Celiac Disease Q & A
What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. That means that your body mistakenly attacks your own cells, even when there is no threat.
For men and women with celiac disease, their immune system targets the small intestine, often damaging the villi, which are tiny finger-like structures in your small intestine that help your body absorb nutrients.
What causes celiac disease?
Celiac disease is a hereditary condition. If you have a family member who struggles with celiac disease, you’re more likely to develop the disorder yourself.
If you have celiac disease, your body cannot tolerate gluten. When you eat foods containing gluten, it’s converted into a chemical that creates inflammation within your small intestine. The resulting damage can lead to various gastrointestinal symptoms.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, which can make it hard to diagnose celiac disease. Common symptoms include:
- Sensations of tingling or numbness in hands and feet
- Abdominal pain
It’s important to seek medical care for persistent symptoms that don’t have a clear cause. Left untreated, celiac disease can cause serious health problems.
What issues are linked to celiac disease?
When your body isn’t getting the right blend of nutrients, numerous medical issues can occur, including:
- Iron-deficiency anemia
- Lactose intolerance
- Gall bladder issues
- Gastrointestinal cancers
- Nervous system disorders
These are just some of the problems you can face if celiac disease goes without treatment.
How is celiac disease treated?
Dr. Rubin creates a customized treatment plan based on your current health, lifestyle and medical needs. Celiac disease is not something that can be “cured” or “grown out of”. Lifestyle changes are the only way to find relief.
Adhering to a strict gluten-free diet is critical to avoiding negative health outcomes. Eliminating gluten from your diet can drastically reduce inflammation in your small intestine.
Dr. Rubin also advises you on supplementing your diet with the right vitamins and minerals. He might also order a bone density study to check for signs of osteoporosis.
If you suffer from a range of symptoms with no clear cause, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rubin for a thorough diagnostic work-up. Celiac disease is manageable, but proper diagnosis is necessary to begin that process.