Woman with Liver Disease

The digestive system is one of the most important systems in our bodies, so it's essential to keep it functioning optimally. People with Celiac disease need to be especially mindful of this as their condition can impact not only their stomach and intestines but also have an effect on other parts of the body like the liver. In this blog post, we'll discuss how exactly Celiac Disease affects your liver and the steps you can take to ensure that your organ function stays within a healthy range.

What is celiac disease and how does it affect the liver

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that causes the body to respond adversely when exposed to gluten contained in wheat, barley, and rye. It results in intestinal damage and malabsorption of vital nutrients.

People with celiac disease are also at a higher risk of complications when it comes to their livers as a result of liver-related antibodies found in their blood. This damage can manifest itself through abnormal liver enzyme levels or even more serious conditions such as primary biliary cirrhosis or intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.

People with celiac disease should be regularly monitored by their medical provider to keep an eye on any developing liver issues. Treatment is available, which includes following a strict gluten-free diet and taking prescribed medication where necessary.

How to know if you have celiac disease

If you have a persistent digestive issue such as constipation, bloating, abdominal pain and distension, excessive gas, or diarrhea that can't be explained by other means, it could be a sign of celiac disease. If you have any combination of these symptoms accompanied by nutritional deficiencies such as anemia, weight loss, or elevated liver function tests, then further testing should be considered to determine if celiac disease is the culprit.

A serological blood test for anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG) and endomysial antibodies (EMA) is usually recommended and often times are enough to diagnose the condition.

An antibody test combined with an intestinal biopsy may also be necessary depending on the results of the initial round of testing; however, even if your initial test results come back negative, it is still possible to suffer from this illness. The only way to know for certain if you suffer from celiac disease is through proper medical evaluation and testing.

The symptoms of celiac disease and how they manifest in the liver

Celiac disease is an immune-mediated disorder triggered by the ingestion of gluten. Its symptoms can manifest in a range of ways throughout the body, including in the liver. People with celiac might present with a variety of hepatic manifestations, such as abnormally high levels of transaminases, hypercholesterolemia, and other biochemical alterations that affect liver function.

It is also possible for individuals to develop autoimmune hepatitis cholangitis or even primary biliary cirrhosis due to celiac disease; all of these conditions have their own unique symptoms that indicate the need for further investigation into a diagnosis. It's important for medical professionals to be aware of the wide variety of hepatic manifestations associated with celiac disease so they can recognize its presence quickly and treat it effectively.

Treatment options for celiac disease and their effects on the liver

Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options that are available for those with celiac disease in order to reduce the negative effects on their overall health and on their liver specifically. These treatments include dietary strategies such as eliminating or significantly reducing gluten intake and taking vitamin supplements.

Furthermore, there is emerging evidence that cyclic administration of anti-gluten drugs may help protect against future episodes of symptoms related to celiac disease. In addition, lifestyle interventions such as physical activity have been found to improve gastrointestinal functioning in individuals with celiac disease, which in turn has been demonstrated to have a beneficial effect on the liver, including reduced inflammation levels.

Prevention tips for those at risk for developing celiac disease

For those with a high risk of developing celiac disease, it is important to take preventative measures to keep their gastrointestinal system healthy.

  1. It is important to be mindful of gluten intake. Gluten-rich foods are difficult for some individuals to digest and can worsen the symptoms of existing and potential GI problems.
  2. Consuming probiotics has been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of celiac symptoms in those already diagnosed.
  3. If you experience any unusual or concerning GI problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, or fatigue, it is strongly recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider so they can rule out any potential causes.

Taking these preventative steps can help protect against the adverse effects of this autoimmune disorder.

Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that affects the liver. If you have any of the symptoms of celiac disease, it is important to get tested and seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many different options for treating celiac disease, and your doctor will work with you to find the best option for you.

You can also help prevent Celiac Disease by following some simple tips. Remember, if you think you may have Celiac Disease, GI Associates can help.

GI Associates is the largest gastroenterology group in Mississippi and is one of the largest in the southeast. When you have your first GI appointment with one of our doctors, you will notice that the quality of care is coupled with a warm, friendly environment. Let us partner with you on the thing that matters most - your health. Make an appointment today.

Your Health Matters

Let us partner with you in the thing that matters most - your health. Make an appointment today.