Raising Awareness: What You Should Understand About Celiac Disease
Do you notice gastrointestinal effects after consuming gluten-containing items? Gastrointestinal issues that occur after consuming gluten, such as loose stools, abdominal pain, bloating, and greasy stools, could be indicators of celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that triggers an irregular immune reaction to the protein in grains called gluten. An immune response develops when gluten is ingested, causing unpleasant GI symptoms. Although there is presently no way to cure celiac disease, the gastrointestinal doctors at Digestive Health Center in Ocean Springs, MS can help identify and manage celiac disease symptoms.
How does celiac disease affect your body?
Those who have celiac disease should obtain a proper diagnosis and treatment from a trusted gastrointestinal physician. This disease could damage the body if the condition is left undiagnosed and untreated. This digestive disease can produce a lasting impact on the small bowel, where a person's body absorbs most vitamins and other nutrients. When gluten is absorbed in the small intestine, it stimulates the immune system to respond. Your body then sends antibodies to attack it. These antibodies may harm the mucosa in your small intestine, affecting your digestive system's ability to gain nutritional value from food.
Some of the other potential chronic effects of celiac disease are:
- Manifestation of new food intolerances
- Compromised immune system
- Liver disease
- Ulcers or scarring in the digestive tract
- Heightened risk of cancer in the intestine
What are the available treatments for celiac disease?
In general, the ideal approach to treat celiac disease is to avoid consuming foods containing gluten. Following your diagnosis with celiac disease, you should be able to stonewall further symptoms when you avoid gluten. In time, the intestinal lining will start to heal and once again receive nutrients. Because there is currently no cure for celiac disease, those with the disease will most likely need to maintain a diet free of gluten for the rest of their life to avoid damaging their small intestine again. Some treatments that could be suggested include:
- Nutritional supplements
- Continued follow-up care
If you need celiac disease treatment in Ocean Springs, MS, the gastrointestinal doctors at Digestive Health Center are available. While the most effective treatment method is a gluten-free diet, it is important that you have been diagnosed as having celiac disease prior to cutting out gluten altogether to verify how it negatively affects you.
Celiac disease vs. gluten intolerance: What’s the difference?
On the surface, celiac disease and gluten intolerance may seem similar. They lead to disagreeable gastro symptoms after eating gluten. Similarities don’t go further than that. As mentioned, celiac disease causes an unusual reaction in the body that may negatively impact your GI system in the long run. While gluten intolerance is uncomfortable, it should not create long-term harm to your digestive tract. It can most often be alleviated by supplementing digestive enzymes to minimize symptoms. The symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease symptoms are close to the same; therefore, if you notice such symptoms, you should see a digestive health professional to establish which condition you have.
Find support for celiac disease in Ocean Springs, MS
At Digestive Health Center, our team is committed to elevating celiac disease awareness. One in every 133 individuals becomes diagnosed with celiac disease. Celiac disease can alter how you live, usually favorably. Once you’ve removed gluten, your body will start to heal from the damage caused by consuming gluten. With a healed body, your risk of getting one or more of the above-mentioned long-term effects decreases. To learn more, get in touch with a Digestive Health Center location. You can rely on our board-certified gastroenterologists in Ocean Springs, MS to help your GI wellness.