breadUnderstanding and Preventing Celiac Symptoms

Celiac disease or gluten sensitive enteropathy (GSE) affects about one in 133 people in the United States today. According to studies, celiac disease happens to 5-15 percent of those people who have siblings and other family members who are suffering from this ailment. However, among identical twins, about 70% of twins suffer from celiac symptoms shortly after the other is diagnosed with the disease. Given these high incidents of the disease among twins, doctors often subject the other twin to a series of test for celiac disease even if the other twin does not manifest any celiac symptoms.

Although there are so many people who are suffering from celiac disease in the country today, it not really clear as to what causes this type of ailment. Some medical professionals believe that celiac disease can be genetic judging by the way twins often display the same celiac symptoms, but there is still no concrete evidence to support this claim.

What are the Common Symptoms?

Some of the most common celiac symptoms are abdominal cramping, intestinal gas, bloating, distention of the stomach, chronic diarrhea and/or constipation, anemia, and weight loss even if the person has large appetite. In some other cases, celiac symptoms may come in the form of dental enamel defects, bone or joint pain, osteoporosis, depression, infertility, and fatigue and even ulcers. Since most of these symptoms are non-exclusive to celiac disease, one should not assume that you are suffering from celiac symptoms if you suffer from any of these conditions. In fact, a lot of medical professionals warn against starting a gluten-free diet until the existence of celiac disease has been medically confirmed.

How to Know If You Are Indeed Suffering From Celiac Symptoms

The only way to know for certain whether or not a person is suffering from celiac symptoms is to conduct a small bowel biopsy. This process involves gastroscopy or the passing of a tube from the mount of the patient to the gut where a small sample from the wall of intestine is taken for study. This can be quite an uncomfortable procedure but since a blood test is not always sufficient to establish if a person is suffering from celiac disease and the celiac symptoms can easily pass off as symptoms of some other types of diseases, this uncomfortable procedure is important to determine the true condition of the patient.

For more information about Celiac Disease, please visit these resources:

Celiac Disorder Foundation

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness