa are also harmless, such as bananas, potatoes, garbanzo beans and tapioca. They do not contain gluten and do not cause symptoms.
Scientists are studying medicines that function directly in the intestines, medications that impact the immune system, and vaccines to cure celiac disease.
However, there is no cure except for the avoidance of gluten.
If the person continues to eat gluten, this may affect their quality of life and may increase the risk of certain medical conditions.
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