What Should You Know About Celiac Disease?
Do you notice gastrointestinal (GI) effects after consuming gluten-containing products? GI problems that develop after eating gluten, like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and oily stools, can be signs of celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes an irregular immune response to the protein in grains referred to as gluten. This immune reaction develops when gluten is consumed, causing unpleasant effects. While there is presently no cure for celiac disease, the gastrointestinal doctors at Connecticut GI can help diagnose and treat celiac disease symptoms. Read on as our Connecticut team explains more about this condition.
How can celiac disease impact the body?
Individuals with celiac disease should seek a proper diagnosis and medical care from a trusted digestive health provider. Celiac disease could cause harm to the body if it is not diagnosed or treated. It can have a lasting impact on the small bowel, where the majority of nutrients are absorbed by the body. When gluten is taken up in the small intestine, it triggers an immune system response. The body then releases a host of antibodies to destroy it. Such antibodies can damage the tissue in the small intestine, which may impair the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
Other potential lasting impacts of celiac disease involve:
- Scarring or ulcers in the GI tract
- Heightened risk of cancer in the intestine
- Liver disease
- Being immunocompromised
- Manifestation of new food intolerances
How is celiac disease treated?
Generally, the optimal way to treat celiac disease is to remove gluten from your diet. Once you’ve been tested and diagnosed with celiac disease, you should be able to avoid unpleasant symptoms when you cut out gluten. Eventually, the intestinal lining should heal and once again absorb nutrients. Since there is no known cure for this disease, you may have to maintain a diet free of gluten for life to avoid damaging the small intestine. Treatments that might be helpful for celiac disease include:
- A good follow-up care routine
If you are looking for celiac disease treatment in Connecticut, the team of gastrointestinal doctors at Connecticut GI can help. Even though treatment for celiac disease largely centers on a gluten-free diet, it is crucial to receive a celiac disease diagnosis prior to cutting out gluten entirely to determine if it has an impact on you.
Celiac disease vs. gluten intolerance: Is there a difference?
To many individuals, celiac disease and gluten intolerance might seem alike. Both lead to uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming gluten. However, the similarities stop there. As previously mentioned, celiac disease is known to cause an atypical response in the body that can have a negative impact on the digestive tract over time. While gluten intolerance is uncomfortable, it does not cause long-term harm to the GI tract. Gluten intolerance can most often be alleviated by supplementing digestive enzymes that can minimize symptoms. Symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease are very similar; therefore, if you have symptoms after eating gluten, you should see a gastroenterologist to determine which GI condition you have.
Find support for celiac disease in Connecticut
At Connecticut GI, our team is passionate about raising celiac disease awareness. Every 1 in every 133 individuals is diagnosed with celiac disease. Celiac disease can completely change how you live, but typically in a favorable way. By removing gluten from your diet, your body can heal from the damage caused by this protein. As your body heals, your risk of experiencing any long-term effects diminishes. To request a consultation, get in touch with a Connecticut GI location near you. You can relax under the care of our board-certified gastroenterologists, who can help preserve your digestive health.