Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an inherited, auto-immune disease affecting the lining of your small intestine. If you have celiac disease, it means that your body cannot process gluten, which is found in any food containing wheat, barley or rye. While symptoms vary from person to person, many patients will complain of gastrointestinal problems. Anemia is also a very common presenting symptom of celiac disease. A life-long gluten free diet is the standard of care for treating celiac disease.

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    An endoscopic biopsy usually is necessary to confirm a celiac disease diagnosis -- but a skin biopsy can replace the need for this procedure if you have a condition called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), which produces a skin rash.

    For people with DH, a skin biopsy is sufficient for the diagnosis of both DH and celiac disease. This biopsy involves collecting a small piece of skin near the rash and testing it for the IgA antibody. It is not necessary to perform an endoscopic biopsy to establish the diagnosis of celiac disease in a person with DH; the skin biopsy is definitive. 
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    If the results of the antibody or genetic tests for celiac disease are positive, your doctor may suggest an endoscopic biopsy. An endoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to see what is going on inside your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. While you are sedated, a scope is inserted through your mouth and down your esophagus, stomach and small intestine, giving the doctor a clear view and the option of taking a sample of the tissue. 

    This is usually an outpatient procedure. Samples of the lining of your small intestine will be studied under a microscope to look for damage and inflammation due to celiac disease. It is recommended that the doctor take at least four samples in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

    For biopsy results to be accurate, you must be eating gluten (at least four slices of bread per day) for one to three months prior to the procedure. Check with your doctor to confirm this.
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    A , Administration, answered
    Celiac disease can not be prevented since it is a genetic disease.  It can be managed and symptoms can be controlled by following a strictly gluten free diet.  Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye products and oats are often contaminated as well.  Individuals diagnosed with Celiac disease can consult with a Registered Dietitian for guidance on following a gluten free diet.  
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    Currently, there is no known method to prevent celiac disease.

    Patients who have celiac disease can prevent symptoms from returning by adhering to a gluten-free diet. A certified dietitian can help patients plan appropriate and healthy gluten-free diets.

    Patients should carefully read the labels of all food products. Food manufacturers in the United States are required to clearly state whether their products contain wheat.

    If children have celiac disease, their baby-sitters, teachers, and other caretakers should be informed of their conditions.

    Patients with celiac disease should always ask about ingredients in the food when dining at a restaurant or someone else's home.

    Patients should consult their healthcare providers and pharmacists before taking any drugs, herbs, or supplements because they may contain gluten.

    Read the labels of cosmetics because some beauty products, such as lipstick, may contain gluten.

    Use self-adhesive postage stamps because stamps that require moistening may be contaminated with gluten.

    Food products can become cross-contaminated with gluten if they come into contact with gluten. For instance, a knife that was used to cut bread should be washed thoroughly with soap and water before it is used to cut food for a patient with celiac disease. Cross contamination may also occur if bread and vegetables were cut on the same cutting board.

      You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



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      If you have a gluten allergy or celiac disease, you should know that gluten is in all wheat products, including wheat starch and barley. It is very important to read labels carefully. Common wheat-based products such as bread, pasta, pizza and baked goods can be replaced with alternate grain-sourced products such as corn, quinoa, brown rice and flours.
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      A Pediatrics, answered on behalf of
      Celiac disease affects approximately one in 100 children. It can appear at any age after gluten—the protein found in wheat, rye and barley—is introduced into the diet. Classic symptoms include poor weight gain, diarrhea and low red blood cell count (anemia). Some children may have constipation, bloating or no symptoms at all.
      To diagnose celiac disease, the following tests may be performed:
      • Blood tests are often helpful in the diagnosis of celiac disease.
      • Endoscopy with biopsies is the gold standard for diagnosis of celiac disease.
      This content originally appeared online at UCLA Health.
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      Children cannot grow out of celiac disease because unlike many food allergies, it is a life long condition. It was once thought that celiac disease was similar to a wheat allergy. Wheat allergies, along with many food allergies in childhood, can be outgrown. If your child has celiac disease and is treated with a gluten-free diet, their small intestine should completely repair themselves in approximately six months. However, even with the damage repaired your child will always have intolerance to the protein gluten. A child affected by celiac disease can lead a healthy life as long as they manage their condition by eating a completely gluten-free diet.

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      You should tell your child's school about their diagnosis of celiac disease and the gluten-free diet required for treatment. The school may need to make accommodations for your child's dietary needs in the cafeteria. Your child's teacher should be notified so they can make sure that school parties, fieldtrips, and after-school activities have a gluten-free option for your child.

      Depending on your child's age you may also need teachers and classroom helpers to take an active role in screening the food that is offered to your child. Don't be afraid to ask your child's doctor to talk to the school on your behalf, however, you will have to give permission for the doctor to talk about certain health information regarding your child.

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      Celiac disease affects children differently than adults by causing different symptoms and distinct issues related to development. Children are much more likely than adults to exhibit symptoms that are related to their digestive tract. An enlarged abdomen, abnormal stools, vomiting, and trouble gaining weight or noticeable weight loss may be signs that a child has celiac disease. Children are uniquely affected given that they need the nutrients that their bodies are lacking to properly grow and develop. Children with celiac disease often appear malnourished, have stunted growth, development issues, late onset of puberty, and may even fail to thrive.

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      Celiac disease can be difficult to diagnose in children as well as adults because it affects people differently. There are about 300 known symptoms that may occur in the digestive system or other parts of the body. Digestive symptoms are more common in infants and children. Here are the most common symptoms found in children:
      • abdominal bloating and pain
      • chronic diarrhea
      • vomiting
      • constipation
      • pale, foul-smelling or fatty stool
      • weight loss
      • fatigue
      • irritability and behavioral issues
      • dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth
      • delayed growth and puberty
      • short stature
      • failure to thrive
      • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)