Diagnosing and Treating Celiac Disease
You Just Watched:
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