Gluten intolerances are fairly common. Still, the body’s immune reaction can be scary. The intolerance manifests as small intestine inflammation, commonly known as Celiac disease. It usually develops in early childhood, but there is still a risk of developing the illness later in life. For people living with this condition, it is essential to understand how to manage it and avoid serious health complications.
What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease where the body creates antibodies that respond to gluten, or rather its component gliadin. Gliadin is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. The body’s immune response then targets the intestine, causing inflammation. There are two main types of antibodies that you need to know about:
- Anti-tissue transglutaminase (anti-tTG)
- Anti-endomysial antibodies (anti-EMA)
These antibodies are correlated with disease activity. They will rise and fall depending on the severity of your condition and can return to normal with proper treatment. The inflammation affects the jejunum– an area of the small intestine. Inflammation of the small intestine then disrupts nutrient absorption.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
People with Celiac disease often show no clear signs of suffering from this autoimmune disorder. In other words, they’re asymptomatic. However, some people diagnosed with this can present severe symptoms including:
- Failure to gain weight
- Weight loss
- Mouth ulcers
- Abdominal rash
Celiac Disease Diagnosis
To diagnose this disease, the patient must first eat food containing gluten. Otherwise, the test may be unable to detect antibodies or inflammation. To start, our doctors will check your IgA levels, then they’ll determine your antibody levels. Another way to establish the diagnosis of this condition is to do an Endoscopy and an intestinal biopsy.
If diagnosed, the doctors at MD365 will also test for Type 1 diabetes. The is because Celiac disease is often linked with diabetes.
Untreated Celiac disease can cause several complications. They can be quite severe and include conditions such as:
- Vitamin deficiency
- Ulcerative jejunitis
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Adenocarcinoma of the small intestine
Fortunately, it is not hard to treat this disease. By sticking to a rigorous gluten-free diet, the condition is very manageable. This diet plan will allow your intestinal villi to heal and absorb nutrients properly again. With your doctor’s help, you’ll be able to understand labels on food and other products that might contain gluten. This is the first step to overcoming your illness.
The symptoms may alleviate within just days of starting a strict diet. Don’t worry about being unable to eat food that contains gluten. You’ll still have a variety of healthy and delicious options.
Schedule Tests at MD365
If you suspect that you have celiac disease, you can contact MD365 any day of the week. Our doctors can diagnose your problem and set up a treatment plan. We offer care for both acute illnesses that appear suddenly and chronic conditions like Celiac disease. Our doctors can also educate you about how to avoid gluten products.