Gluten-sensitive enteropathy

Other names: Celiac disease, Nontropical sprue, Sprue, celiac

DEFINITION

Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It triggers an immune response in the small intestine, causing inflammation that damages the lining and prevents nutrient absorption.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms vary but can include diarrhea, weight loss, bloating, anemia, bone density loss, skin rash, headaches, fatigue, and neurological issues. In children, it can affect growth and development.

CAUSES

The exact cause is unknown, but genetics and environmental factors play a role. It may be triggered by factors like surgery, pregnancy, infections, or stress.

RISK FACTORS

Family history of Celiac disease, autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes, Down syndrome, and certain genetic mutations increase the risk.

Complications: Untreated Celiac disease can lead to malnutrition, bone issues, infertility, cancer, lactose intolerance, and nonresponsive or refractory Celiac disease.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Blood tests and endoscopy are used for diagnosis. It's important to be tested before starting a gluten-free diet to avoid misleading results.

Treatments: A strict gluten-free diet is the primary treatment. Vitamin supplements may be needed for deficiencies. Medications can help control inflammation or skin rash if present.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies: Avoid all gluten-containing foods like wheat, barley, and rye. Read labels carefully and opt for gluten-free alternatives. Many natural foods are naturally gluten-free.

QUESTIONS

  1. What is Celiac disease?

Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye.

  1. What are the common symptoms of Celiac disease?

Symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, bloating, anemia, skin rash, fatigue, and neurological issues.

  1. How is Celiac disease diagnosed?

Diagnosis involves blood tests to detect antibodies and endoscopy to examine the small intestine.

  1. What are the risk factors for developing Celiac disease?

Family history of Celiac disease, autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes, Down syndrome are common risk factors.

  1. What complications can arise from untreated Celiac disease?

Complications include malnutrition, bone issues (osteoporosis), infertility, cancer risk increase.

  1. What is the primary treatment for Celiac disease?

A strict gluten-free diet is essential for managing Celiac disease effectively.

  1. Can vitamin supplements be necessary for individuals with Celiac disease?

Yes, severe cases may require supplements like calcium, iron, B vitamins due to malabsorption issues.

  1. How does one manage Celiac disease in daily life?

By avoiding all gluten-containing foods and opting for gluten-free alternatives while reading labels carefully.

  1. What lifestyle changes should someone with Celiac disease consider?

Working closely with a dietitian to plan a healthy gluten-free diet tailored to individual needs can be beneficial.

  1. Are there any medications available to treat Celiac disease directly?

Medications may be prescribed to control inflammation in severe cases or manage associated skin conditions like dermatitis herpetiformis.