What is celiac disease: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
November 24, 2022
A digestive disorder called celiac disease may harm your small intestine. Symptoms include anemia, growth problems, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Gluten is a protein that can cause celiac disease. Grains, including wheat, barley, and rye, contain gluten. Eliminating gluten from your diet can help you feel better.
When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten-containing food, their body overreacts to the protein, damaging the villi, which are tiny finger-like projections that line the small intestine’s wall.
Small intestines cannot adequately absorb nutrients from meals when their villi are damaged. This may eventually result in malnutrition, loss of bone density, miscarriage, infertility, neurological disorders or specific malignancies.
Refractory or nonresponsive celiac disease is a diagnosis made if symptoms persist for at least a year without gluten.
The majority of celiac disease patients are unaware of their condition. In addition, it can take years to receive a diagnosis because the gut damage is relatively slow, and the symptoms are so different.
Gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance is not the same as celiac disease. Some of the same symptoms may be experienced by those who are gluten intolerant, who may therefore decide to avoid it. However, they do not demonstrate an immunological response or small intestinal injury.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
The signs of celiac disease are distinct from those of a food allergy.
If you eat food that contains wheat despite having a wheat allergy, you can experience breathing difficulties or watery, itchy eyes.
Symptoms of celiac disease in adult
Adults who have the celiac disease could have digestive issues. However, symptoms frequently spread to other parts of the body. These signs could consist of the following:
- Iron-deficiency anaemia
- Painful and stiff joints
- Brittle& fragile bones
- Skin disorders
- Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
- Loss of enamel or tooth discolouration
- Pale mouth sores
- Irregular intervals of menstruation
- Miscarriage and infertility
Another typical sign of the celiac disease is dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). DH is a bumpy, blistering skin rash that itches terribly. It might appear on the knees, buttocks, and elbows. About 15 to 25 per cent of people living with celiac disease also have DH. Those who do have DH typically don’t have any intestinal issues.
It’s crucial to remember that symptoms might differ from person to person depending on several circumstances, such as:
how long a person was breastfed when they were little when they first started consuming gluten the amount of intestinal damage depends on how much gluten is consumed.
Some people living with celiac disease don’t exhibit any symptoms. However, they still risk getting long-term repercussions from their illness.
If you think you or your kid may have celiac disease, make an appointment with your doctor. Complications are more likely to develop when diagnosis and treatment are delayed.
Causes of Celiac Disease
According to research, individuals with celiac disease can only occur in specific genes and consume gluten-containing foods.
People with one of the two groups of common gene variations, known as DQ2 and DQ8, nearly always get celiac disease. It is improbable that those without these gene variations will get celiac disease. DQ2 or DQ8 is present in about 30% of the population. Only 3% of those with DQ2 or DQ8 go on to develop celiac disease, though.
Other genes that may raise the risk of celiac disease in people with DQ2 or DQ8 are being researched.
What distinguishes non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) from celiac disease?
The small intestine is damaged by celiac disease. Blood samples contain unique indicators that aid in diagnosis confirmation. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity symptoms include “brain fog,” nausea, vomiting, migraines, diarrhoea, joint discomfort, and abdominal pain. NCGS does not damage the intestine, and the diagnosis requires symptom improvement after a gluten-free diet.
Most people with celiac disease find that being gluten-free dramatically reduces their symptoms, and they can start to feel better in a matter of days or weeks.
The small intestine often recovers in children in 3-6 months. Full recovery can take several years in adulthood. However, the body can more adequately absorb nutrients from meals after the intestines have healed.
In some regions of the world, where gluten-free alternatives are becoming more widely accessible, following a gluten-free diet is simpler than ever.
Knowing which foods and items, like toothpaste, are more likely to contain gluten. Again, an experienced dietician can assist.
What to eat and what not to
Always check with your doctor regarding the diet and food intake. Below are a few suggestions on what to consume and what not to eat.
Wheat, rye, and barley are all natural sources of gluten. The majority of grains, pasta, and processed meals all contain gluten. It can also be found in beers and other alcoholic beverages made from grains.
Because gluten can be an element in some unexpected items, it is important to read labels carefully.
The following foods don’t contain gluten:
- Meat, fish, poultry
- Fruits and vegetables
Some grains, like rice, amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat; rice flour cereals, such as corn, millet, sorghum, and teff; and gluten-free pasta, bread, baked goods, and other items.
Additionally, gluten can be removed from recipes by substituting and, in some cases, by modifying the baking time and temperature.
The following list of processed foods that may contain gluten:
- Canned soup
- Salad dressings
- Ice cream, seasonings, candy bars, and soy sauce
- prepared meats and sausages in cans
Products that aren’t food can also include gluten, such as:
Vitamins, toothpaste, lipstick, lip gloss, lip balm, and postage stamps.
If I have celiac disease, what dietary changes will I need to make?
You must eliminate gluten-containing foods and beverages from your diet if you have celiac disease. A gluten-free diet can reduce celiac disease symptoms and repair small intestine damage. For the rest of their lives, people with celiac disease must maintain a gluten-free diet to prevent the recurrence of their symptoms and intestinal damage. You can get advice on what to eat and drink to keep a balanced diet from your doctor or a qualified dietitian.
Support groups may be helpful when learning about and adjusting to a gluten-free lifestyle if you or your kid has been diagnosed with celiac disease.
Can celiac disease cause weight gain?
When someone with the celiac disease begins a gluten-free diet, weight gain is frequently the result. It actually indicates that the gut lining is healing. However, additional health issues, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, might develop if weight gain persists and results in becoming overweight.
Who to consult for celiac disease?
Your gastroenterologist or doctor can offer follow-up care if you are diagnosed with celiac disease.
You almost probably don’t have celiac disease if your blood tests or endoscopy don’t reveal the presence of the condition. Similar symptoms to celiac disease may be present in other diseases. You can determine the root of those symptoms with the assistance of your gastroenterologist.
People also ask
1. Is celiac disease very serious?
People with celiac disease who don’t follow a gluten-free diet are more likely to get small bowel cancer and intestinal lymphoma, among other cancers.
2. What happens if you are celiac?
You can develop the celiac disease when you ingest gluten, which causes your immune system to attack your tissues. As a result, you can’t absorb nutrients because this harms your small intestine and gut. Diarrhoea, bloating, and pain in the abdomen are just a few of the symptoms that can be brought on by celiac disease.
3. What is the life expectancy of celiac?
Most celiac disease patients can expect to live an everyday life if their condition is treated effectively. However, the damage to the small intestine will persist and may even become life-threatening if celiac disease is not treated with a gluten-free diet.
4. Can celiac go away?
Celiac Disease cannot be cured. However, if you maintain a lifelong gluten-free diet, your symptoms will disappear, and the villi in your intestines will repair. Avoid consuming foods, drinks, and medications that contain wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats.