Celiac Disease
What is celiac disease?


Celiac disease is a digestive disease that ruins the small intestine and the process of absorption of nutrients from food gets messed up. People that get this disease can't tolerate gluten, wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is mostly found in everyday foods. If you eat any foods that contain gluten, the immune system respond by destroying the villi. A villi is a tiny protrusions lining the small intestine.
external image villus_villi-intestinales.jpg











What are symptoms of Celiac?




Symptoms may vary for different people. Here are some for children.
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight Loss

Adults are likely to have these symptoms.

  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness
  • Skin Rash
  • Sore
  • Bone/Joint Pains

How is Celiac treated and diagnosed?

The only way to treat this disease is a gluten-free diet. From this diet, people will prevent further damage and heal existing damage. It will start working after a couple days of the diet. For children it will take about 3 to 6 moths for the intestine to heal, but it may take several years for the adults. Having a healed intestine means that the person now has villi and is able to absorb nutrients from the foods they eat. To stay healthy, people with Celiac Disease must keep gluten away for the rest of their lives because even a small amount can really affect the intestine. It is hard to do the diet sometimes because of this. They consume gluten little by little. It is hard to recognize Celiac because the symptoms are similar to the other diseases. So Celiac is currently misdiagnosed. Here are some ways to find out if you have the disease or not.


1. Blood Test: People with celiac disease have higher levels of auto anti bodies which are proteins that react against the body’s own cells or tissues in their blood. So the doctors will test for high blood pressures.
2. Intestinal Biopsy: During this step, the doctor will get a small piece of tissue from the intestine to check the damage of the villi. Then the doctor takes an endoscope and puts it through the person and check out his intestines.

3. Dermatitis Herpetiformis: DH is an itchy skin rash caused by Celiac. It is diagnosed by blood tests and biopsy like the others.
4. Screening: Screening means testing for presence of autoantibodies in the blood. Americans are not usually screened, but family members of people that do have Celiac is required to be screened.


How common is Celiac Disease?


Celiac affects people all over the world. More than 2 million people in the United States have the disease. It is estimated about 1 out of 133. If one of your family members have it, there is a 1 out of 3 chances that you will get Celiac Disease.



Sources:
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/#common http://www.healia.com/healthguide/guides/celiac-disease/what-causes-celiac-disease http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeliac_disease