Combating Common GI Woes
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What you eat and how you manage your life-style greatly impacts your digestive system. Watch our video on combating common GI woes to learn more.
Transcript: Integrating nutrition, exercise, and the right medical information into a sound plan for good health...
Integrating nutrition, exercise, and the right medical information into a sound plan for good health may be tough, but we've got just the right person to help you. Coach Kendra is an expert nutritionist, a professional personal trainer, and she's certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Coach Kendra, how can our diet and exercise choices affect our digestive health. Digestive health is intimately linked to what you eat - after all, the digestive process is what breaks the food that you consume into energy and nutrients. Most people who are concerned about their digestive health are worried about a particular problem such as heartburn, diarrhea, or constipation. Each of these conditions has slightly different nutritional needs. People with heartburn are quick to blame their woes on what they eat - but the real culprit is often the way they eat. Two quick ways to get your heartburn in check are to eat less food at each sitting and to avoid eating right before you go to bed. While some people ultimately find that certain foods cause heartburn for them no matter what, many others discover that heartburn can be avoided without eliminating their favorite dishes. Yoga can also be used to help relieve heartburn. Almost everyone experiences constipation at some point in their life. If it happens to you, there are a few simple steps you can take to restore normal movement. The first thing to do is to increase your fiber intake by eating more fruits, vegetables and grains. Fiber helps form soft, bulky stool to increase your regularity. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water and walking for 20 to 30 minutes each day can also help get things moving. There are also some Yoga moves that can help with constipation. For people who are suffering from Diarrhea, what you eat and drink can affect how long it takes to get better. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water, because diarrhea dehydrates you, and you'll need to replace lost fluids. For additional relief from diarrhea, you can try a little Yoga. Small changes in diet and exercise can be a big help for digestive conditions like these. However, if these digestive ailments persist for more than a couple of days, or you experience fever, chills, or any other unusual symptom, please make sure to see a doctor right away.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, digestive issues, gastrointestinal, stomach pain, stomach ache, stomachache, vomiting, gas, flatulence, what causes heartburn, what causes indigestion, what causes gastrointestinal problem heartburn foods, foods that cause heart burn, diet and digestion, diet and digestive health conditions, digestive health
Are you suffering from irritable bowel syndrome? You don't necessarily have to. Check out these ten tips to outsmart IBS.
Transcript: If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, you're not alone-one in five American adults struggles with...
If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, you're not alone-one in five American adults struggles with this condition. Keep watching for ten natural remedies that can help. Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a common digestive disorder characterized by abdominal pain, cramping and changes in bowel function. Because IBS isn't easy to detect with standard tests, it can be tough to diagnose and treat. The good news is, even without an official diagnosis, a host of time-tested natural remedies can help to ease the symptoms and recurrence of IBS. Because IBS is a digestive disorder, what you eat and when you eat it can greatly affect your symptoms! Diarrhea and cramping can be exacerbated by food intolerances. If you suffer from IBS, you may want to consider eating five or six small meals each day instead of three big ones. This helps the digestive process flow smoothly, and can often ease symptoms.A. While treating your IBS, try keeping a food diary. B. Recording what you consume each day will help you find the trigger foods and beverages that cause IBS flare-ups. Common trigger foods include artificial fats and sweeteners, fried foods and oils, red meat and solid chocolate. Avoiding these foods may help. A. Caffeinated and carbonated drinks can also contribute to cramping. If you have IBS, B. drastically limit your intake of these drinks. So what can you eat? Most IBS sufferers find relieve from fiber-filled foods. That's because fiber may prevent colon spasms that lead to cramps and keeps stools soft and easy to pass. Enjoy brown rice, barley, figs, prunes, raisins and oatmeal. Fruits, vegetables and juices are also great sources of fiber. One of the most helpful foods you can eat is yogurt! This low-fat treat is rich in the