I’m sorry I don’t have a giveaway for you this week. In honor of celiac awareness month, I thought I would list some basic celiac disease frequently asked questions and answers. I will give the short answer to these questions, but more extensive answers can be found at the resources listed at the end.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by gluten and causes damage to the villi which line the small intestine. This damage can affect the absorption of nutrients.
What are the Symptoms of Celiac Disease?
Here are some of the most common symptoms, but the list is very extensive.
- bloating or gas
- joint pain
- brain fog
- fertility problems
- osteopenia or osteoporosis
- itchy skin rash
- mouth sores
How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed?
Celiac disease is diagnosed through a two step process. First is blood tests. Typically a celiac panel of tests is run. If the results are positive, the second step in an endoscopy where the doctor will take multiple biopsies of the lining of the small intestine. The laboratory then looks for damage to the villi. The biopsy is considered the gold standard for diagnosis.
How is Celiac Disease Treated?
There are no drugs that treat celiac disease. The only treatment is life long adherence to a gluten-free diet. Once on a gluten-free diet, the intestine will heal.
How Common is Celiac Disease?
According to a prevalence study done by the Center for Celiac Research, 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease. The majority of those are not diagnosed.
Celiac Disease Resources
University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research
University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
Gluten Intolerance Group