Celiac disease is a disorder of the digestive system that damages the small intestine and inhibits the absorption of nutrients into the body. This disease centers on the bodies inability to tolerate the protein gluten. Gluten is found in foods such as wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is also used in many every items such as vitamins, prescription medications and adhesives.
Who Can Get Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a genetic condition. This means it is passed down from parents to their child via genes. The disease may lay latent until triggered by surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection or extreme emotional stress.
Causes of Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is genetic and is thus passed from parents to their children.
When patients suffer from Celiac Disease the small intestine is damaged by the body’s response to gluten. Over time, the small intestine loses the ability to function properly. Without the absorption capabilities of the small intestine, vitamins and nutrients are not absorbed and patient become unhealthy.
The symptoms of Celiac Disease will vary from patient to patient. The most common symptom in children is irritability. Other symptoms may include one, or more, of the following:
- Abdominal bloating, recurring
- Abdominal pain, recurring
- Diarrhea, chronic
- Fatty stool of pale color
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Bone pain
- Joint pain
- Changes in behavior
- Numbness or tingling in legs
- Muscle cramping
- Miscarriage, recurrent
- Delay in growth
- Aphthous ulcers of the mouth
- Loss of tooth enamel
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
Over the Counter Treatments for Celiac Disease
There are no over the counter treatments for Celiac Disease.
The only viable treatment for Celiac Disease is a change in diet and nutrition. In order to heal the small intestine, the patient will need to avoid all foods containing gluten. Gluten rich foods include wheat, barley and rice. A few of the approved foods for those wit the sisease include, but are not limited to,
- Wild rice
When is Medicinal Treatment Necessary?
In very rare cases of Celiac Disease, the gluten free diet will not stop the destruction of the small intestine. These patients will need to seek medical attention in order to maintain proper vitamin and nutrient levels for life.
In undiagnosed Celiac Disease other complication may occur including,
- Disease of the thyroid
- Systemic Lupus
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Liver Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Collagen Vascular Disease
- Sjorgren’s Syndrome
The only medical treatment, at this time, for Celiac Disease, is the administration of vitamins and nutrients via intravenous injection or IV. Known as unresponsive Celiac Disease, patients who require supplemental vitamins and nutrients even after adopting a gluten-free diet will need to be evaluated for further disease complications.