Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.
Celiac disease can be difficult to diagnose because it affects people differently. There are more than 200 known symptoms which may occur in the digestive system or other parts of the body. Some people develop celiac disease as a child, others as an adult. The reason for this is still unknown.
There are two steps to finding out if you have celiac disease: screening and diagnosis. You should always consult with a physician experienced with celiac disease to ensure proper diagnosis.
Currently the only treatment for both celiac disease and non-celiac wheat sensitivity is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet, which means the elimination of wheat, rye and barley.
Dermatitis herpetiformis, also known as DH and Duhring’s disease, is a skin manifestation of celiac disease. Extremely itchy bumps or blisters appear on both sides of the body, most often on the forearms near the elbows, as well as on knees and buttocks.
A wide range of psychological problems can arise for those with untreated celiac disease or non-celiac wheat sensitivity. Initially there may be a misdiagnosis of psychiatric illness. Once diagnosed, there may be difficulty adjusting to a new diagnosis of chronic illness and adherence to a gluten-free diet.
Celiac disease can cause dental enamel defects, delayed dental development and more cavities in children. Patients of all ages have more frequent and severe outbreaks of canker sores, and can experience a dry or burning sensation of the tongue. Those not on a gluten-free diet are at greater risk for cancers of the mouth, pharynx […]
For people with celiac disease, vaccinations tend to work just as effectively as they do for the general population with one notable exception: hepatitis B. Celiac disease testing is recommended for non-responders to the hepatitis B vaccine who are not already diagnosed. Hepatitis B re-vaccination is recommended after starting a gluten-free diet.
It is estimated that up to 20% of people diagnosed with celiac disease have persistent symptoms while on a gluten-free diet. The most common reason for persistent symptoms is continuing to ingest gluten.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. People with one autoimmune disorder are prone to getting other autoimmune disorders. The most common autoimmune disorders associated with celiac disease are thyroid disease and Type 1 Diabetes. Other serious conditions and cancers are also associated with celiac disease.
People with non-celiac wheat sensitivity experience symptoms similar to those of celiac disease, which resolve when gluten is removed from the diet. However, they do not test positive for celiac disease.