Celiac disease is an organic autoimmune disorder which is characterized by an abnormal immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. The impact of the disease can be measured by structural abnormalities. The immune response to these foods triggers inflammation in the small intestine, causing damage to the intestinal lining and interfering with the absorption of nutrients from food.
Celiac disease affects millions of people worldwide, with estimates suggesting that around 1% of the population may have this condition.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
- Symptoms of Celiac Disease are –
- Digestive Issues like abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation and bloating are extremely often symptoms that occur with celiac disease
- Chronic fatigue and overall weakness can also be found in people who have celiac disease
- Anemia is also possible in celiac disease cases as it occurs due to malabsorption of nutrients
Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
Combination of physical examination and conducted tests can help in the diagnosis of celiac disease
Antibodies associated with celiac disease are anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies and anti-endomysial (EMA) antibodies. A diagnostic test measuring levels of these antibodies can help diagnose Celiac Disease. Elevated levels of these antibodies suggest an immune response to gluten.
An intestinal biopsy is performed if the antibodies test indicates probability of celiac disease. During endoscopy tissue is obtained from small intestine and examined for celiac disease
Should you get tested for Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is found to be hereditary. So if someone in your close family has celiac disease, then it is advisable to get tested. Celiac disease is more commonly found in people who have certain auto-immune disorders. If you are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Auto-Immune Liver Disease, Thyroid Disease then it is advisable to get tested. If you are suffering from certain digestive issues and cutting out gluten for some time provided you relief, then it is advisable to get the test done
Treatment for Celiac Disease?
The only effective treatment is the exclusion of products with gluten such as wheat or barley. There are many products which contain gluten in some form or the other and it is important to know in detail about the product that is being consumed. Gluten can be found in sauces, dressings, packed foods and certain medicines. Hence checking the label is really important.
It is essential to consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist experienced in celiac disease to develop a well-balanced and nutritious gluten-free meal plan.
Individuals with celiac disease may need to supplement their diet with vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients to correct deficiencies caused by malabsorption.
Is there a cure for celiac disease?
Currently, there is no known cure for celiac disease. The most effective treatment is to cut out gluten from the diet. A gluten-free diet should be created with the help of a nutritionist.
How to lead a healthy life with celiac disease?
Absolutely! With proper management and a gluten-free diet, patients with celiac disease can lead a healthy life.
Patients can effectively control their symptoms, allow the small intestine to heal, and reduce the risk of long-term complications. As long as a person is vigilant about reading food labels, identifying hidden sources of gluten, and avoiding cross-contamination during food preparation the symptoms will be under control. It is advised to seek help from a nutritionist to chart out a gluten-free diet.
With proper education, self-care, and support, individuals with celiac disease can thrive and enjoy a fulfilling and healthy life.