Understanding Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that hinders the body from absorbing nutrients from food. Individuals who have celiac disease are unable to tolerate gluten - a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and other foods. If you have celiac disease and eat gluten, your body may react by damaging or destroy the villi in your small intestine. Simply put, villi allow your body to absorb nutrients. Without it, you would become malnourished. Thus, celiac disease involves malabsorption of nutrients and abnormal immune reactions to foods that contain gluten.

Signs and Symptoms

Every case of celiac disease is different. Even still, there are a variety of symptoms associated with the disease. People with celiac disease may experience abnormal bloating and pain in the abdominal region, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation and unexplainable weight loss. Other symptoms include bone and joint pain, seizures, miss menstrual periods, infertility, recurrent miscarriage, canker sores, skin rashes, depression, anxiety, and numbness in the hands and feet. Symptoms for celiac disease are extremely varied and may be affected by the age and other factors.

Long-Term Complications

If celiac disease isn't treated properly, long-term complications may develop. If you have celiac disease, you may be at a greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, autoimmune liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis or Addison's disease. Celiac disease may be diagnosed through blood tests, and intestinal biopsy or other forms of screening. Additionally, there are a variety of treatment options.

Most commonly, celiac disease is treated by a gluten-free diet. Individuals with celiac disease may be able to consult with a dietitian or health professional to help them create an effective diet plan to avoid long-term complications. If you have experienced multiple pregnancy losses and other symptoms related to celiac disease, call Braverman IVF & Reproductive Immunology today to see what Dr. Braverman can do for you.