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Celiac Disease

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease happens when the small intestine is damaged.   When the damage happens, the small intestine can’t get nutrients from food and the person becomes malnourished.

People who have celiac disease can’t eat gluten.   Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.  Gluten is found in many of the foods we eat.

Symptoms

•         gas

•         abdominal bloating and pain

•         chronic diarrhea

•         constipation

•         pale, foul smelling or greasy looking stool

•         weight loss/gain

•         fatigue

•         unexplained anemia

•         bone or joint pain

•         muscle cramps

•         recurrent miscarriage

•         malnutrition

Causes

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder.   This is because the person’s own immune system causes the damage.

It is a disease that runs in families.

Sometimes the disease becomes active for the first time after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or severe emotional stress.

Diagnosis

Blood tests looking at your antibodies

Biopsy during an upper endoscopy

Capsule endoscopy/Pill cam

Treatment

The only treatment is a gluten free diet.   You will need to work closely with a registered dietician.