About Celiac Disease

ONE OF THE MOST COMMON GENETIC DISORDERS OF HUMANKIND

The most recent prevalence figures (NIH) indicate that as many as 1 in 100 people, many with no symptoms whatsoever, may have celiac disease.

 

Celiac Disease is a common autoimmune disorder that presents itself as intolerance to gluten. The only acceptable treatment is 100% gluten free diet.

DIET
A gluten free diet means avoiding all products containing wheat, rye, barley, and contaminated oats. Celiacs consuming gluten will provoke an autoimmune response, manifesting in multiple forms depending on the individual.
 
Though inconvenient, celiacs eventually find alternative products, bringing exotic gastronomical delights to their kitchen and recovering their health.

Even ingestion of a crumb of bread or eating cross-contaminated items will damage a celiac’s villi. External symptoms may be immediate, delayed, or not even be significant.

DIAGNOSIS
Celiac Disease is diagnosed through a two-step process, starting with serological screening. Proper testing and interpretation is crucial. A biopsy procedure (where a portion of the duodenum is checked for flattened villi) will confirm damage of the intestines and therefore, inability to absorb important nutrients.
 
FACTS ABOUT DIAGNOSIS

Even though the disease is common, lack of information and variable symptoms make a diagnosis difficult. The average celiac takes ten to fifteen years to be diagnosed. That’s why awareness is so important.

 


Symptoms may vary from mild to severe. Untreated Celiacs are at higher risks of cancer and mortality.

Celiac Disease is a clinical chameleon and may seem to 'disappear' for years, while the internal damage continues.

Celiac Disease affects people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, though it is more prevalent in Caucasians of European Descent.

 


HOW MANY CONDITIONS CAN YOU HAVE WHERE YOU DON’T NEED MEDICATION TO GET BETTER?

 

CELIACS WHO FOLLOW THE DIET LIVE LONGER THAN THE GENERAL POPULATION, IN PART BECAUSE THE DIET IS VOID OF MOST UNHEALTHY PROCESSED FOODS.

REMEMBER, IT IS NOT BAD NEWS TO HAVE CELIAC DISEASE.
 

Celiacs improve dramatically on the gluten free diet and most of the previous clinical manifestations linked to untreated celiac disease disappear with time.
 
The prognosis following a strict diet is excellent.
Celiacs may display One Or More of the following symptoms:

Diarrhea/Constipation/IBS

Abdominal Cramping/bloating/gas/indigestion, distention

Floating Stools/Light Colored Stools

Bone and Joint Pain

Weight Loss or Weight Gain

Fatigue/Weakness/Lack of Energy

Depression

Inability to Focus/Mental Fog

Skin Rashes

Infertility

 
Higher Risk Individuals

(This is not Celiac Disease)

Celiac Relatives

Patients with Autoimmune Diseases

Diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Spastic Colon

Type I Diabetes

Patients with Down Syndrome

Heart Disease (i.e. autoimmune cardiomyopathy)

Infertility Disorders

Small intestinal adenocarcinoma

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Esophageal carcinoma

Melanoma

Autoimmune liver diseases
 

Untreated Celiacs may suffer from:

Iron Deficiency Anemia
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Osteoporosis
Dermatitis Herpetiformis
Dental Enamel defects/Diseases
Frequent Mouth Ulcers
Central and Peripheral Nervous System Disorders
Thyroid Disease
Fibromyalgia
Sjodren’s Syndrome
Migraines
Alopecia (Hair loss)
Unexplained Elevated Liver Enzymes
Cancer
 
Untreated Celiac children may present with One Or More of the following manifestations:

Memory/Learning Disabilities

Failure to Thrive

Irritability/Depression

Short Stature/Stunted Growth

Underweight/ Overweight

Hypoglycemia

ADD/ADHD

Mood Swings

Sleepiness/Sleeplessness

Frequent Bone Fractures

Neurological Disorders

Unexplained Abdominal Pain

Frequent Headaches

“Growing” Pains

Lactose Intolerant/Other Food Allergies (If celiac, these intolerances may resolve after following a gluten free diet, as the villi regenerates/producing enzymes)

Sinus Problems/Hives

Unexplained Rashes / eczema / psoriasis

Anemia

Carbohydrate Craving

Always Hungry/Never Hungry

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Isabella Porter,
Mar 1, 2013, 4:49 PM
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