Celiac Disease

Also called: Celiac sprue, Gluten-sensitive enteropathy, Nontropical sprue

Celiac disease is an immune disease in which people can't eat gluten because it will damage their small intestine. If you have celiac disease and eat foods with gluten, your immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is found mainly in foods but may also be in other products like medicines, vitamins and supplements, lip balm, and even the glue on stamps and envelopes.

Celiac disease affects each person differently. Symptoms may occur in the digestive system, or in other parts of the body. One person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person may be irritable or depressed. Irritability is one of the most common symptoms in children. Some people have no symptoms.

Celiac disease is genetic. Blood tests can help your doctor diagnose the disease. Your doctor may also need to examine a small piece of tissue from your small intestine. Treatment is a diet free of gluten.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

The following features are indicative of Celiac Disease:
  • bloating or a feeling of fullness
  • chronic diarrhea
  • constipation
  • gas
  • nausea
  • pale, foul-smelling or fatty stools
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • damage to the permanent teeth’s enamel
  • delayed puberty
  • mood changes
  • slowed growth and short height
  • weight loss
  • anemia
  • red, smooth or shiny tongue
  • bone or joint pain
  • depression
  • dermatitis herpetiformis
  • headache
  • infertility or repeated miscarriage
  • missed menstrual periods
  • mouth problems
  • seizures
  • tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • tiredness
  • weak and brittle bones
It is possible that Celiac Disease shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Celiac Disease

The following are the most common causes of Celiac Disease:
  • genetic factors
  • environmental factors

Risk Factors for Celiac Disease

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Celiac Disease:
  • genetic factors
  • type 1 diabetes
  • Down syndrome or Turner syndrome
  • autoimmune thyroid disease
  • microscopic colitis
  • Addison's disease
  • rheumatoid arthritis

Prevention of Celiac Disease

No, it is not possible to prevent Celiac Disease.
  • interaction of the genes HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1

Occurrence of Celiac Disease

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Celiac Disease cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Celiac Disease can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Celiac Disease can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Celiac Disease

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Celiac Disease:
  • Physical exam: To check body for a rash or malnutrition and to check abdomen for pain and fullness
  • Blood tests: To test for antibodies in the blood
  • Genetic tests: To check for particular gene changes
  • Intestinal biopsy: To make sure the presence of celiac disease in the body
  • Skin biopsy: To check skin tissue for antibodies

Doctor for Diagnosis of Celiac Disease

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Celiac Disease:
  • Dietitian
  • Gastroenterologist

Complications of Celiac Disease if untreated

Yes, Celiac Disease causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Celiac Disease is left untreated:
  • intestinal lymphoma
  • can be fatal
  • malnutrition
  • loss of calcium and bone density
  • infertility and miscarriage
  • lactose intolerance
  • neurological problems

Self-care for Celiac Disease

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Celiac Disease:
  • Take gluten-free foods and drinks: Helps treat celiac disease

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Celiac Disease

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Celiac Disease:
  • Use vitamin and mineral supplements: Help manage celiac disease

Patient Support for Treatment of Celiac Disease

The following actions may help Celiac Disease patients:
  • Education: Helps dealing with the disease
  • Find a support group: Helps feel comfort in sharing experience and struggles and meeting people who face similar challenges

Time for Treatment of Celiac Disease

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Celiac Disease to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 6 months - 1 year

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Celiac Disease.

Related Topics

Gluten Sensitivity

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