Celiac Disease

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the body when you consume gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. When this protein enters the small intestine it triggers an immune response. As this continues, over time, this immune response will damage your small intestine lining and prevents your small intestine from absorbing other essential nutrients.

Celiac disease is an inherited disease found especially, but not exclusively, in those of Northern European descent.

Celiac disease is the most common genetic disease in Europe. Recent studies show that 1 in every 133 people in the United States has the disease.

Celiac Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of Celiac Disease can vary and be unique to each individual. Due to the degree of variation in symptoms it can be hard to know if you have Celiac Disease. Some patients develop Celiac Disease early in life, while some can start to experience symptoms later in life. Symptoms can vary greatly between children and adults.

Some of the symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

  • Anxiety
  • Bloating or gas
  • Anemia – often develops from an iron deficiency
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Discolored teeth
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Pale mouth sores
  • Infertility
  • Irritability
  • Itchy skin rash with blistering
  • Poor weight gain
  • Thin bones, loss of bone density
  • Tingling- usually in the feet and hands
  • Numbness- from nervous system injury
  • Discolored teeth

If you experience several of these symptoms, especially after consuming gluten, contact your closest gastroenterology location.

Celiac Disease Treatments

Unfortunately, at this time there are no medications that directly treat or reverse the effects that gluten has on those with Celiac Disease.

The best thing that you can do for your health if you have Celiac Disease is to eliminate gluten from your diet.

By avoiding gluten you can become symptom-free and the lining of the intestines can return to normal.

Food products that contain gluten:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • Oats (if produced in facilities that produce wheat, barley, and rye)