What Should You Understand About Celiac Disease?


Do you experience gastrointestinal effects after eating products containing gluten? GI problems that arise after eating gluten, like diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and oily stools, may result from celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that triggers an abnormal immune response to the protein in grains known as gluten. This immune reaction occurs when gluten is ingested, leading to unpleasant GI symptoms. Although there is presently no way to cure celiac disease, the gastrointestinal doctors at Specialists in Gastroenterology in St. Louis, MO can help identify and address celiac disease symptoms.

How might celiac disease affect the body?

Those with celiac disease should always seek a professional diagnosis and medical treatment from a gastrointestinal doctor. Celiac disease can cause harm to the body if the condition goes undiagnosed and untreated. This digestive condition can produce a lasting impact on the small intestine, where the majority of nutrients are absorbed by the body. When the protein gluten is taken up in the small bowel, it stimulates the immune system to react. The body then activates a host of antibodies to attack it. These antibodies may harm the lining of your small bowel, impairing your digestive tract's ability to absorb nourishment from food products.

Other possible long-term effects of celiac disease are:

  • Manifestation of new food intolerances
  • Scarring or ulcers in the digestive tract
  • Liver disease
  • Being immunocompromised
  • Heightened risk of intestinal cancer

What are the treatment options for celiac disease?

In general, the ideal way to treat celiac disease is to avoid eating gluten. After you’ve been tested for and diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s possible to stonewall additional symptoms when you cut out gluten. Eventually, your intestinal lining will start to heal and start to sustain nutrients. Since there is no known cure for this disease, patients might want to eat a gluten-free diet to avoid damaging their small intestine. Other treatments that might be recommended are:

  • Routine follow-up care
  • Corticosteroids
  • Medication
  • Nutritional supplements

If you are seeking celiac disease treatment in St. Louis, MO, the team of gastrointestinal doctors at Specialists in Gastroenterology are available. While the most effective treatment method is a gluten-free diet, it is important that you are diagnosed with celiac disease before you cut out gluten entirely to verify how it has an impact on your body.

Celiac disease vs. gluten intolerance: Are they the same thing?

On the surface, gluten intolerance and celiac disease may seem alike. They both cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms after eating gluten. The similarities come to an end there. As mentioned above, celiac disease can cause a deviant reaction in the body that may negatively affect your digestive tract over time. Gluten intolerance is uncomfortable, but it should not lead to long-term harm to the GI tract. Gluten intolerance can often be treated by supplementing digestive enzymes that are known to minimize symptoms. Celiac disease symptoms and gluten intolerance symptoms are almost interchangeable; therefore, if you are experiencing such symptoms, you may want to be be assessed by a digestive health professional to figure out which gastro condition you are experiencing.

Get care for celiac disease in St. Louis, MO

At Specialists in Gastroenterology, our team is committed to increasing celiac disease awareness. Every 1 in every 133 individuals becomes diagnosed with celiac disease. Having celiac disease can alter how you live your life, often favorably. Once you’ve removed gluten from your diet, your body will start to heal from the damage caused by consuming gluten. With a healed body, the risk of getting any of the priorly mentioned long-term effects diminishes. For more information, get in touch with a Specialists in Gastroenterology location in your community. You can relax in the hands of our GI specialists in St. Louis, MO to preserve and protect your GI wellness.

Find Your Nearest Location