Celiac disease is an immune reaction caused when a person with celiac disease consumes gluten. Hence it is also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy.
Gluten is a structural protein that is found in certain cereal grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. Gluten helps these grains maintain their shape and hold them together.
However, if you have celiac disease, gluten can cause a reaction within your small intestines, gradually damaging the lining of your small intestines. Due to the damage, the intestines will eventually be unable to absorb any nutrients from their food.
Now, let us discuss the symptoms of celiac disease:
- Constant fatigue
- Abnormal weight loss
- Mouth ulcer
- Joint pain
- Skin rash
The symptoms of celiac disease vary according to age. With children, the symptoms may be different from those of adults. Certain symptoms witnessed in children are:
- A delay in puberty
- Development of ADHD
- Swollen belly
- Nausea and sudden seizures
- The tooth enamel may begin to fall apart
- Sudden weight loss
While these symptoms are associated with celiac disease, it is possible that what you are experiencing are isolated incidents. Hence, once you begin to witness any of the above-discussed symptoms, you should wait for at least 15 days before you visit the doctor. You can visit your doctor after the 10th day if the symptoms are recurring.
However, you should not wait for more than a week with the children. If your child has turned pale, irritable, or has developed a potbelly, you can take them to the doctor on the 3rd day.
While celiac disease is caused by gluten consumption, celiac disease can often occur due to:
- a recent surgery you undertook,
- as a result of pregnancy,
- a viral infection that you suffered from
- emotional stress that you recently experienced.
Now let us discuss how gluten damages your intestines. Small hairlike projections called villi are visible on the walls of your intestines. When you eat something, the villi absorb the nutrients from the food while it passes through the intestines. Gluten damages the villi, and as a result, you begin to suffer from malnutrition.
Now, let us talk about the complications that can occur if you do not treat celiac disease. As your body cannot absorb nutrients, calcium and vitamin D deficiency begins to occur. Over time, this may lead to a loss of bone density, the softening of the bone, infertility, and lactose intolerance.
Similarly, celiac disease can cause seizures and a higher risk of cancer. While the celiac disease can affect anyone, people with type 1 diabetes, down syndrome, Addison’s disease, and autoimmune thyroid disease need to take special care and limit their gluten consumption to a minimum. Similarly, if someone in your family has celiac disease, you are likely to suffer from the disease and need to take the necessary precautions accordingly.
If you are suffering from any symptoms associated with celiac disease, you can visit Gastroenterology Diagnostic Center. Our team of gastroenterologists has the right experience in treating celiac disease. Call us at 281-357-1977 to book your appointment.