probioitic, acidophilus. This "friendly bacteria" helps to aid in digestion. A. If yogurt isn't your favorite food, you can get all the benefits of the probiotic B. by taking a supplement from your local health food store or pharmacy. Peppermint oil is thought to reduce the abdominal pain and bloating characteristic of IBS. Because peppermint can cause heartburn, it is most effective when taken in enteric-coated capsules. Although doctors are still unsure about what causes IBS, it has been found that stress can amplify your symptoms. Yoga, deep breathing and meditation can all help to relax the mind, and in turn, the body. One particular yoga pose that can help ease digestive symptoms of IBS is called opanasa, or the Wind-Relieving Pose. Lie flat on your back. Inhale, bringing both knees into your chest; then, as you exhale, bring your legs back to the ground. Inhale again as you bring your left knee inward, stretching your chin to touch the knee. Repeat by alternating knees. IBS can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but there is help for this common condition! Making smart food choices, taking supplements and engaging in stress-relieving activities can all help ease the discomfort of irritable bowel syndromeMore »
Last Modified: 2014-06-11 | Tags »
irritable bowel syndrome, IBS, natural remedies for ibs, natural ibs relief, stomach problems, bowel changes, intolerance, digestive issues, probiotics,diet changes for ibs bowel disorder, gas, cramping, stomach pain, yogurt, yoga, trigger foods, artificial sweeteners, artificial fats conditions, digestive health
Understanding the symptoms and causes of heartburn better will help you manage this condition. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Over 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a month-that's a lot of people, a lot of...
Over 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a month-that's a lot of people, a lot of the time! Learn more about this common condition. Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart! Actually, heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the esophagus which is caused by acid that refluxes, or seeps up, from the stomach. When you swallow, food passes down the throat through a long tube, the esophagus, to the stomach. A muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, opens to allow food into the stomach, and then it closes again. At this point, the stomach releases strong acids to help break down the food you've eaten. But if the LES opens too often or doesn't close tightly, that stomach acid can reflux into your esophagus, causing the painful sensation known as heartburn. There are several things that can contribute to the LES that doesn't tighten or close as it should. In up to 90 percent of cases, the cause is diet. The foods most commonly linked to heartburn include chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and tomato sauces, peppermint-flavoring, and spicy foods, although every sufferer has unique triggers and trigger combinations. Alcohol, especially red wine, caffeinated beverages and tobacco products can also contribute to a flare-up. Another cause of heartburn is constant pressure on the stomach. For this reason, many people who are obese suffer from the condition. Additionally, 50 percent of pregnant women experience recurrent heartburn, due to the weight of the baby on their stomach. Occasionally, certain medical conditions can cause bouts of heartburn. In people with diabetes, for example, gastroparesis can lead to the condition. Gastroparesis is a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty, occasionally causing its contents to regurgitate into the esophagus. A hiatal hernia is a condition in which a portion of the stomach protrudes into the esophagus. This can allow stomach acid to back-up and cause heartburn. Asthma has also been linked to a likelihood of heartburn, but the connection is still unclear. Some experts believe that acid in the esophagus triggers an asthma attack by irritating airway nerves. Others suppose that an asthmatic cough can cause the LES to relax. Certain medications can also cause bouts of heartburn. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs like Alleve and Advil in particular, are known to trigger symptoms. Because prescription medications can lead to heartburn, too, it's important to talk to your doctor if you're experiencing frequent heartburn while taking prescriptions. Occasional bouts of heartburn, while uncomfortable, are usually not indicative of a bigger problem. However, if heartburn occurs daily or doesn't respond to basic treatment, you may have a more serious problem and should see your doctor immediately.More »
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Never take chest pains lightly. Chest discomfort should make you question seek answers for your chest pain, since heart attacks often mimic the symptoms of heartburn. Find out more in this video.
Transcript: You know your chest hurts, but you don't know the cause. Is it heartburn...or something more serious?...
You know your chest hurts, but you don't know the cause. Is it heartburn...or something more serious? Heartburn is an unpleasant, but generally harmless condition that troubles almost everyone from time to time. But sometimes, symptoms that feel like heartburn may be something more serious, like gastroesphogal reflux disease, or even a heart attack. The most common symptom of heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest, just behind the breastbone. It may then spread up into the neck area. A person suffering from heartburn may also experience burning in the throat, trouble swallowing, or a feeling of food "sticking" in the chest or throat. Occasionally, heartburn may cause chronic cough, a sore throat, or a hoarse voice, particularly at night. Gastroesphogal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when there is a near constant reflux of stomach acids into the esophagus, which produces symptoms like everyday heartburn. Because of this, it can be hard to tell what's REALLY going on in your body! GERD heartburn, however, occurs much more frequently, often every day. It also tends to last for longer periods than basic heartburn. Another symptom of GERD is regurgitation, or the appearance of liquid, food particles, or an acidic taste in the mouth. Regurgitation occurs when the upper esophageal sphincter, or UES, opens slightly, causing refluxed matter to enter the mouth. A final symptom of GERD is frequent and severe nausea that can lead to vomiting. Often, nausea appears in the absence of heartburn. Sometimes, chest pain is not heartburn or GERD, but a heart attack. Although heart attack symptoms vary widely in form and severity, certain signs can help to signal a medical emergency. Pain in a heart attack tends to start in the chest, but may often extend beyond it, to your shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaw. Severe pain in the left arm is a commonly reported symptom. Shortness of breath, often accompanied by a cold, clammy sweat, are also signs of heart attack. Often, sufferers will feel like they need to sit down due to extreme lightheadedness or dizziness. Most people can tell the difference between common heartburn and something more serious, but there ARE cases where a heart attack has been written off as a bad case of heartburn. For this reason, if you experience serious heartburn in conjunction with other symptoms, take one regular strength aspirin and call 911 for assistance immediately. It's clear that self diagnosis of heartburn isn't always a good idea...often that pain in your chest can be a case of GERD, or worse, a heart attack. The bottom line is, it's important to make an appointment with your doctor if you experience heartburn more than several times a month, or if you have concerns about acid reflux.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-09 | Tags »
chest pain, heartburn, heart burn, GERD, gastroesphogal reflux, heartburn symptoms, acid reflux, stomach acid, antacid, antacids, stomach pain, acid reflux, gastroparesis, heartburn or heart attack, heart attack symptoms regurgitation, burning, sore throat, coughing, cold sweat, should pain, back pain, neck pain, dizziness conditions, heart health, digestive health
More than 40 precent of Americans experience heartburn. If you’re one of them, click here to watch this video on treating heartburn.
Transcript: Up to 44 percent of Americans experience frequent bouts of heartburn. If you're among them, look no further...
Up to 44 percent of Americans experience frequent bouts of heartburn. If you're among them, look no further for relief. Heartburn is a painful condition caused by stomach acids seeping upward into the esophagus. Anyone who has experienced this burning sensation knows that it's not a pleasant feeling! If you're suffering from heartburn now, you may find instant relief with an over-the-counter antacid, like Tums. Anatacids work by neutralizing acid in the stomach, so that when the acid enters the esophagus, it will be weaker, and therefore, less painful. Antacids work rapidly, but they don't last for long. If you need to take antacids more than several times a month, or don't experience relief using them, your doctor may recommend you try a different medication, such as histamine-2, or H2, blockers. Histamine is a chemical in the body that stimulates acid secretion. H2-blockers stop the histamine from binding to acid-secreting cells, thereby hindering acid production. Most H2-blockers are available over-the-counter in low doses, although some require a prescription for higher concentrations. H2-blockers, like Zantac and Axid, last longer than antacids, but they also take longer to absorb into the body. Sometimes an hour is needed to feel the effects. For this reason, you may want to try an OTC medication that combines an antacid and an H2-blocker, so you get the quick onset of action combined with sustained relief. If neither antacids nor H2-blockers ease your heartburn symptoms, your doctor may recommend prescription drugs called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, like Nexium and Prevacid. Acid is released from cells in the stomach by a mechanism known as a proton pump. PPIs block the pump from releasing acid, effectively stopping heartburn before it starts. Both H2-blockers and PPIs are preventative medications, meaning that they work best if taken about an hour before a big, or potentially problematic, meal is consumed. Sometimes, combining medications with lifestyle modifications can be so effective that heartburn doesn't return. Avoiding foods that are known to cause heartburn, like chocolate, peppermint, spice, citrus products, tomato products, alcohol and caffeine, is the easiest way to prevent heartburn from occurring. In addition to avoiding problem foods, eating smaller meals may help to prevent the condition. Or, try using gravity to your advantage. Avoid lying down for 3 hours after meals, as this prevents stomach contents from traveling backwards to your esophagus. If nighttime heartburn has you tossing and turning, you may benefit from propping your head up with a pillow, You can also try sleeping on your left side. Your esophagus starts on the right side of your body, so this prevents food in your stomach from pressing on the opening and leading to reflux. Because being overweight puts excess pressure on the stomach, obese people more often suffer from heartburn. So just losing a small amount of weight can ease painful symptoms. While heartburn is never welcome, a variety of lifestyle modifications can help you put out the fire. And please: Remember to see your doctor if you have chronic heartburn or pain that resists treatment.More »
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Understanding GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is important because it can lead to esophageal cancer. Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatments of GERD in this video.
