Facts You Should Know About Celiac Disease
Do you experience gastrointestinal symptoms when you consume gluten-containing products? Gastrointestinal problems that develop after eating gluten, like bloating, diarrhea or loose stools, abdominal pain, and greasy stools, can indicate celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes an abnormal immune reaction to the protein in grains called gluten. This immune response develops with gluten consumption, leading to uncomfortable effects. While there is presently no cure for celiac disease, the gastrointestinal doctors at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Indianapolis, IN can identify and address celiac disease symptoms.
How might celiac disease affect your body?
Individuals who believe they may have celiac disease should always get a proper diagnosis and treatment from an experienced gastrointestinal physician. Celiac disease may damage the body when the condition is not diagnosed or treated. This digestive disease could have a long-term impact on the small bowel, where most nutrients are taken up by the body. When the protein gluten is absorbed in the small bowel, it triggers an immune response, causing the body to send antibodies to destroy it. These antibodies can harm the lining of the small bowel, which can impact the body’s ability to collect nourishment from food.
Other potential lasting impacts of celiac disease are:
- Scarring or ulcers in the GI tract
- Liver disease
- Development of new food intolerances
- Increased risk of cancer in the intestine
- Weakened immune system
What are the available treatments for celiac disease?
Overall, the best method to address celiac disease is to avoid eating gluten. After you are diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s possible to alleviate further symptoms by cutting out gluten from your diet. With time, the lining in your intestine should heal and start to take in nutrients properly again. Since there is no known cure for celiac disease, patients may have to eat a diet free of gluten for life in order to circumvent damage to the small intestine. Other treatments that may be recommended are:
- Continued follow-up care
- Doctor-suggested nutritional supplements
If you need celiac disease treatment in Indianapolis, IN, the team of gastrointestinal doctors at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology can help. Even though the most effective treatment method is a gluten-free diet, it is very important that you receive a diagnosis of celiac disease prior to cutting out gluten completely to find out how it might impact your body.
Celiac disease vs. gluten intolerance: Are they the same thing?
To many, celiac disease and gluten intolerance can seem alike. They cause unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming gluten. However, the similarities end there. As mentioned above, celiac disease causes an abnormal reaction in the body that can have a negative impact on the digestive tract. Gluten intolerance, though uncomfortable, won’t create long-term damage to your digestive tract. Gluten intolerance can often be alleviated by supplementing digestive enzymes that are known to minimize GI symptoms. Symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease symptoms are almost the same; therefore, if you notice such symptoms, we suggest you be assessed by a GI specialist to establish which condition you are experiencing.
Find help for celiac disease in Indianapolis, IN
The Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology team is devoted to elevating celiac disease awareness. About 1 in every 133 individuals becomes diagnosed with celiac disease. Having celiac disease can change how you live, usually favorably. After removing gluten from your diet, your body can start to heal from the damage caused by consuming gluten. With a healed body, the risk of developing one or more of the above-mentioned long-term effects diminishes. To request a consultation, reach out to an Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology location near you. You can relax in the hands of our GI specialists in Indianapolis, IN.