Facts You Should Understand About Celiac Disease


Have you noticed that you experience gastrointestinal problems when consuming gluten-containing items? GI problems that manifest after consuming gluten, such as diarrhea or loose or watery stools, stomach pain, bloating, and greasy stools, may be indicators of celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that triggers an irregular immune response to the protein found in grains referred to as gluten. This immune response occurs when gluten is eaten, leading to uncomfortable GI symptoms. Though there is presently no method for curing celiac disease, the gastrointestinal doctors at GI Alliance of Arkansas in Northwest Arkansas can help detect and manage celiac disease symptoms.

How might celiac disease affect a person's body?

Those who believe they may have celiac disease should get an official diagnosis and medical treatment from a skilled digestive health doctor. Celiac disease could cause harm to the body in the event the condition is left undiagnosed and untreated. Celiac disease can have a long-term impact on the small intestine, where most vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are taken up by your body. When the protein gluten is absorbed in the small bowel, it triggers an immune response. Your body then sends out antibodies to destroy it. Such antibodies can harm the tissue in your small bowel, affecting the GI tract's ability to collect nourishment from food items.

Additional possible long-term impacts of celiac disease involve:

  • Liver conditions
  • Occurrence of new food intolerances
  • Compromised immune system
  • Ulcers or scarring in the digestive tract
  • Elevated risk of cancer in the intestine

Are there any effective treatment options for celiac disease?

In general, the ideal method to treat celiac disease is to remove gluten from your diet. Once you’ve been tested for and diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s possible to put an end to additional symptoms when you cut out gluten. In time, the lining in your intestine will begin to heal and start to sustain nutrients again. Given that there is no cure for celiac disease, patients will most likely need to maintain a gluten-free diet in order to circumvent damage to their small intestine. A few treatments that may be recommended involve:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Prescribed medication
  • Routine follow-up care
  • Nutritional supplements

If you are looking for celiac disease treatment in Northwest Arkansas, the gastrointestinal doctors at GI Alliance of Arkansas can help. While the most effective treatment method for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet, it is important that you’ve received a diagnosis of celiac disease before you cut out gluten entirely to find out if it has an impact on your body.

Celiac disease vs. gluten intolerance: Is there a difference?

To many, gluten intolerance and celiac disease can seem similar. They both lead to unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming gluten. Similarities end there, however. As mentioned, celiac disease causes an abnormal response in the body that can have a negative impact on your GI system in time. Gluten intolerance, though uncomfortable, does not create harm to the GI system. It can usually be alleviated by supplementing digestive enzymes to reduce GI symptoms. The symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease symptoms are close to the same; therefore, if you have such symptoms, we suggest you be checked by a GI specialist to establish which gastro condition you are suffering from.

Find support for celiac disease in Northwest Arkansas

At GI Alliance of Arkansas, we are dedicated to educating patients on celiac disease awareness. Nearly 1 in 133 people is diagnosed with celiac disease. Having celiac disease can alter how you live your life, typically favorably. By removing gluten, your body can heal from damage caused by repeatedly consuming gluten. As your body heals, the risk of developing one or more of the above long-term effects decreases. To request an appointment, get in touch with a GI Alliance of Arkansas location. You can relax in the hands of our gastrointestinal specialists in Northwest Arkansas to address your digestive wellness.

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