What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition which can affect any person regardless of age, race and gender with the disease. The Celiac Diseases is seen to occur commonly in babies between the age of six months and two years. Also, research has shown that about one in a hundred people across the globe are reported to have celiac disease.
Due to an unknown factor, most of the cases of this condition belong to Caucasian people living in many countries including America, Australia and Britain, whereas people of African or Asian background or descent rarely present with celiac disease. This might be due to the lack of awareness regarding celiac disease among the masses in those regions.
What is the cause of celiac disease?
Celiac disease is often regarded as a mystery by many doctors as in most cases the cause of this condition remains unknown.
However, research suggests that a celiac disease sufferer is highly sensitive to the presence of a protein called gluten in the body and there are a few factors which make a person susceptible to celiac disease including genetic makeup or a family member with celiac disease, having a history of diseases which lower the immunity of an individual such as type 1 diabetes and Addison’s disease.
Celiac disease may also get triggered due to the individual getting pregnant, going through an operation and even when experiencing severe emotional stress.
What are the signs and symptoms of celiac disease?
Celiac disease in the majority of cases shows no symptoms at all. However, there are people who complain about a number of different signs and symptoms when they present to the doctor depending on their age.
In children, especially babies under the age of two years of age, the common symptoms include:
· Swollen belly
· Lack of appetite
· Wasting of muscles
· Failure to grow
In children above the age of two years, the signs and symptoms might be slightly different than the younger age group as these children present with short stature, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, puberty gets delayed and learning disabilities.
On the other hand, adults show up with a more widespread variety of signs and symptoms like itchy skin, mouth ulcers, softening of bone, joint pain, loss of balance, tingling in the hands and feet as well as a deficiency of iron.
How is celiac disease diagnosed?
Given the fact that an individual celiac disease often does not have any signs and symptoms, this condition often remains undiagnosed. It is important that people get themselves and their babies checked for this condition as early as possible.
There are some steps which doctors have come up with in the last few decades including eating a diet rich in gluten, test the blood for a rise in the level of antibodies but the most reliable test is the biopsy of the small intestine which shows the presence of underdeveloped villi (villi are responsible for the absorption of nutrients in our diet).
What is the treatment of celiac disease?
Research has been carried out on celiac disease for the past few decades butso far no cure has been found. However, there is a way to manage this condition which includes eating a diet which has no gluten in it.
There are quite a few types of food rich in gluten and therefore should be avoided at all times by the concerned individual such as:
· Bread, Pizza
· Frozen French Fries
· Soy sauce
What only a few people about is the fact that gluten is also found in products which an individual uses on a daily basis such as lipstick, shampoo and household cleansers. Make sure that whatever the individual eats and any product that person uses is totally free of gluten to prevent any chance of triggering this condition in the individual.