Gluten, a protein present in wheat, barley, and rye, causes an immunological response in people with celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy.
Consuming gluten inflicts an immunological reaction on a person with celiac disease in their small intestine. This process damages the lining of your small intestine over time and renders it incapable of absorbing some nutrients (malabsorption). Diarrhea, exhaustion, weight loss, bloating, anemia, and other common symptoms of intestinal injury might be significant problems.
In addition to causing the symptoms experienced in adults, malabsorption in children can impede growth and development.
Wheat, barley, and rye are the grains that contain the protein known as gluten. Many of the staple items of the typical Western diet—from breads and cereals to pasta and baked goods—contain these grains, notably wheat. In addition, gluten frequently occurs as an additive in foods like sauces, soups and packaged foods. Rye or barley are typically used to make beer.
Although there is no known treatment for celiac disease, most people find that adhering to a strict gluten-free diet can help control their symptoms and encourage intestinal recovery.
Children and adults may experience different celiac disease signs and symptoms, which might vary substantially. Adults’ digestive warning signs and symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Losing weight
- Bloating and farting
- Pain in the abdomen
The following signs and symptoms are present in more than 50% of adults with celiac disease but are not connected to the digestive system:
- Anemia, commonly brought on by a lack of iron
- Bone softening (osteomalacia) or loss of density (osteoporosis)
- Extreme exhaustion
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Pain of the joint
- Dermatitis herpetiformis, a skin rash that is itchy and blistery.
- Reduced splenic function (hyposplenism)
- Nervous system damage, which may result in tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, balance issues, and cognitive decline.
Digestive issues in children with celiac disease are more prevalent than in adults and include:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Enlarged belly
- Stools that are pale and have foul smell
The consequences of inadequate nutrients absorption could be:
- Failure to thrive
- Short stature
- Losing weight
- Delayed puberty
- Tooth enamel damage
- Neurological problems, such as seizures, headaches, migraines, learning difficulties, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Being irritable
This itchy rash resembles clusters of bumps or blisters can be brought on by gluten intolerance. It also called gluten rash or celiac rash. The elbows, knees, torso, scalp, and buttocks are the typical locations for the rash. Although the skin condition may not result in digestive symptoms, it is frequently linked to small intestinal lining abnormalities that are analogous to those of celiac disease.
In order to control the rash, medical professionals treat dermatitis herpetiformis with a gluten-free diet, medication, or both.
If you experience diarrhea or stomach pain for longer than two weeks, see a doctor. If your child is pale, agitated, not growing, or is failing to thrive, or has a potbelly, foul-smelling, bulky feces, you should take them to the doctor.
Before attempting a gluten-free diet, make sure to check with your doctor. Before getting tested for celiac disease, cutting back on your intake of gluten has the potential to alter the results.
Typically, celiac disease runs in families. Ask your doctor if you should be tested if someone in your family has the disorder. If you or a member of your family has a risk factor for celiac disease, such as type 1 diabetes, talk to your doctor about getting tested.
Celiac disease may be caused by your genes, eating gluten-containing foods, and other things, but the exact cause is unknown. Additionally, infant feeding patterns, gastrointestinal diseases, and gut flora may be involved. After an operation, a pregnancy, childbirth, viral illness, or a period of intense mental stress, celiac disease can occasionally become active.
The fine, hair-like projections (villi) that line the small intestine are harmed when the body’s immune system overreacts to gluten in diet. Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are absorbed by villi from the food you ingest. No matter how much you eat, you can’t obtain enough nutrients if your villi are damaged.
People who have these factors seem to be more susceptible to celiac disease:
- A family member who suffers from dermatitis herpetiformis or celiac illness
- Diabetes mellitus type 1
- Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic or collagenous colitis)
- Autoimmune thyroid disease
- Down syndrome
- Turner syndrome
- Addison’s disease