Celiac disease is a very serious autoimmune disease that prevents the body from digesting or breaking down gluten. It causes damage to the small intestines upon ingestion of foods that contain gluten, such as barley, wheat, rye, and triticale.
Some vitamins, medicines, and lipstick brands also contain gluten. Approximately 1 in 100 people worldwide have this disorder, and genetically predisposed people are more susceptible.
What Happens When Someone With Celiac Disease Eats Gluten?
When people with celiac disease eat gluten, the body’s response is to overreact by creating toxins that damage the villi, which are very tiny finger-like protrusions found inside the small intestines.
Damaged villi cause the body’s inability to absorb nutrients from food, which will then lead to malnourishment and other serious health complications like loss of bone density, infertility, miscarriages, certain cancers, and it can even cause the start of neurological diseases.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The symptoms of celiac disease are different from a regular food allergy. People with celiac disease can experience various intestinal problems, like constipation, diarrhea, and gas, when they ingest foods with gluten.
Other symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, dermatitis herpetiformis, anemia, headaches, chronic fatigue, mouth ulcers, excessive weight loss, joint pain, and heartburn.
Children will experience intestinal problems more than adults, and the symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and unexplained weight loss. Their stool could also look pale and have a foul smell.
However, not everyone will show these symptoms, at least not right away, which makes diagnosis a tough challenge. In fact, the progression of the disease is so slow for some people that they do not even get a proper diagnosis, hence they never even knew they have celiac disease.
Some institutions and clinics offer celiac disease help and support, such as RedRiver Health and Wellness Center. So if you suspect that you may be suffering from celiac disease, do not hesitate to get tested. Do not let it go undiagnosed as this may cause other more serious health problems.