Raising Awareness: What You Should Know About Celiac Disease
Do you have gastrointestinal symptoms when consuming gluten-containing items? Gastrointestinal issues that arise after consuming gluten, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and stomach discomfort, bloating, and more, can result from celiac disease. An autoimmune condition, celiac disease elicits an irregular immune reaction to the protein in grains called gluten. An immune reaction arises when gluten is consumed, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms. Although there is presently no cure for celiac disease, the gastrointestinal doctors at Arizona Digestive Health in the Phoenix, AZ area can identify and treat celiac disease symptoms.
How can celiac disease affect your body?
People who have celiac disease are encouraged to undergo diagnosis and treatment from a GI physician. Celiac disease could damage the body when the condition goes undiagnosed and untreated. This digestive condition could have a chronic impact on the small intestine, where the majority of nutrients are absorbed by your body. When the gluten protein is absorbed in the small bowel, it elicits an immune system reaction. The body then sends a host of antibodies to attack it. Such antibodies can harm the tissue in your small bowel, affecting your digestive system's ability to absorb nutritional value from food products.
Additional potential lasting effects of celiac disease include:
- Ulcers or scarring in the gastrointestinal tract
- Higher risk of intestinal cancer
- Disease of the liver
- Occurrence of new food intolerances
- Compromised immune system
How is celiac disease treated?
Overall, the ideal treatment for celiac disease is to avoid consuming foods containing gluten. Once you’ve been testing and diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s possible to put a stop to additional symptoms by not eating gluten. With time, the intestinal lining should heal and start to absorb nutrients. Given that there is currently no cure for celiac disease, those with the disease will most likely need to hold to a gluten-free diet for the rest of their life in order to circumvent damage to the small intestine even more. Other treatments that may be recommended include:
- Nutritional supplements
- Continued follow-up care
If you are looking for celiac disease treatment in the Phoenix, AZ area, the gastrointestinal doctors at Arizona Digestive Health may be able to help. Even though treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet, it is very important that you’ve received a diagnosed with celiac disease prior to cutting out gluten entirely to find out how it affects you.
Celiac disease vs. gluten intolerance: How do they compare?
On the surface, gluten intolerance and celiac disease might seem alike. They both lead to uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming gluten. The similarities come to an end there, though. As mentioned above, celiac disease causes an abnormal reaction in the body that may have a negative effect on the digestive system in time. While gluten intolerance is uncomfortable, it won’t harm to the digestive tract. It can often be alleviated by supplementing digestive enzymes that can reduce symptoms. The symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease symptoms are basically identical, which is why if you notice symptoms, we suggest you see a digestive health professional to establish which GI condition you are suffering from.
Find help for celiac disease in Arizona
At Arizona Digestive Health, our team is devoted to educating patients on celiac disease awareness. One in every 133 individuals gets a diagnosis of celiac disease. Having celiac disease can completely change how you live life, usually favorably. Once you’ve removed gluten from your diet, your body will start to recover from the damage caused by repeatedly consuming gluten. As your body heals, your risk of developing one or more of the aforementioned long-term effects goes down. To request an appointment, get in touch with a Arizona Digestive Health location in your community. You can rely on our gastrointestinal doctors to help your GI wellness.