Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is primarily found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. People with celiac disease who eat foods containing gluten experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients. The exact cause of celiac disease is unknown. The lining of the intestines contains areas called villi, which help absorb nutrients. When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products that contain gluten, their immune system reacts by damaging these villi.
People who have a family member with celiac disease are at greater risk for developing the disease. The disorder is most common in Caucasians and persons of European ancestry. Women are affected more often than men.
People with celiac disease are more likely to have:
- Addison’s disease
- Down syndrome
- Intestinal cancer
- Intestinal lymphoma
- Lactose intolerance
- Thyroid disease
- Type 1 diabetes
Symptoms of Celiac DiseaseThere are no typical signs and symptoms of celiac disease. Most people with the disease have general complaints, such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
- Missed menstrual periods
- Itchy skin
Children with celiac disease may have:
- Poor weight gain
- Albumin (may be low)
- Clotting factor abnormalities
Treatment and Medication
Celiac disease has no cure, but you can effectively manage the disease through changing your diet. To manage the disease and prevent complications, it’s crucial that you avoid all foods that contain gluten. Once you’ve removed gluten from your diet.
If your nutritional deficiencies are severe, you may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements recommended by your doctor or dietitian to help correct these deficiencies. Your doctor may recommend supplements to increase your levels of Calcium, Folate, Iron, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D, Vitamin K