What You Should Know About Celiac Disease? Causes And Risk Factors

celiac disease

What Do You Mean By Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a digestive and autoimmune disorder that can damage your small intestine which is generally triggered by a protein called gluten. It is also called celiac sprue or nontropical sprue.

Gluten is a protein mainly found in wheat, barley, rye, and also in other grains. It’s what makes dough elastic and gives bread its chewy kind of texture. When someone with celiac disease eats something with gluten, their body overreacts to the protein as well as it damages their vili which is a small finger-like projection found along the wall of their small intestine.

When your vili are injured, your small intestine can not properly absorb the nutrients from food eventually this can lead to malnourishment as well as loss of bone density, miscarriage, infertility, or even certain cancers.

Most people with the celiac disease never know that they have it whereas only 20 % of people with a disease get the right diagnosis. The reason is it damage your intestine very slowly and the symptoms are so varied that it can years to get a diagnose.

Causes And Risk Factors

Research hasn’t found an exact cause of celiac disease. It tends to run in families and linked to certain genes. Stressful medical events that include the viral infection or surgery can trigger it so can emotional trauma. If on of your close family members has it, like a sibling you have 1 in 10 chances of getting it.

The disease is most common among the people who have other diseases including:

  • type 1 diabetes
  • addison’s disease
  • down syndrome
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • multiple sclerosis
  • autoimmune hepatitis
  • IgA nephropathy
  • lupus
  • chronic pancreatitis
  • psoriasis
  • intestinal cancer
  • intestinal lymphoma
  • lactose intolerance

Test And Diagnosis

Doctor use blood tests and other tests to help find out if you have celiac disease:

  • Serology tests look for antibodies.
  • Blood tests check parts of your immune system.
  • Intestinal fatty acid-binding protein tests help to show if there’s damage to the intestine.
  • C-reactive protein tests show if there,s inflammation or not.
  • Metabolic panels test liver function as well kidney function.
  • Iron and ferritin tests look for the deficiency of iron.
  • Swallowing a camera can show problems in your digestive system.
  • Genetic testing looks for human leucocyte antigens to diagnose celiac disease.
  • Vitamin D, B 12, and folate tests look for vitamin deficiencies.
  • A complete count looks for anemia.

If you are on a gluten-free diet, you will need to come off it before having the antibody test so the results will be proper. If blood and other test show that you have celiac disease you will need to have an endoscopy. This procedure lets your doctor look at your small intestine and take a bit of tissue to see whether it,s damaged or not.

If you have a rash, doctors will take a sample of your skin to look for signs that are caused by celiac disease. This rash is quite easy to confuse with other skin problems.

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac disease is not the same thing as a food allergy so its symptoms are variants. If you are allergic to wheat but eat along with something with wheat in it, you may have itchy or watery eyes including a hard time breathing.

In Adults

  • abdominal pain
  • anemia
  • joint pain
  • constipation
  • gas
  • heartburn
  • blistery with an itchy rash
  • headache as well as fatigue
  • mouth ulcers
  • nausea
  • numb or tingling hand or feets
  • weight loss
  • feeling of fullness

In Children

  • belly swelling
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • foul-smelling poop
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

Not everyone with celiac disease will have these symptoms but some people don’t notice problems that make it difficult to diagnose.

How Celiac Disease Is Treated?

If you have celiac disease then you can not eat any foods that contain gluten which includes wheat, rye. You will be advised to visit with a dietitian for formal diet instruction. Dropping gluten from your diet usually improves the condition within a few days and also ends the symptoms of the disease.

You will need regular follow-up visits and have to remain on this diet for the rest of your life.

Following a gluten-free diet means you cannot eat many staples that include pasta, cereals that contain gluten. Eating even a small amount of gluten can damage your intestine and may also restart the problem.

If you have celiac disease, you can eat well-balanced food that includes fresh foods that have not been artificially processed like fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish.