What Facts Should I Know About Celiac Disease?


Do you experience gastrointestinal effects when you consume products containing gluten? Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms that manifest after consuming gluten, like diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and oily stools, could be a result of celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that elicits an irregular immune response to the protein in grains referred to as gluten. This immune reaction develops when gluten is ingested, causing unpleasant GI symptoms. Although there is no cure for celiac disease, the GI doctors at Lubbock Digestive Disease Associates can help detect and treat its symptoms. Read on as our Lubbock, TX gastroenterology team provides further information about celiac disease.

How does celiac disease affect the body?

People with celiac disease should receive a diagnosis and care from a trusted GI specialist. This condition may cause damage to the body if it goes undiagnosed and untreated. Celiac disease can have a chronic impact on the small intestine, where the body absorbs most nutrients. When gluten is taken up in the small bowel, it elicits an immune reaction. The body then releases antibodies to protect against it. These antibodies might harm the lining of the small intestine, which may impair the GI system's ability to collect nutritional value from food.

Other potential chronic impacts of celiac disease are:

  • Occurrence of new food intolerances
  • Weakened immune system
  • Liver disease
  • Higher risk of intestinal cancer
  • Scarring or ulcers in the GI tract

What are the available treatments for celiac disease?

Generally, the optimal way to address celiac disease is to remove gluten from your diet. After being tested for and diagnosed with celiac disease, you should be able to prevent further symptoms if you avoid gluten. With time, the lining in your intestine should begin to heal and once again be able to absorb nutrients. Since there is currently no cure for this disease, you will likely need to maintain a gluten-free diet to reduce the risk of damaging your small intestine. Celiac disease treatments that may also be helpful involve:

  • Doctor-suggested nutritional supplements
  • Medication
  • Corticosteroids
  • Continued follow-up care

If you are looking for celiac disease treatment in Lubbock, TX, the gastrointestinal doctors at Lubbock Digestive Disease Associates can assist. While the most effective treatment method is a gluten-free diet, it is very important to confirm celiac disease first before cutting out gluten completely.

Celiac disease vs. gluten intolerance: Are they the same thing?

To many people, gluten intolerance and celiac disease may seem similar. They both cause unpleasant GI symptoms after consuming gluten. The similarities end there, however. As previously mentioned, celiac disease is known to cause an atypical reaction in the body that can negatively affect the GI tract over time. While gluten intolerance is uncomfortable, it should not harm the digestive system. Gluten intolerance can usually be treated by supplementing digestive enzymes that can reduce GI symptoms. Celiac disease and gluten intolerance symptoms are similar in nature. If you notice symptoms after eating gluten, we suggest you make an appointment with a digestive health professional to determine the correct diagnosis.

Find care for celiac disease in Lubbock, TX

The Lubbock Digestive Associates team is passionate about raising celiac disease awareness. One in every 133 individuals is diagnosed with celiac disease. Celiac disease can alter how you live, but typically for the better. By removing gluten from your diet, your body can start to heal from the damage caused by gluten. While your body heals, the risk of developing long-term effects decreases. To learn more, contact a Lubbock Digestive Disease Associates location in your community. You can relax in the care of our Lubbock, TX gastrointestinal doctors, who can help preserve and protect your digestive wellness.

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