What Should You Know About Celiac Disease?
Have you experienced gastrointestinal (GI) problems after consuming food containing gluten? Gastrointestinal issues that arise after consuming gluten, such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, or oily stools, may result from celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that triggers an irregular immune reaction to the protein found in grains known as gluten. This immune reaction develops when gluten is ingested, resulting in uncomfortable effects. Although there is no cure for celiac disease, the gastrointestinal doctors at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates in New Orleans, LA can diagnose and address celiac disease symptoms.
How does celiac disease impact a person's body?
Patients who believe they may have celiac disease are encouraged to undergo a proper diagnosis and medical care from a gastrointestinal physician. Celiac disease could damage the body if left undiagnosed and untreated. This digestive condition can have a chronic impact on the small intestine, where most nutrients are absorbed by the body. When gluten is taken up in the small intestine, the immune system reacts. The body then sends a host of antibodies to defend against it. These antibodies may harm the tissue in the small intestine, impacting the GI system's ability to absorb nutrients from food items.
Other potential long-term impacts of celiac disease include:
- Becoming immunocompromised
- Ulcers or scarring in the digestive tract
- Liver disease
- Development of new food intolerances
- Elevated risk of cancer in the intestine
Are there any effective treatment options for celiac disease?
Removing gluten from your diet is the ideal approach to addressing celiac disease. After you’ve been tested for and diagnosed with celiac disease, you should be able to prevent uncomfortable symptoms once you stop eating gluten. With time, your intestinal lining should begin healing and sustaining nutrients. Given that there is no known cure for this disease, you will most likely want to eat a diet free of gluten to minimize damage to your small intestine. Celiac disease treatments that might be recommended include:
- Prescription medication
- Nutritional supplements
- Routine follow-up care
If you are seeking celiac disease treatment in New Orleans, LA, the gastrointestinal doctors at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates are here to help. While the most effective treatment method is a gluten-free diet, it is important to be diagnosed with celiac disease before avoiding gluten completely.
Celiac disease vs. gluten intolerance: What’s the difference?
For many, gluten intolerance and celiac disease may seem alike. They lead to unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms after eating gluten. However, the similarities end there. As mentioned above, celiac disease can cause an abnormal reaction in the body that can negatively affect the digestive tract in the long run. Gluten intolerance is uncomfortable, but it does not harm the digestive tract. It can often be treated by supplementing digestive enzymes that can reduce symptoms. Celiac disease symptoms and gluten intolerance symptoms are nearly the same; therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms, we suggest you see a gastroenterologist to determine which condition you have.
Get support for celiac disease in New Orleans, LA
At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, we are passionate about elevating celiac disease awareness. One in 133 individuals is diagnosed with celiac disease. The condition can completely change how you live, usually for the better. After removing gluten from your diet, your body can start to recover from the damage caused by gluten consumption. As your body heals, the risk of experiencing long-term effects decreases. For more information about celiac disease, please contact a Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates location near you. You can rely on our GI specialists in New Orleans, LA to help protect and preserve your digestive health.