What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten causes damage to the small intestine. When someone with Celiac Disease ingests gluten, an immune reaction occurs that causes damage to the villi in the small intestine. The villi is what promotes nutrient absorption, so when the villi get damaged, nutrients can not be properly absorbed by the body.
If left untreated, Celiac Disease can lead to serious health conditions. These include other autoimmune conditions such as:
- type 1 diabetes
- multiple sclerosis
- thyroid disease
- dermatitis herpatiformis(an itchy skin rash)
- neurological conditions such as epilepsy and migraines
- infertility & miscarriage
- short stature
- intestinal cancers
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that helps foods maintain their shape and acts as a glue to hold it together. It is commonly found in:
- baked goods
- sauces and seasonings
- and many other packaged & processed foods.
There are many more foods that contain gluten, often in unexpected ways.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
Celiac Disease is difficult to diagnose because it affects people in many different ways. Some people do not have any symptoms at all, however below are the most common signs and symptoms.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD)
- Delayed Growth in Children
- Infertility or recurant miscarriage
- Joint Pain
- Poor weight gain/weightloss
*Failure to thrive during childhood is a common indicator of celiac disease
If you or someone you know think they might have Celiac Disease, request a blood panel from your doctor.
Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity
Some people experience symptoms of Celiac Disease, yet do not test positive on a blood test. However, removing gluten from their diet resolves symptoms, and they are classified as Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity.