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What is Celiac Disease?

By August 9, 2019Uncategorized

Celiac Disease is an immune system disorder triggered by eating the protein, gluten. Gluten is often found in wheat, barley and rye. When you suffer from Celiac Disease and you eat gluten, it facilitates an immune reaction in your small intestines. Celiac Disease destroys the villi which are responsible for nutrient absorption in the small intestines. In time the reaction will become more severe impeding the villi from absorbing nutrients.

You should check UEW Healthcare to check if Celiac Disease is covered under The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). If so you are in luck especially since Celiac Disease has no known cure.

About 3 million Americans suffer from Celiac Disease. Only adhering to a strict gluten free diet can help alleviate the symptoms of Celiac Disease and promote the recovery of the small intestines.

Signs and symptoms of Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease has a whole host of symptoms that can have wide disparities. The symptoms in children may also be different to the symptoms in adults.

The digestive symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

  • Abdominal discomfort and pain
  • Nausea and persistent vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating and stomach filling with gas
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Pale, foul smelling stool

You can also have signs and symptoms not affecting the digestive system including:

  • Anemia
  • Loss of bone density and bone softening
  • Joint and bone pain
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis (itchy skin with blisters)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Balance and cognitive impairment
  • Tingling of the hands and feet as a result of nervous system malfunctions
  • Improper functioning of the spleen

The digestive symptoms are more apparent in children than adults. Improper absorption of nutrients in children can lead to other symptoms including:

  • Stunted growth
  • Improper tooth enamel development
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia due to lack of iron absorption
  • Late onset puberty
  • Neurological disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disorders, lack of muscle coordination and seizures

Causes of Celiac Disease

The exact root cause of Celiac Disease is a mystery. However, genetic dispositions accompanied by eating foods containing gluten among other factors like infant feeding habits, digestive tract infections and gut bacteria can lead to the development of Celiac Disease. (Ciclitira PJ, 2019)

Celiac Disease can become activated surgery, pregnancy, giving birth, viral infection or persistent emotional stress. Less than 20% of Celiac Disease victims ever get properly diagnosed.

Risk factors of Celiac Disease

You are at a higher risk of contracting Celiac Disease if:

  • You have a history of Celiac Disease in your family
  • You have Type 1 diabetes
  • You have Down or Turner Syndrome
  • You have autoimmune thyroid disease
  • You have microscopic colitis
  • You have Addison’s Disease

Complications of Celiac Disease

If not treated, Celiac Disease can lead to complications such as:

  • Malnutrition. You can have malnutrition if your small intestines do not absorb nutrients for a prolonged period of time. It can lead to anemia and weight loss in adults and stunted growth and short stature in children.
  • Weakening of bones. Calcium and vitamin D are especially important for bone development and strengthening process. Lack of absorption of these nutrients in the body leads to weak bones.
  • Infertility and miscarriages. Reproductive complications can arise due to the lack of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Lactose intolerance. You may be able to consume dairy products that contain lactose if your small intestines are severely damaged.
  • Cancer. If you have Celiac Disease and continue to consume gluten you put yourself at a higher risk of contracting cancer.
  • Nervous system disorders. Lack of absorption of nutrients that keep the brain healthy can lead to seizures and peripheral neuropathy.

Treatment of Celiac Disease

No medicine or surgery will remedy Celiac Disease. The only course of action if diagnosed with Celiac Disease is to maintain a strict gluten free diet.

A doctor can prescribe gluten free vitamins in case you have severe nutrient deficiency and mediation in case you have a blistery rash.

UEW is here to help. Contact us today.

Celiac Disease is an immune disorder triggered by the consumption of gluten. It causes the inability to absorb nutrients by the villi in the small intestines. About 1% of Americans suffer from the disease.

Celiac Disease has many signs and symptoms. The symptoms differ from person to person and are also different for children and adults.

Celiac Disease can lead to serious complications including infertility and neurological disorders. The only way to starve off Celiac Disease is to maintain a strict gluten free diet.