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Celiac Disease is a hereditary autoimmune condition that primarily affects the digestive system. Wheat, barley, and rye contain a protein known as gluten which damages the small intestine’s lining, making it difficult for someone with Celiac Disease to effectively absorb nutrients.

Other names used to refer to celiac disease include:

  • Sprue
  • Non-tropical sprue
  • Gluten-sensitive enteropathy

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Although other body regions can also be affected by the symptoms of celiac disease, the intestines, and digestive tract are typically where they manifest. Adults and children have a diverse set of symptoms of the condition.

Celiac symptoms in children

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Pale, flat, foul-smelling stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Persistent diarrhea

Celiac symptoms in adults

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Weak, brittle bones
  • Seizures
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Anemia
  • Pale sores inside the mouth
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Skin disorders
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Infertility and miscarriages

Who is at Risk of Celiac Disease?

The condition runs in families. According to research, individuals have a 1 in 22 chance of developing the celiac disease if their parents or sibling has the condition.

The likelihood of developing celiac disease is also increased in those with other autoimmune diseases and specific genetic conditions. The following are a few diseases connected to celiac disease:

  • Intestinal cancer
  • Intestinal lymphoma
  • Addison’s disease
  • Turner syndrome down syndrome
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Thyroid disease
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Autoimmune liver disease

Diagnosis of Celiac Disease

Diagnosis for celiac disease normally begins with a physical examination and a medical history. A set of blood tests for celiac disease is also performed. For instance, a celiac panel that counts the number of certain antibodies in the blood. Other tests include:

  • Complete blood count
  • Liver function tests
  • Cholesterol test
  • Alkaline phosphate level test
  • Serum albumin test
  • An upper endoscopy with several biopsies of the small intestine and the duodenum

Since other serious medical conditions can appear similar to CD and must be checked out, testing is necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment for Celiac Disease

The most effective way to treat celiac disease is to permanently remove gluten from one’s diet. This enables the intestinal villi to recover and start correctly absorbing nutrients. The patient will be taught how to avoid gluten while following a nutritious healthy diet.

After cutting out gluten from the diet, symptoms can start lessen within days. However, until a diagnosis is made, one shouldn’t give up consuming gluten. Prematurely removing gluten could affect test findings and result in a wrong diagnosis.

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