Do you suffer from unwanted trips to the bathroom, uncomfortable gassy and bloating feelings? Are you feeling tired all the time, and appear to have a severe intolerance to gluten?
You may be suffering from celiac disease.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestine by negatively affecting the way it digests food.
Gluten is made of proteins typically found in wheat, rye, and barley. If consumed by someone with celiac disease it can cause nausea, diarrhea, and other unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings.
Rabia De Latour is a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health says that “This inflammation in the small intestine can have health ramifications for the patient because it can impact their ability to absorb foods, can cause malnutrition, and they can have weight loss.”
Rapid weight loss can be a good indicator of celiac and so can a reaction to food that did not previously seem to affect one..
There is good and bad news: The only people who develop celiac disease are those that carry the specific genes associated with it. If you don’t, rest assured, you will never develop it.
Only 1% of Americans have celiac disease and about 60% of those have yet to be diagnosed.
If your stomach ache is stronger than usual after eating foods with gluten, there is a chance you have celiac disease, but it could also mean you have a food allergy or food intolerance.
Signs I Could Be Suffering From Celiac Disease
Although, the signs and symptoms can happen to anyone, this doesn’t mean that everyone has celiac disease. The frequency and severity of the symptoms could indicate possible celiac disease.
Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms that you could be suffering from celiac disease:
Diarrhea: If you notice you’re taking more bathroom breaks than usual and it looks like watery stool, this is a clear sign that the food you ingested did not agree with your stomach at all.
A study of celiac patients showed that 215 participants reported having diarrhea so frequently that it is a sure sign of celiac disease.
Bloating: Another common sign is bloating. If you feel that your lower abdomen has expanded uncomfortably, it may be due to the intestine becoming inflamed and irritated.
Gas: Gas is a very common symptom of celiac disease. Although everyone has gas, it will appear most often in celiac patients. Gas can also be caused by indigestion, constipation, or swallowing air.
Weight Loss: If you notice a rapid change in your weight, and are losing excess weight, it could be caused by the improper absorption of nutrients and even lead to malnutrition.
Fatigue: Everyone gets tired sometimes, but if fatigue begins to affect day-to-day tasks and overall lifestyle, it could be because of celiac disease decreasing your energy levels.
Depression: Physical pain can go hand-in-hand with psychological symptoms. A study found that patients who stuck to a gluten-free diet were less likely to have depressive symptoms.
Iron Deficiency Anemia: Anemia occurs when the body lacks production of red blood cells. Symptoms of an iron deficiency include fatigue, dizziness, weakness, chest pain.
Constipation: Celiac disease may cause the opposite effect in some patients, where instead of having diarrhea they might suffer from constipation.
Since the nutrients won’t be properly absorbed in the digestive tract, they take the stool moisture and use it instead, causing constipation.
Differences Between Food Allergies, Food Intolerances, and Celiac Disease
Don’t panic just yet! Know the differences between these three before coming to any conclusion. As always, consult your doctor to clearly determine what condition you have.
Many people will commonly mistake these three because the symptoms are quite similar, but each causes a different type of reaction in the body.
Food Allergies will cause an immune system reaction that results in symptoms such as itchiness, redness, swollen mouth, lips, breathing problems, hives, vomiting and could potentially lead to anaphylaxis.
Once the food enters, the body will release a chemical called histamine. This is what causes the physical symptoms that you notice.
Most of the time, a reaction will be mild. Sometimes, it could lead to a life-threatening reaction where anaphylaxis could be caused by even the smallest amount of food that is consumed or in some cases, even touched.
People with severe food allergies always carry an epinephrine pen with them.
Food Intolerances occur when a food is consumed and the individual begins feeling ill. The body will be unable to properly digest the food and the digestive tract is irritated.
Symptoms of food intolerance include nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, nervousness, irritability, gas, and cramping.
Sometimes, those with food intolerance are able to continue to eat small amounts of the food that bothered them and it may not have an effect. The sensitivity could depend on the portion size.
Both food allergies and sensitivities can be in reaction to a wide variety of foods: shellfish, peanuts, dairy products, eggs, corn and certain fruits among other foods.
Celiac Disease is when gluten is ingested into the body and slowly causes inflammation in the small intestine. The symptoms are similar to a food allergy or food intolerance but are only caused by gluten.
A Celiac Diet
There are gluten infused foods that you should avoid eating like bread, cake, pasta, beer, sauces, cookies, and crackers.
Safe to eat, gluten-free foods include fruits, dairy, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood.
Celiac Disease Tests and Diagnostics
Microdrop has designed and developed an easy at-home screening test for patients who think they may have celiac disease called imaware™.
Although the test will not tell you if you have celiac disease, it can indicate the possibility by testing the blood.
It only takes about 5 minutes to complete the test. Once done, the results will be evaluated by doctors and the conclusions can be found on your phone.
It’s that easy to test if your stomach and gluten do not mix.
Currently, there is no known medication for treatment of celiac disease. The only treatment for a patient is to stick to a gluten-free diet.
Research is being done to test vaccines that could give the body an immunity to gluten and a pill for better digestion.
Within the next decade, there should be a treatment for celiac disease patients.
For more information on the iamaware™ product, visit http://imaware.health.