Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. Most people think of glutens with pasta, bread, pizza crust, and the like, but it is also in some medicines nd lipsticks. It is estimated that over two million Americans suffer from celiac disease.
At Ogden Gastro, we can diagnose, and confirm, if a patient has celiac disease. We can then help plan your diet going forward.
What happens with celiac disease?
If a person has celiac disease, things go haywire when they consume food with gluten. When the gluten is eaten, the villi, whose job is to absorb nutrients in the small intestine, instead attack themselves and prevent the food from being absorbed into the bloodstream. This leads to malabsorption.
Over time, repeated reactions of this type damage the lining of the small intestine. This can cause diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anemia, and can lead to various complications.
Celiac disease can also affect children, where the malabsorption can affect growth and development.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Symptoms of celiac disease vary greatly and are different for adults and children. In adults, the most common symptoms are diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss. Other adult symptoms are bloating and gas, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and vomiting.
Over 50% of adults with celiac disease also have these seemingly unrelated symptoms:
- Anemia, usually from iron deficiency
- Loss of bone density
- Itchy, blistering skin rashes
- Damage to dental enamel
- Mouth ulcers
- Headaches and fatigue
- Nervous system injury, including numbness/tingling in the hands and feet
- Joint pain
- Reduced spleen function
- Acid reflux and heartburn
Children two years old and under have these symptoms:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Swollen belly
- Failure to thrive
- Poor appetite
- Muscle wasting
Older children may have these symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Short Stature
- Delayed puberty
- Learning disabilities, headaches, lack of muscle coordination/seizures
At Ogden Gastro, we diagnose celiac disease through a medical exam, along with blood tests that detail high levels of certain auto-antibodies. We may also perform a small bowel biopsy.
Do you have the symptoms of celiac disease? Call the team at Ogden Gastro, 801-387-2550, and let us help you.