Bhupinder Anand, MD
- Celiac disease facts
- What is celiac disease?
- What causes celiac disease?
- What are the signs and symptoms of celiac disease?
- How do symptoms of celiac disease differ with age of onset?
- What is latent and silent celiac disease?
- What diseases are associated with celiac disease?
- How is celiac disease diagnosed?
- What is the treatment of celiac disease?
- What if individuals don't respond to gluten free diet?
- What is refractory celiac disease?
- What is the treatment of refractory celiac disease?
- What are the complications of celiac disease?
- Can cancer risk be reduced in celiac disease?
- What's new in celiac disease?
- Information on gluten free diet
- Celiac Disease (Celiac Sprue) FAQs
- Patient Comments: Celiac Disease - Diagnosis
- Patient Comments: Celiac Disease - Symptoms
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Celiac disease facts
- Celiac disease is a chronic digestive disorder in which
damage to the lining of the small intestine leads to the malabsorption of
minerals and nutrients.
- The destruction of the inner lining of the small
intestine in celiac disease is caused by an immunological (allergic) reaction to
- Gluten is a family of proteins present in wheat,
barley, rye, and sometimes oats.
- Individuals with celiac disease may develop diarrhea,
steatorrhea, weight loss,
flatulence, iron deficiency anemia, abnormal
bleeding, or weakened bones. However, many adults with celiac disease may have
either no symptoms or only vague abdominal discomfort such as bloating,
abdominal distension, and excess gas.
- Children with celiac disease may have stunted
growth, and if untreated, childhood celiac disease can result in short stature
as an adult.
- Small intestinal biopsy is considered the most
accurate test for celiac disease.
- Blood tests can be performed to diagnose celiac
disease; these include endomysial antibodies, anti-tissue transglutaminase
antibodies, and anti-gliadin antibodies.
- There is no cure for celiac disease. The treatment of
celiac disease is a gluten free diet.
- In most individuals, a gluten free diet will result in
improvement in symptoms within weeks. Many individuals report symptom
improvement within 48 hours.
- In children with celiac disease, successful treatment
with a gluten free diet can lead to the resumption in growth (with rapid catch
up in height).
- Failure to respond to a gluten free diet can be due to
several reasons; the most common reason is failure to adhere to a strict
gluten free diet.
- Refractory celiac disease is a rare condition in which the
symptoms of celiac disease (and the loss of villi) do not improve despite many
months of a strict gluten free diet. It may progress to cancer.
- The treatment of refractory celiac disease is first to make
sure that all gluten is eliminated from the diet. If there still is no
improvement, corticosteroids such as prednisone, and immunosuppressive agents
(medications that suppress a person's immune system) such as azathioprine and
cyclosporine may be used.
- Adults with celiac disease have a several-fold higher
than normal risk of developing lymphomas (cancers of the lymph glands) in the
small intestine and elsewhere. They also have a high risk of small intestinal
and, to a lesser degree, of esophageal carcinomas (cancers of the inner lining
of the intestine and esophagus).
- The prognosis of individuals with celiac disease who develop lymphoma, collagenous celiac disease, or jejunal ulcers is poor.
Next: What is celiac disease?
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Celiac Disease - Diagnosis Question: How was your celiac disease diagnosed?
Celiac Disease - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Celiac Disease - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including changes in diet, have you tried for your celiac disease?
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Celiac Disease - Diet Question: Discuss the dietary changes you've made to manage your celiac disease. Has your condition improved?
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