Celiac disease is a severe autoimmune illness. The medical condition affects genetically susceptible persons and causes damage to the small intestine due to gluten consumption.
When gluten is consumed by celiac disease sufferers (a protein present in wheat, rye, and barley), their bodies launch an attack on the small intestine. These attacks harm the villi, which are tiny finger-like projections that guard the small intestine and help in the absorption of nutrients. So, when the villi are damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.
Celiac disease is a genetic condition that runs in families. Individuals with celiac disease who have a first-degree family (brother, sister or parents) with the disease have a one-in-ten risk of getting diagnosed. It can occur at any age when people begin ingesting gluten-containing foods or medications. Celiac disease, if remains unaddressed can lead to a host of additional serious health problems.
Celiac disease is an immune reaction to gluten that is also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy. If you have celiac disease, gluten triggers an immune reaction in your small intestine. Over time, the reaction damages the lining of your small intestine, preventing some nutrients from being absorbed (malabsorption). Diarrhoea, tiredness, weight loss, bloating, and anaemia are common symptoms of intestinal injury, resulting in significant problems.
Malabsorption in children can impair growth and development in addition to generating the symptoms noticed in adults. Although there is no treatment for celiac disease, most patients may control their symptoms and improve intestinal repair by maintaining a strict gluten-free diet.
Celiac disease symptoms and indications vary significantly between children and adults.
Adults may have the following digestive signs and symptoms:
- Loss of weight
- Gas and bloating
- Irritable bowel syndrome
However, celiac disease affects more than half of adults, with signs and symptoms that are not connected to the digestive tract, such as:
- Anaemia, which is caused by a lack of iron.
- Bone weakening or loss of density
- A rash on the skin that is itchy and blistery (dermatitis herpetiformis)
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Fatigue and headaches
- potential balance issues and cognitive impairment
- Joint discomfort
- The spleen's ability to function is impaired (hyposplenism)
Children with celiac disease have a higher risk of digestive issues than adults. The symptoms they show include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Diarrhoea that persists
- Bloated stomach
Inability to absorb nutrients might lead to:
- Infants who do not thrive
- Tooth enamel deterioration
- Loss of weight
- Small stature
Moreover, it can also lead to neurological signs such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning difficulties, headaches, loss of muscular coordination, and seizures.
The medical condition leads to complications such as
The itchy, blistering skin condition can be caused by gluten sensitivity. The elbows, knees, chest, scalp, and buttocks are the most typical spots on the body where the rash develops. The skin disorder is frequently linked to alterations in the small intestinal lining, similar to celiac disease. However, the skin condition may not produce digestive problems. To manage the rash, doctors use a gluten-free diet, medication, or both to treat dermatitis herpetiformis.
Nonresponsive celiac disease
Some celiac disease patients may not react to a gluten-free diet, despite their best efforts. Gluten contamination in the diet is a usual cause of nonresponsive celiac disease. Working with a dietitian might assist you in staying gluten-free.
Nonresponsive celiac disease patients may experience the following symptoms:
- Bacteria in the small intestine
- Microscopic colitis
- Pancreas dysfunction (pancreatic insufficiency)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Difficulty digesting lactose (a sugar found in dairy products), sucrose (table sugar), or fructose (a sugar found in fruits, vegetables as well as in honey)
You can also experience Refractory celiac disease.
Refractory celiac disease
In rare cases, celiac disease's intestinal damage does not respond to a gluten-free diet. Celiac illness with refractory symptoms is known as refractory celiac disease. If you still have symptoms after six months to a year on a gluten-free diet, you may require further testing to rule out other causes of your problems.
Consult your doctor if you are suffering from diarrhoea or pain in the stomach that lasts longer than 14 days. Also, see a doctor if your kid is pale, irritable, or not growing, or has a potbelly and foul-smelling, thick faeces.
Before beginning a gluten-free diet, speak with your doctor. Before being tested for celiac disease, you can influence the test findings by eliminating or reducing your gluten intake. Celiac disease is a genetic condition that runs in families. Inquire with your doctor about being tested to see whether anyone in your family has the condition.
Celiac disease can be caused by genes, gluten-containing foods, and other factors, but the exact reason is unknown. Practices in infant feeding, gastrointestinal illnesses, and gut flora may all have a role in causing celiac disease. In addition, after surgery, pregnancy, delivery, viral infection, or significant mental stress, the celiac disease might become active.
The microscopic, hairlike projections (villi) line the small intestine are damaged when the body's immune system overreacts to gluten in meals. Villi absorb all the nutrients from the food you ingest. Therefore, you fail to receive enough nutrients if your villi are destroyed, no matter how much you consume.
Celiac disease is more frequent in those individuals who have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis in a family member
- Turner syndrome or Down syndrome
- Thyroid autoimmune disease
- Colitis on a microscopic scale (lymphocytic or collagenous colitis)
- Addison's disease
Many celiac disease sufferers are unaware of their condition until they experience the symptoms and diagnose it. It may be diagnosed using two blood tests:
- Serology testing examines your blood for antibodies. Increased levels of specific antibody proteins suggest a gluten-induced immunological response.
- Genetic analysis HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 are human leukocyte antigens that can be utilized to eliminate the celiac disease.
Avoiding gluten from your diet may appear to normalise blood test outcomes. But, before attempting a gluten-free diet, you should be checked for celiac disease. Your doctor will likely conduct more tests if the results of the tests mentioned above suggest celiac disease.
Following are the ways to diagnose celiac disease
A large tube with a tiny camera is put into your mouth and sent down your throat (upper endoscopy). Your doctor can use the camera to examine your small intestine and obtain a tiny tissue sample (biopsy) to check for villi damage.
It takes images of your whole small intestine using a tiny wireless camera. First, you ingest the camera, which is housed in a vitamin-sized pill. Then, the camera in the capsule takes hundreds of pictures as it makes its way through your intestines and sends them to a recorder.
Your doctor may remove a tiny sample of skin tissue to examine under a microscope if they believe you have dermatitis herpetiformis (skin biopsy).
Celiac disease cannot be treated with any specific medicines. Doctors often advise patients to follow a gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease must avoid bread, cake, and other baked goods. You must also avoid beer, cereals, pasta, certain medicines and gluten-containing products. Your doctor may also recommend medicine and gluten-free vitamins and mineral supplements if you are suffering from a severe nutritional deficiency, particularly if you have a skin rash. These mainly consist of:
Most of the vitamins and supplements are taken orally in tablet form. If your digestive tract is having trouble absorbing vitamins, your doctor may administer them by injection. There is, however, a need for these vitamins and supplements to be gluten-free.
Gluten can be found in a variety of foods, medicines, and non-food items, including:
- Preservatives, food stabilisers, and modified food starch
- Medication, both prescription and over-the-counter
- Supplements with vitamins and minerals
- Supplements with herbs and nutrients
- Cosmetics for the lips
- Mouthwash and toothpaste
- Wafers for Communion
- Stamp glue and envelopes
You will feel better if you eliminate gluten from your diet and finally heal by reducing inflammation in your small intestine. As a result, children recover at a faster rate than adults.
Like allopathy and other medical branches, homoeopathy does not have a specific therapy for celiac disease. But homoeopathic medications can give natural, safe, and effective relief to the symptoms caused by this medical condition. In addition, homoeopathic remedies are often chosen based on a patient's unique combination of symptoms, ensuring that the patient receives the most significant benefit possible.