Overview of Celiac Disease
Celiac Disease is characterized by inflammation of small intestine. It is a disorder of the digestive system that effects the absorption of nutrients in the body. Celiac disease is a type of food allergy that is aggravated by consumption of gluten based food. It can be characterized as an autoimmune disorder as the immune system detects gluten as threat to the body. Once the immune system becomes active against gluten it produces antibodies against the digestive tract. This attack of immunes system lead to disruption of intestinal walls that lead to decrease in absorptive ability of the small intestine. Gluten is found in three main types of cereals, including barley wheat and rye. There is a wide range of food that contain these cereals in one form or another and thus can lead to inflammatory reaction in affected individuals.
Causes and Risk Factors of Celiac Disease
The most common cause of celiac disease is an autoimmune inflammatory response to gluten found in wheat, barley and rye. Consumption of different gluten based food such as cakes, bread, certain sauces and pasta. Celiac Disease is a genetic disorder and can be diagnosed through blood test. Individuals suffering from Type 1 diabetes are considered to be at risk of developing celiac disease. Certain other disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Addison’s disease and autoimmune thyroid disease may also lead to celiac disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Celiac Disease
The most common symptoms of celiac disease include fatigue, loss of weight, rash, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, ulcers in mouth, headache, constipation, indigestion, foul smelling stool and nervous system disorder such as loss of coordination, numbness in hands and feet and problems related to speech and balance. In children affected by celiac disease lack of absorption of nutrients can lead to retarded growth, delayed puberty, swollen belly, chronic diarrhea, muscle weakness, poor appetite, failure to thrive, mood swings, seizures, damage to enamel and mental weakness. Individuals suffering from celiac disease may suffer from infertility, bone weakness, lactose intolerance, reduced function of spleen, and certain type of cancers.