Transcript: Up to 7 million people suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Unfamiliar with the term?...
Up to 7 million people suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Unfamiliar with the term? Keep watching! GERD, or acid reflux disease, occurs when there is a backflow of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Although heartburn is a frequent symptom of GERD, a bout of heartburn does not mean that a person has the disease. In fact, GERD is only diagnosed when the reflux of stomach acid causes pain that is severe enough to impact a persons life on a regular basis and that is injurious to the esophagus. To understand acid reflux disease, it helps to have a basic grasp of how the stomach works and how heartburn occurs. When you swallow, food passes down the throat through a long tube, the esophagus, to the stomach. A muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, opens to allow food into the stomach and then closes again. At this point, the stomach releases strong acids to help break down the food youve eaten. But in patients with GERD, the LES relaxes when it shouldnt or becomes weak, allowing stomach acid to reflux, or seep upward, almost constantly. While occasional bouts of heartburn are common and painful only in the short term, frequently occurring acid reflux can damage the esophagus in the long run. Esophagitis, or inflammation of the esophagus lining, is a condition that occurs in about 20 percent of GERD sufferers. It can lead to difficult, painful swallowing, and, on occasion, ulcers. Another more serious side effect of GERD is esophageal stricture, a narrowing of the esophagus, which is caused by the body repeatedly attempting to repair reflux damage. Esophageal stricture can cause difficulty swallowing, food regurgitation and severe weight loss. Another negative consequence of GERD is Barretts esophagus, a condition in which the body changes the structure of the cells lining the esophagus. This occurs due to the bodys repeat attempts to heal acid damage. The problem with these disorders of the esophagus is that many people just believe they have heartburn, and are unaware of the more serious consequences of GERD. Take Steven, a patient who came to my office complaining about his acid reflux. Steven had suffered painful bouts of heartburn almost every day for a year before he came to my officeand its a good thing he did! While he just wanted a quick fix for heartburn, an endoscopy showed that Steven had Barretts esophagus, a condition that can progress to esophageal cancer. This last and most serious result of GERD is rare, but esophageal cancer has very few symptoms and is quite difficult to treat. If you have recurrent episodes of heartburn that do not go away and dont respond to over-the-counter treatment, you may be suffering from GERD. Avoid these severe consequences by talking to your doctor about treatment options.More »
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It's not always a simple case of heartburn. For some it's gastroesophageal reflux disease. Luckily there are a lot of options when it comes to treating GERD.
Transcript: Gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause near constant heartburn and pain for people who suffer from...
Gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause near constant heartburn and pain for people who suffer from the condition. Luckily, theres hope for treating GERD! Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is the result of constant seeping of the stomachs digestive acids up into the esophagus. GERD most often manifests as chronic heartburn, but can also result in vomiting and nausea. If left untreated, GERD can lead to conditions like esophageal stricture, which is a painful narrowing of the esophagus, and even esophageal cancer. If you are diagnosed with GERD, your doctor will probably recommend lifestyle modifications and medications to help you cope with the heartburn that follows from the condition. Lifestyle modifications include avoiding foods that can lead to heartburn, such as peppermint, chocolate, tomato and citrus products, caffeine, and fatty foods. Your physician may also recommend other changes like losing weight, if youre obese and ceasing use of tobacco products, if you smoke. Because GERD is more serious than just basic heartburn, your doctor may prescribe a type of medication called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. Acid is released in the stomach via a device known as a proton pump. PPIs block the pump from releasing acid, which prevents acid leak and the consequent heartburn. Some common PPIs available via prescription include Nexium and Protonix. While PPIs can reduce acid secretion by more than 95 percent, a downside is their expensive price tag. A slightly weaker, yet more affordable, medication choice is histamine-2, or H2, blockers. These drugs are available both with a prescription and, in a weaker form, over-the-counter. H2 blockers work by countering the effect of histamine, which stimulates acid production. The result is a drop in the amount of acid that the stomach producesH2-blockers, like Axid and Zantac, are often most effective for people troubled by nighttime heartburn. Medication and lifestyle changes can control about 95 percent of GERD, but for some people, surgery will become necessary. The goal of GERD surgery is to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter that, when lose, allows acid to leak. The most common GERD surgery is fundoplication, or a stomach wrap. This procedure involves grabbing a piece of the stomach and looping it around the lower end of the esophagus to create a sphincter. The wrap must be tight enough to prevent reflux, but loose enough to allow food and belches to pass. Sometimes, a doctor will use radiofrequency catheter ablation to treat GERD. Also known as the Stretta procedure, it involves applying small doses of radiofrequency energy into the esophageal sphincter. This causes the lining of the esophagus to expand, in turn resulting in a tightening of the valve that releases acid. The LES can also be tightened with sutures using the Bard endoscopic suturing system. During this surgery, stitches are placed at either side of the LES and are then tied together. While gastroesophageal reflux disease can be painful, these treatment options can help you return to a normal, heartburn free life! But please: see your doctor before trying any GERD therapy.More »
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Nexium, or esomeprazole, is a prescription drug used for stomach ulcers. To learn about this drug, its side effects, and when it must be used, watch the video.
Transcript: Esomeprazole is a prescription medication which is available only under the brand name Nexium. This medication...
Esomeprazole is a prescription medication which is available only under the brand name Nexium. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. When the body begins to digest food, acid is released in the stomach via a device known as a proton pump. The right amount of acid is necessary to enable food to digest properly, but too much causes heartburn. Nexium blocks the pump from releasing excess acid, thereby preventing this painful consequence. Nexium is most commonly used in the treatment of severe acid reflux, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It can also be used in conjunction with other medications to treat stomach ulcers. Nexium is available in 20 and 40 milligram capsules, as well as in a solution to be administered intravenously. This medication should be taken one hour before meals for the length of time specified by your doctor...usually four to eight weeks. The most commonly reported side effects of Nexium include diarrhea, nausea, and headaches, but please ask your doctor for a complete list. Also, tell your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you experience an abnormal heartbeat, or any other significant changes. Nexium should not be taken with benzodiazepines, like Valium, and may decrease the absorption of certain other prescription medications. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that should not be combined with Nexium. Nexium is one of the most frequently prescribed acid-reflux medications. However, this medication must always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the patient information provided by your doctor before taking Nexium.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-17 | Tags »
nexium, Esomeprazole, drug, PPI, GERD, acid reflux, heart burn, esomeprazole risk, esomeprazole side effect, nexium side effects,proton pump inhibitor stomach, food digestion, abnormal heart beat, diarrhea, nausea, headaches conditions, digestive health
Lansoprazole or Prevacid is a drug used to treat severe acid reflux and stomach ulcers. Find out more about it, the side effects and how it works in this video.
Transcript: Lansoprazole is a prescription medication which is available only under the brand name Prevacid. This...
