Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is induced by gluten consumption. Celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy are the other names for this condition. When someone with celiac disease consumes gluten, their body reacts badly to the protein, causing damage to their villi, which are small finger-like projections along the wall of their small intestine.When the villi are damaged, the small intestine cannot absorb nutrients from food properly. This can eventually lead to malnourishment, bone density loss, miscarriage, infertility, neurological problems or certain cancers.
If the celiac disease does not improve after at least a year of no gluten, it is referred to as refractory or nonresponsive celiac disease. Most celiac disease patients are unaware of their condition. According to researchers, as few as 20% of people with the disease receive the correct diagnosis. Celiac illness is not the same as gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. Gluten intolerant people may experience some of the same symptoms and choose to avoid gluten.
Types of Celiac Disease
There are different types of celiac disease:
- Classical celiac disease
- Non-classical celiac disease
- Silent celiac disease
- Potential celiac disease
- Refractory celiac disease
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
The celiac disease is not the same as a food allergy, so the symptoms are also different. If you are allergic to wheat but eat something containing wheat, you may experience itchy or watery eyes or difficulty breathing.
Celiac disease symptoms in adults
If you have celiac disease and accidentally consume gluten, you may have symptoms like:
Celiac disease symptoms in children
Celiac disease increases the chances of digestive issues in children.
When to see a doctor?
If anyone develops diarrhoea or intestinal discomfort that lasts more than two weeks, see your doctor.
Consult your child's doctor if they are pale, irritable, not growing, or have a potbelly and foul-smelling, thick faeces. Before starting on a gluten-free diet, talk with your doctor. Celiac disease usually runs in families. So, ask your doctor if you should be checked if someone in your family has the disorder. Talk to your doctor about testing if you or a family member has a risk factor for celiac disease, such as type 1 diabetes.
Doctors at Medicover can help you get the right treatment for Celiac disease and other digestive diseases.
Normally, the body's immune system is designed to protect it against foreign invaders. When people with celiac disease consume gluten-containing foods, their immune systems attack the intestine lining. This causes inflammation (swelling) in the intestines and damages the villi, hair-like structures on the small intestinal lining. The villi absorb nutrients from food. If the villi are injured, the patient cannot absorb nutrients and becomes malnourished, regardless of how much they consume.
Celiac disease tends to be more common in people who have:
- A family member with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis
- Diabetes type 1
- Turner syndrome or Down syndrome
- Thyroid autoimmune disease
- Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic or collagenous colitis)
- Addison's syndrome
Untreated, celiac disease can cause:
Malnutrition develops when your small intestine is unable to absorb adequate nutrients. Anaemia and weight loss can result from malnutrition. It can induce poor development and short stature in children.
Infertility and miscarriage
Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D might contribute to infertility and miscarriage.
Damage to the small intestine can cause stomach discomfort and diarrhoea after eating or drinking lactose-containing dairy products. You may be able to accept dairy products again once the intestine has recovered.
Nervous system problems
Some celiac disease patients may experience seizures or nerve disorders in their hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy).
People with celiac disease who do not follow a gluten-free diet are more likely to develop cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and small intestine cancer.
A physical examination and a medical history are used to make a diagnosis. Doctors will also perform various tests to assist confirm a diagnosis. Antiendomysium (EMA) and anti-tissue transglutaminase (TGA) antibodies are frequently elevated in celiac disease patients. Blood testing can detect these conditions. They are the most reliable when tests are conducted when gluten is still present in the diet.
Common blood tests include:
A skin biopsy can help doctors detect celiac disease in persons with dermatitis. The doctor will extract microscopic bits of skin tissue for examination under a microscope during a skin biopsy. If the skin biopsy results and blood tests suggest celiac disease, an internal biopsy may not be required.
When blood tests or skin biopsies are inconclusive, an upper endoscopy can be used to diagnose celiac disease. During an upper endoscopy, a narrow tube called an endoscope is put through the mouth and down into the small intestines. The doctor can inspect the intestines and check for villi damage using a tiny camera linked to the endoscope. In addition, the doctor can do an intestinal biopsy, which includes removing a tissue sample from the intestines for analysis.
The only way to treat celiac disease is to eliminate gluten from the diet. This permits the intestinal villi to recover and begin correctly absorbing nutrients. The doctor will instruct patients on how to eliminate gluten while eating a good and healthy diet. They will also educate you on how to read food and product labels so you can detect any gluten-containing ingredients.
When gluten is removed from the diet, symptoms might improve within days. However, patients should not stop consuming gluten until they have been diagnosed. Premature gluten removal may interfere with test findings and result in an incorrect diagnosis.
Lifestyle Changes and Self-Care
Celiac disease can only be treated with a gluten-free diet. You'll have to avoid gluten for the rest of your life. Even a small amount can cause a reaction that might harm the small intestine. Some lifestyle adjustments might help reduce symptoms:
- Avoid any gluten-free items containing barley, rye, farina, graham flour, semolina, and any other type of flour, including self-rising and durum.
- Take caution with maize and rice products. These do not contain gluten; however, they may be contaminated with wheat gluten if manufactured in facilities that also make wheat goods.
- Choose oats. According to recent research, oats can be consumed as long as they are not contaminated with wheat gluten during processing.
- In place of wheat flour, use potato, rice, soy, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, or bean flour. Sorghum, chickpea or Bengal grams, arrowroot, and maize flour can also be used.
- Separate all kitchen utensils used to prepare gluten-free and gluten-containing dishes. Cooking tools, cutting boards, plates, forks, knives, and spoons are examples.
- Learning the ins and outs of celiac disease can help you negotiate these difficult circumstances and make them easier over time.
Do’s and Don’ts
You may see "gluten-free" items in the market these days. The terms gluten and gluten-free foods might be confusing, so here are some basic guidelines to help you understand what they imply. While frequent health checkups and screenings are important, there are some celiac-related Do’s and Don'ts that should be taken into account.
|Avoid gluten when medically necessary
||Mistake wheat-free for gluten-free
|Eat a healthy and balanced diet
||Give up bread
|Discover gluten-free options
||Eat large portions of gluten-free foods
|Pay attention to servings sizes
||Go to a restaurant unprepared
|Avoid Artificial food colours and flavours
||Take the stress
Take care of yourself and be strong inside to fight this condition.
Celiac Disease Care at Medicover
We have the best team of gastroenterologists at Medicover who provide celiac disease treatment with the utmost precision. Our experienced doctors use the most advanced diagnostic equipment and procedures to diagnose, treat and manage celiac disease and its related symptoms effectively. We also adopt a multidisciplinary approach wherever required to address all other associated health issues of the patients. The dieticians guide the patients on how to make their gluten-free diet plan without compromising with the nutrition. Our doctors work closely with the patients to evaluate their treatment progress to achieve faster and more lasting recovery from Celiac Disease.