Food allergies and intolerances can cause all sorts of unpleasant digestive problems, and celiac disease, caused by an intolerance of gluten, is no exception. If you have distressing symptoms that could be celiac disease, you should visit the board-certified gastroenterologists at Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Gurnee, Evanston, Skokie, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, Highland Park, & Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois, for a prompt diagnosis and expert treatment. With their expert help, you can manage your condition and lead a long and happy life, so call Illinois Gastroenterology Group today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Celiac disease or celiac sprue develops as a consequence of your body’s intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley.
It’s present in many different foodstuffs, as wheat flour, in particular, has many uses as a food additive and isn’t just used for making bread and pastry.
When you have celiac disease, eating anything containing gluten causes your immune system to respond as though the gluten were a threat, leading to pain and inflammation in your small intestine.
If you don’t get treatment for celiac disease, the damage to your small intestine can affect how well you absorb nutrients from your food.
It’s possible to have celiac disease and not realize until the damage to your small intestine causes symptoms such as:
In the long-term, untreated celiac disease could lead to serious health problems such as malnutrition and even cancer.
The reason why gluten triggers a faulty immune response in some people isn’t clear. There are risk factors that make you more likely to develop celiac disease, for instance, having:
Celiac disease sometimes affects people after they’ve been through a trauma or significant life events like surgery or pregnancy. It also tends to run in families.
Testing for celiac disease is advisable if you have relatives with the condition. If you have symptoms of celiac disease and any of the risk factors, talk to a provider at Illinois Gastroenterology Group.
Testing for celiac disease involves a simple blood test. In some cases, you might also need to undergo a biopsy procedure to provide tissue from your small intestine for testing.
Don’t reduce your gluten intake before your test, even if you suspect you have celiac disease, because that will affect your test results.
There’s no cure for celiac disease, but the sooner you visit Illinois Gastroenterology Group, the more effective your treatments are likely to be.
Once your test results confirm you have celiac disease, your provider can prepare a suitable gluten-free diet. You might also need vitamin and mineral supplements.
If you have symptoms of celiac disease or want to undergo screening, call Illinois Gastroenterology Group today, or book an appointment online.