Lansoprazole is a prescription medication which is available only under the brand name Prevacid. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. When the body begins to digest food, acid is released in the stomach via a device known as a proton pump. The right amount of acid is necessary to enable food to digest properly, but too much causes heartburn. Prevacid blocks the pump from releasing excess acid, thereby preventing this painful consequence. Prevacid is used in the treatment of severe acid reflux, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD and is also prescribed for stomach ulcers. Prevacid is available in 15 and 30 milligram capsules as well as dissolvable tablets. A powder that is mixed into water and taken orally is also available. This medication should generally be taken once a day. Swallow the capsule with water, or dissolve the tablet on your tongue. If you are taking the powder version of Prevacid, mix it with two tablespoons of water and drink immediately. The most commonly reported side effects of Prevacid include diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain, but please ask your doctor for a complete list. Also, tell your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you experience an abnormal heartbeat or any other significant changes. Prevacid should be used cautiously by people taking Lanoxin for congestive heart failure, and may decrease the absorption of other medications. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that should not be combined with Prevacid. Prevacid is frequently prescribed to treat stomach ulcers or GERD. However, this medication must always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the patient information provided by your doctor before taking Prevacid.More »
Last Modified: 2014-06-11 | Tags »
prevacid, Lansoprazole, PPI, GERD, acid reflux, lansoprazole side effects, prevacid side effects, digestive issues, proton pump inhibitor food digestion, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, abnormal heart beat, congestive heart failure conditions, allergies
Feel an ulcer coming on? You might think coffee is the culprit. Find out if coffee can cause ulcers in this video.
Transcript: This may have been a rumor started by the tea industry, and one that is eminently de-bunkable: drinking...
This may have been a rumor started by the tea industry, and one that is eminently de-bunkable: drinking coffee will NOT give you an ulcer. The thinking, until recently, was that excess stomach acid caused ulcers and that coffee contributed to excess stomach acid. While some people may experience heartburn after drinking coffee, there's NO conclusive evidence that coffee makes the stomach produce excess acid. An ulcer is an open sore in the digestive tract. Most ulcers are found in the stomach and top of the small intestine. When stomach acid comes in contact with an ulcer, it can become quite painful. Recent studies have shown that ulcers are actually caused by a certain bacteria, Heliobacter pylori, and that these ulcers can actually be easily cured with antibiotics. An important distinction to make, however, is that while coffee or spicy foods don't CAUSE ulcers, they may serve to aggravate existing ones.More »
Last Modified: 2013-09-27 | Tags »
Stomach Ulcers, Drinking Coffee, Coffee Ulcer, Helicobacter Pylori causes of ulcers, coffee, stomach ulcer, peptic ulcer, health myth, food myth stomach problems, stomachache, digestive health, caffeine, stomach acid
Celiac disease is incurable, but you can manage it by adhering it to a gluten-free diet. Watch this video to better understand celiac disease.
Transcript: As many as one in 133 Americans suffers from the digestive disorder known as celiac disease. So what...
