Celiac Disease: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a condition where the immune system reacts to gluten. Now, What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, etc.

Celiac disease is also known as-

  •  sprue
  • nontropical sprue
  • gluten-sensitive enteropathy

Do not confuse yourself with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. When a person with celiac disease intakes gluten, the person’s immune system will attack against its own body’s tissue. Whereas, if a person is gluten intolerant, gluten intake will cause them short-term abdominal pain and bloating. 

Celiac disease causes long-term harm to the body, unlike gluten intolerance.

What’s the damage in celiac disease?

While the person has celiac disease, the immune response to gluten creates toxins that destroy the villi. 

Villi are tiny finger-like protrusions inside the small intestines. When there is damage, it makes the intestine unable to absorb the nutrients.

Symptoms of Celiac disease

Symptoms of celiac disease vary from child to adult. Usually, children have more symptoms related to digestive symptoms, unlike adults.

Children might have the following symptoms-

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Bloating and gas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation

Whereas, adults can have the following symptoms-

When to see a doctor?

If you have diarrhoea or digestive discomfort that lasts for more than two weeks, consult your doctor. 

Consult a doctor if your child is pale, irritable, or not growing and has foul-smelling, bulky stools.

Causes of celiac disease

In precise, the exact cause isn’t known. 

Gastrointestinal infections and gut bacteria may sometimes contribute.

Complications in celiac disease

Untreated, celiac disease and no control over gluten consumption can cause:

  • When your villi get damaged, your body can’t absorb enough nutrients. This can lead to anemia and weight loss. This can intensely affect the growth of children.
  • Malnutrition can lead to calcium and vitamin D deficiency. This softens the bones in children and reduces the bone density in adults. It can lead to reproductive problems as well.
  • Damage to villi can lead to a condition of lactose intolerance.
  • You have a greater risk of developing several forms of cancer if you don’t maintain a gluten-free diet.

How is celiac disease diagnosed?

People with celiac disease often have high levels of antiendomysium (EMA) and anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTGA) antibodies. These tests are good to start with the diagnosis. These can be detected with blood tests. Tests are most reliable when they’re performed while gluten is still in the diet.

The doctor may recommend a skin biopsy or an internal biopsy for the final diagnosis in people with DH. 

How is celiac disease treated?

Without beating around the bushes, we say it directly. There is no treatment for this. You have to avoid gluten from your diet to stay comfortable and avoid complications.

if you already have damage in your intestine. Consume only a gluten-free diet. This allows the intestinal villi to heal and to begin absorbing nutrients properly. 

If you are struggling with symptoms, we recommend symptomatic treatment. Symptoms can improve within days of removing gluten from the diet. 

What to avoid in celiac disease?

Avoid all the preparation made up of-

  • wheat
  • spelt
  • rye
  • barley
  • triticale
  • bulgur
  • durum
  • farina
  • graham flour
  • semolina