Signs of Celiac Disease
Many Americans get gastric upsets and most would think liltle of the bloating they experience. Occassionally, people would believe that eating something bad causes immediately them the stomach upset, not a whole lot worse. In case of getting this more often, it is better to check if it is Celiac disease.
So what is Celiac Disease?
Celiac Disease is a digestive disorder that affects the digestive system, primarily the small intestines. This condition disrupts the absorption of nutrients we get from food. Those who have this condition have no ability to tolerate a protein called gluten which is commonly found in grain products such as barley, rye, oats and wheat. These protein derivatives can also be found in other products such as medicines, food supplements and cosmetics.
When someone affected by Celiac disease eat foods which contain gluten, his body undergoes a state called hypersensitivity reaction, pretty much like how the body responds to allergies.
The auto immune response primarily affects the intestines damaging the tiny structures in them called the villi which are responsible for nutrient absorption. Without the villi, the person affected becomes severely malnourished and immuno-compromised no matter the quantity of food and nutrients he takes in.
This condition is both an illness related to mal absorption of nutrients and an abnormal immune response to gluten. Celiac disease is a genetic disorder and can be caused by digestive problems, viral infections, surgeries and even emotional stress. Manifestations of this disorder would often include bloating, gastric upsets, diarrhea, dehydration, malnutrition, fatty stools and vomiting.
Anemia is also a common feature of this condition which is common among children affected by Celiac disease. Some of the crisis the body undergoes after the onset of Celiac disease would be chronic dehydration, shock, seizures and cardiac problems which are fatal to those who are severely wasted.
If left untreated, this condition could lead to various complications such as severe anemia, electrolyte imbalances and other diseases related to severe malnourishment. Children are the most vulnerable population among those who suffer from Celiac disease. Many children suffering form this condition, especially those who are less that 5 years old cannot tolerate dehydration and malnourishment since their bodies are too immature to fight off infections and undergo such crisis. Dehydration brought by diarrhea and frequent vomiting could easily kill children under five years old.
Celiac disease is quite difficult to diagnose because of the diversity of symptoms this condition has. There is no typical way for this disease to manifests itself in such a way that people can easily detect. Since some of its symptoms can easily be linked with other bowel diseases, this condition can easily be undermined and missed. If this condition is successfully diagnosed, the only way to subside some its symptoms would be to embrace a gluten free diet to avoid long term complications.
Chad Hines was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue when I was just 7 years old! He was extremely sick as a child and wound up visiting a seemingly infinite number of doctors, until he was finally diagnosed with Celiac in 1989. After the initial diagnosis, his wonderful mother researched diligently to ensure that he was maintaining a gluten-free diet. He went on to play basketball and water polo in high school and also played in a band that released a few CD’s. After starting a few gluten-free and Celiac websites and blogs, Chad began to understand the frustration and confusion that happens upon being diagnosed with Celiac. In addition, he saw the many questions that individuals have when they are first diagnosed. That’s why Chad wanted to create an online community where gluten-free individuals from around the world could gather to ask questions and share information, stories and recipes with one another! Chad is on the Board of Directors for the Celiac Disease Foundation and helps the CDF raise Celiac awareness in any way that I can.