Celiac Disease

Below you will find more information about Celiac Disease from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Celiac Disease it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Celiac Disease and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Celiac Disease comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Celiac disease pertains to a digestive disorder set off by consumption of gluten, a type of protein that can be found in pasta, bread, pizza crust, cookies, and other food products that contain barley, wheat or rye.

Diagnosis

Celiac disease can usually be diagnosed by conducting a blood test to screen for elevated levels of certain antibodies, such as anti-endomysium, anti-gliadin, and anti-tissue transglutaminase. An endoscopy and biopsy may also be done for further testing.

Treatment

Celiac disease itself has no specific cure; however the disorder can be managed through dietary changes and avoidance of gluten. Once gluten is effectively removed from the diet, the inflammation in the small intestine will diminish within a few weeks. If nutritional deficiencies are severe, vitamin and mineral supplements may be recommended. Most patients who follow a gluten-free period will be completely cured of celiac disease.

Symptoms and Signs

Celiac disease has no distinguishing clinical symptoms, and most affected patients will usually have general complaints such as abdominal pain, bloating, or intermittent diahhrea. In some cases, affected patients may have no gastrointestinal symptoms at all; while in others, the disease may manifest in subtle ways. Common signs of celiac disease include: anemia, stomach aches, skin rashes, muscle cramps, mouth sores, general weakness, osteoporosis, and stunted growth, among others.

Causes

Celiac disease is triggered when a protein called gluten is ingested. When an individual digests food containing gluten, the small intestine produces an immune reaction that damages the small intestine and reduces the body's ability to absorb certain nutrients from food. Eventually, the resulting malabsorption (decreased absorption) of nutrients can cause serious vitamin deficiencies in vital organs, leading to other diseases.

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