Gluten Free Diets

Living with Celiac disease can be a daily challenge, so it is important to understand what causes this unique auto-immune disorder. Although the exact cause of Celiac disease is still not fully understood, there are some known factors that can contribute to its development.

In this blog post, we'll discuss how Celiac Disease develops, explaining why some people are more likely than others to suffer from it and how symptoms typically emerge over time. Additionally, we'll look at potential treatments and lifestyle changes that could alleviate the effects of those suffering from this chronic condition.

What is celiac disease and what are the symptoms

Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder that damages the small intestine when people eat foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Symptoms may appear suddenly or gradually over time. Common symptoms of celiac disease include abdominal pain and bloating, loose or foul-smelling stool, nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, headaches, skin rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis, itchy skin bumps (urticaria), and joint & bone pains. It's important to seek medical attention if you have any of these symptoms since early diagnosis & treatment can help alleviate discomfort and prevent further health problems.

How gluten damages the small intestine in people with celiac disease

Celiac disease is a common medical condition in which the consumption of gluten causes damage to the small intestine. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, has an adverse effect on individuals with celiac disease. Professionals have narrowed down this issue to an auto-immune reaction specific to individuals with this condition.

When gluten is ingested by someone living with celiac disease, the body's immune system responds by attacking the small intestine, resulting in difficulties in nutrient absorption as well as potential long-term health complications. It is important for those diagnosed with Celiac Disease to understand that avoiding gluten is essential for their physical well-being.

The genetic factors that increase your risk of developing celiac disease

Having a close relative with celiac disease can increase an individual's risk of developing the condition. It has been determined that individuals who have an immediate family member with the disorder are up to five times more likely to develop celiac disease. Let's take a closer look at some of the genetic factors associated with this auto-immune health issue.

The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes, specifically HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8, are the primary cause of celiac disease. Specific versions of these genes, or variants, present in individuals paired with a certain sequence on chromosome 6 make them much more susceptible to the condition. Knowing your family history and understanding these markers may be beneficial in the early detection of possible risks for developing celiac disease.

How to get tested for celiac disease and treatment options

If you suspect you may be suffering from celiac disease, it is advisable to immediately consult a qualified medical professional who can order the appropriate tests. A biopsy of your small intestine or blood tests is used to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions.

If the results come back positive, you will need to begin eating a gluten-free diet immediately while speaking with your doctor about further treatment options. There is currently no cure for this auto-immune disorder, but gluten avoidance and taking dietary supplements may improve symptoms. Working closely with a healthcare provider is an important part of managing this condition and staying healthy over time.

The long-term health complications associated with untreated celiac disease

Untreated celiac disease can lead to many long-term complications due to continuous intolerance of gluten. This can result in nutrient deficiencies as the digestive system's ability to absorb nutrients is hindered. Common deficiencies include iron, folate, calcium, and Vitamin D, which can leave lasting effects on your overall health.

If left untreated, these nutritional deficiencies can put an individual at risk for anemia, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, infertility, and other medical conditions affecting the bones and nervous system. In order to avoid any long-term health complications associated with celiac disease, it is important to be diagnosed promptly and adhere strictly to a gluten-free diet. A physician should be consulted immediately if one suspects they have celiac disease in order to prevent any further damage.

Celiac disease is a serious auto-immune disorder that can have lasting health consequences if left untreated. If you think you may have celiac disease or if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with the disease, it's important to seek professional medical help. GI Associates can provide you with the testing and treatment you need to manage your celiac disease and improve your overall health.

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.