Celiac Disease Awareness Month: Understand the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Summary: Celiac disease can leave long-lasting damage to the small bowel without treatment, making it important to understand its symptoms.
You likely have heard of the protein known as gluten. In our world today, it’s common to know individuals who adhere to a gluten-free diet even if you’re not following one yourself. However, gluten intolerance could signal a more concerning issue – a condition called celiac disease. At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, our objective is to help you gain awareness of the signs of celiac disease and develop ways to manage this condition should it impact your life. There's no better month to learn about the signs, symptoms, treatments, and causes of celiac disease than the month of May – Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Continue reading to find out more about celiac disease from our Hinsdale, IL gastroenterologists.
What should I know about celiac disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small bowel when gluten is ingested. With this hereditary disease, the body will elicit an immune reaction following the ingestion of gluten that can damage the villi, which are the thin fingerlike fringe lining of the small intestine. This prevents the body from taking in nutrients in the proper manner.
At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, we strive to provide you with the necessary information concerning celiac disease since around 1 out of 100 people have this disease. Individuals with celiac disease are at greater risk for coronary artery disease and are four times more likely to develop cancer of the small intestine.
Know the signs of celiac disease
It’s estimated that about 2.5 million U.S. citizens have undiagnosed cases of celiac disease. It’s vital to know the signs and symptoms of this condition because, without proper care, it could lead to serious long-term health conditions.
Common symptoms of celiac disease involve:
Fainting or weakness
Dermatitis herpetiformis rash, commonly on the buttock, knees, or elbows (referred to as the “celiac rash”)
Symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
Pain, numbness, or tingling in the feet
Joint or bone pain
What can I expect with a celiac disease diagnosis?
The digestive health specialists at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates commonly carry out celiac disease screenings and help those with celiac disease in Hinsdale, IL manage this issue. To test an individual for celiac disease, we’ll begin by collecting a detailed family and health history. Since people with an immediate family member having celiac disease possess a 10% chance of being affected by the condition, it's essential to analyze family history first. After that, our physicians will review symptoms and conduct a physical exam. Our physicians may analyze the following when conducting this exam:
Abdominal swelling or pain
Certain sounds emanating from the abdominal area
Loss of weight
Our GI experts might additionally recommend one or more celiac disease tests, which could include blood work, biopsies of a skin rash or the small intestine, DNA testing, and others. Results of these tests may offer us a more extensive understanding of any symptoms and potential autoimmune complications associated with celiac disease.
Are there treatment options for celiac disease?
Though celiac disease can be serious in the absence of care, you can find hope in knowing it can be easy to address. Our specialists will typically recommend managing celiac disease with a gluten-free diet, which entails avoiding specific grains, such as barley, rye, and wheat. You can find a wealth of information pertaining to gluten-free diets on the Web, but our gastrointestinal specialists advise seeking help from a nutritionist who can help guide this transition, as gluten is often found in a number of items that may seem surprising. A few common items that might contain gluten are:
Certain over-the-counter medications
Lip gloss or lipstick
Get treatment for celiac disease in Hinsdale, IL
Celiac disease really includes far more than having a gluten intolerance. The disease impacts the small intestine and can result in ongoing damage without treatment. If you or a family member suffers from any symptoms of celiac disease or have a parent or sibling with the disease, we urge you to schedule a visit at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates to screen for celiac disease. For further details about gastrointestinal issues or to get help for celiac disease in Hinsdale, IL, please reach out to our GI specialists today.