As many as one in 133 Americans suffers from the digestive disorder known as celiac disease. So what is celiac disease anyway? Celiac disease is a digestive condition that is activated by eating the protein gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Although celiac disease cannot be cured, its effects can be tempered by strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. The cause of celiac disease is not fully understood, but it is known to be genetic. In fact, people with celiac in their immediate family are up to 15 times more likely to have the disease. In addition, celiac disease seems to occur mainly in people of European descent. To understand what happens when a person with celiac consumes gluten, it helps to look at the functioning of the small intestine in the digestive system. In a healthy individual, the small intestine is lined with thin, hair-like protrusions called villi, which work to absorb essential nutrients from food. In a person with celiac disease, the body's immune system mistakenly views gluten as a threat. In response, protective proteins known as antibodies are made to destroy the gluten. Unfortunately, these antibodies also injure the villi in the small intestine, temporarily causing them to flatten, and making it impossible for them to absorb nutrients. Because the body's own immune system causes the damage, celiac disease is considered an autoimmune disorder. However, it is also classified as a condition of malabsorption, because vital nutrients are not taken in by the body when villi are flattened. Although the symptoms of celiac disease vary by individual, malabsorption often leads to rapid weight loss. In addition, sufferers may experience abdominal cramping, severe bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Then again, some patients have no symptoms at all. A separate condition, which manifests differently but also stems from the consumption of the gluten protein, is a skin rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis, or DH. Although people with DH do not usually experience symptoms past the rash on their bodies, eating gluten will still affect them internally as it does people with celiac disease. For this reason, people with DH also need to follow a gluten-free diet. This is because if gluten continues to be consumed, celiac disease and DH can lead to potentially deadly cancers in the small intestine. Celiac disease may also lead to infertility in both genders, and miscarriage or birth defects. In addition, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, severe malnutrition, and delayed growth in children can all follow from the disease. For this reason, it's vital to follow a diet that is 100 percent free of gluten-protein. In most cases, this will restore the villi to health and ease symptoms. Adjusting to a gluten-free diet is a great challenge. However, new food labeling laws, online support networks, and an increasingly aware medical community can all help you cope. Please talk to your doctor if you have concerns about celiac disease.More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-01 | Tags »
celiac disease, celiac, gluten, gluten free, gluten intolerance, digestive disorders, genetic disorders, malabsorption, dermatitis herpetiformis, autoimmune disorder diet, wheat, rye, barley, abdominal cramping, severe bloating, gas, diarrhea, infertility conditions, digestive health
Approximately 2 million Americans suffer from celiac disease. Watch this video to learn about diagnosing and treating celiac disease.
Transcript: Celiac disease currently makes over 2 million Americans ill! Luckily, once diagnosed, treating the symptoms...
Celiac disease currently makes over 2 million Americans ill! Luckily, once diagnosed, treating the symptoms of this condition is fairly straightforward. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that follows from consuming a protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, and barley. When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, the immune system becomes confused and produces antibodies to fight the protein. Unfortunately, these antibodies also attack the small intestine, making it difficult for the body to absorb vital nutrients from food. Because no two people experience celiac disease the same way, and because the symptoms-such as diarrhea and bloating-are fairly nonspecific, diagnosis of celiac disease can be tricky and the condition may be missed even by the best gastroenterologists. Although asymptomatic Americans are not generally screened for celiac disease, people with first-degree family members who have the condition are often tested, since it is known to be hereditary. To determine if celiac disease is present in a patient, a doctor will perform a blood test to look for antibodies indicative of celiac disease. If the results of the test suggest celiac, a doctor will follow-up with a procedure called an endoscopy. An endoscopy is performed under anesthesia and involves easing a long, thin tube through the mouth and stomach into the small intestine. Once there, the doctor obtains a tissue sample called a biopsy. The biopsy will then be sent to a lab and checked for damage, which would indicate a diagnosis of celiac disease. Celiac disease is not curable, but eliminating all traces of gluten will almost always allow the body to heal and symptoms to abate. Therefore, if these tests indicate the presence of the disease, a gluten-free diet will be recommended. A doctor will suggest that a newly diagnosed patient visit a nutritionist to learn how best to eat a healthy gluten-free diet. The nutritionist will help a patient learn what foods to avoid, beginning with more obvious wheat, rye, and barley products like cakes, breads, beer, and pasta. In addition, gluten is often hidden in surprising places, such as soy sauce, licorice, lipstick, and even postage stamps. Because the consumption of gluten can result in infertility, malnutrition, and potentially deadly cancers, people with celiac disease need to adhere to a lifelong gluten free diet. Fortunately, the growing community of people diagnosed with celiac disease offers a large support network for those who have the disease. If you have concerns about celiac disease, please make an appointment to discuss the condition with your doctor.More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-01 | Tags »
celiac disease, celiac treatment, treating celiac disease, endoscopy, gastroenterology, celiac, gluten, gluten free, gluten intolerance, genetic disorders, diagnosis, digestive disorders, autoimmune disorder diet, wheat, rye, barley, infertility, malnutrition, cancer conditions, digestive health