What Should I Understand About Celiac Disease?


Do you experience gastrointestinal problems when you consume products containing gluten? GI concerns that manifest after consuming gluten, like loose or watery stools, abdominal discomfort, bloating, and greasy stools, could be due to celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that elicits an abnormal immune response to the protein found in grains known as gluten. This immune response arises when gluten is ingested, resulting in unpleasant GI symptoms. While there is presently no cure for celiac disease, the gastrointestinal providers at Digestive Health Center in Thibodaux, LA can help detect and treat celiac disease symptoms.

How does celiac disease affect the body?

Individuals who believe they may have celiac disease should always obtain a diagnosis and treatment from a trusted digestive health specialist. Celiac disease could harm the body in the event it is not diagnosed or treated. This digestive condition could cause a lasting impact on the small bowel, where most nutrients are absorbed by the body. When the protein gluten is taken up in the small bowel, it causes an immune reaction. The body then sends a host of antibodies to protect against it. These antibodies may damage the lining of your small intestine, impairing the GI system's ability to collect nourishment from food products.

Additional potential long-term effects of celiac disease are:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Elevated risk of intestinal cancer
  • Ulcers or scarring in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Liver conditions
  • Development of new food intolerances

What are the available treatments for celiac disease?

Overall, the best method to treat celiac disease is to avoid eating gluten. After being tested and diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s possible to prevent additional symptoms when you avoid gluten. Over time, the lining in your intestine will heal and once again be able to absorb nutrients. Since there is no cure for celiac disease, patients will most likely have to eat a gluten-free diet for the rest of their lives to avoid damaging the small intestine. Other treatments that may be suggested are:

  • Supplements
  • Corticosteroids
  • Medication
  • A good follow-up care routine

If you need celiac disease treatment in Thibodaux, LA, the gastrointestinal providers at Digestive Health Center are available. Even though the most effective treatment method is a gluten-free diet, it is very important that you are diagnosed with celiac disease before you stop eating gluten altogether to verify how it negatively affects you.

Celiac disease vs. gluten intolerance: How do they compare?

For many, celiac disease and gluten intolerance may seem similar. They both cause uncomfortable GI symptoms after consuming gluten. However, the similarities don’t go further than that. As mentioned, celiac disease is known to cause an atypical reaction in the body that can have a negative impact on the digestive system in the long run. Gluten intolerance is uncomfortable, but it should not create long-term damage to your GI tract. It can often be treated by supplementing digestive enzymes to reduce symptoms. Celiac disease symptoms and gluten intolerance symptoms are almost identical; therefore, if you notice symptoms after eating gluten, we suggest you be assessed by a gastroenterologist to establish which condition you have.

Find support for celiac disease in Thibodaux, LA

At Digestive Health Center, our team is devoted to educating patients on celiac disease awareness. Every 1 in every 133 individuals becomes diagnosed with celiac disease. Celiac disease can change how you live, often for the best. Once you’ve removed gluten, your body will start to heal from damage caused by eating gluten. With a healed body, the risk of getting one or more of the above-mentioned long-term effects goes down. To learn more, reach out to a Digestive Health Center location in your community. You can rely on our gastrointestinal specialists in Thibodaux, LA to preserve and protect your GI wellness.

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