Celiac Disease

 

September is national Celiac Disease month. Celiac Disease is a serious autoimmune disease in which gluten can’t be eaten because it damages the small intestines. Gluten is a protein that is found in things such as wheat, rye, and barley. It may also be found in certain products such as vitamins and supplements, hair and skin products, tooth paste, and lip balm.  When ingested it cause an immune response that attacks the small intestine and promotes damage to the small villi that promote nutrient absorption. Once these villi are damaged, nutrients can’t be properly absorbed into the body.

Symptoms

  • Chronic diarrhea/constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue and headaches
  • Failure to thrive or short stature
  • Pain in the joints
  • Tingling numbness in the legs
  • Skin rash (Dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel
  • Osteoporosis or Osteopenia
  • Anemia
  • Mouth ulcers

Risk

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Down Syndrome or Turner syndrome
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Addison’s disease

 

Complications

  • Malnutrition
  • Bone weakening
  • Infertility and miscarriage
  • Cancer
  • Nervous system problems
  • Lactose intolerance

Diagnosis

  • Serology testing
  • Genetic testing
  • Endoscopy
  • Capsule endoscopy

Foods to avoid:

  • Foods that contain:
  • Gluten
  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Durum
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Malt
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale

 

Although a gluten free diet may work for some, it does not work for all. These people have what is known as nonresponsive celiac disease. People with nonresponsive celiac disease may have poor pancreatic function, irritable bowel syndrome, and bacteria in the small intestine. If you have been on a gluten free diet for 6 months to a year and symptoms still persist, please talk to your healthcare provide for further testing.

 

References

  • Celiac Disease: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-2035222
  • What Is Celiac Disease?: https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease
  • Celiac Disease | Gluten Intolerance: https://medlineplus.gov/celiacdisease.html#cat_95