What is Celiac Disease, Anyway?

Gluten free diets have been popular in the past few years. While some people who go gluten free are trying a fad, people who have celiac disease must adhere to a gluten free diet or risk becoming seriously ill.

In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, we are breaking down the basics on what Celiac Disease is and how it affects real people!

What Is Celiac Disease?

An autoimmune disorder affecting 1 in 100 people worldwide, celiac disease occurs when a individual’s small intestine is damaged when gluten, a protein found in rye, wheat and barley, is ingested. When the intestine is damaged, it interferes with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.

When it’s left untreated, celiac disease can cause other serious conditions like anemia, osteoporosis, Type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Individuals with celiac disease are also more at risk for developing lymphoma.

The Symptoms of Celiac DiseaseCeliac

Symptoms are sometimes quite mild, yet noticeable. Gas and bloating are the most common complaints. Many people also notice an alteration in their bowel movements. Feelings of weakness and tiredness are frequently reported, and so is inexplicable weight loss. Vomiting after the ingestion of gluten happens less often. It’s more frequently seen in children than adults.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Celiac Disease

Doctors perform a physical exam and take a blood test to look for particular antibodies that signal the presence of celiac disease. An endoscopy may also be necessary to achieve a definitive diagnosis. The only available treatment is for patients to stick to a strictly gluten-free diet. Although this may seem restrictive, there are many gluten-free alternatives in the marketplace. Plus, foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and eggs are perfectly fine to consume.

Accurate Food Allergy Testing

Nationwide Test Smartly Labs facilities are equipped to provide food allergy testing, including wheat allergy testing. Visit one of our wellness-certified labs to get started today.

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