Category Archives: Gluten Intolerance

Receiving a Celiac Disease Diagnosis

If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from celiac disease, it’s important to seek the guidance and advice from your family doctor.  Celiac disease is a dangerous and potentially life threatening condition that should be treated as quickly as possible. In this article we’ll discuss a few of the likely methods that may be used to diagnose celiac disease.

Celiac Disease Diagnosis in Adults
The most likely celiac disease diagnosis test that your doctor will perform is a blood test. A celiac disease diagnosis blood test will be able to determine if you’re having an adverse reaction to gluten. Most of the available blood tests will measure antibody levels. Keep in mind that for these tests to be accurate you must have been consuming gluten on a daily basis for at least six weeks. So don’t begin a gluten free diet before getting tested as it will impact the results of the test.

If the blood test does not give enough information for a conclusive celiac disease diagnosis, your doctor may request an intestinal biopsy. The biopsy will be able to determine whether or not your intestines are being damaged by a reaction to gluten.

Celiac Disease Diagnosis in Children
Testing for children is much the same as it is for adults. The only difference is that most doctors do not request an intestinal biopsy unless there is no other way of obtaining a diagnosis. The doctor may request a stool sample to test for nutritional malabsorption and tests for vitamin B, D and E as well.

Celiac Disease Treatment
The only effective treatment known is to follow a strict gluten free diet. Gluten is found in certain cereal grains – wheat, rye and barley. It is also found in oats (except gluten free oats) because oats are typically processed along with gluten containing grains. In order to eat gluten free it is necessary to remove all foods that contain gluten from the diet. In general this will include breads, pastas, cereals, cookies, cakes and other foods with gluten. However, there are gluten free substitutes of all of these products available. Made with gluten free flours like teff flour, sorghum flour, rice flour and tapioca flour, gluten free baked goods are also delicious.

Symptoms will not disappear immediately after adopting a gluten free diet. It typically takes up to 6 months of eating gluten free for symptoms to diminish. It takes the body time to recover and symptoms will slowly ease over a period of months.

See your doctor right away if you’re concerned about celiac disease. He or she will be able to provide you with a celiac disease diagnosis – possibly with just a blood test. Once you know for sure you will be able to begin a treatment plan and be on your way to better health.

Living with Gluten Sensitivity

Being diagnosed with a condition like gluten sensitivity may seem frightening or overwhelming at first. As you learn more about the condition and the way to treat it you’ll find that living with gluten sensitivity is not as difficult as you may originally have thought. The key is an upbeat attitude, a willingness to try new things and the desire to live a healthy, happy life free of uncomfortable symptoms. Read on to learn a bit more about gluten sensitivity along with a few helpful hints to get you started on your path to a gluten free lifestyle.

Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten sensitivity symptoms can vary from person to person. People with this sensitivity generally suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Indigestion (particularly after eating foods that contain gluten)
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Gas and/or bloating
  • Aching joints
  • Muscle weakness or tenderness
  • Chronic itchy rashes
  • Moodiness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss or weight gain

Diagnosing Gluten Sensitivity
If you have not been formally diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, it’s a good idea to have your doctor perform a gluten sensitivity test. There are a few ways to test – the easiest and simplest way is a blood test that checks for the antibodies Anti-tTG, AGA and EMA. This blood test will determine how serious the sensitivity is and whether or not you have a more serious, but related, condition called celiac disease.

Another way to diagnose this condition is to try a gluten free cooking for a period of time – generally 3 months or more. If symptoms disappear then it’s likely that the cause was the ingestion of gluten.

Gluten Sensitivity vs Celiac Disease
In celiac disease, the intestines have an autoimmune reaction whereby the lining of the intestines becomes damaged and unable to absorb nutrients. In gluten sensitivity, a person may suffer from similar symptoms and the intestines may become irritated, but there is no damage to the intestines.

Resources
If you have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity there are a few things that you can do to get support. Modifying your diet isn’t easy and it takes willpower and determination to try new things and leave behind old habits.

  • Look for local support groups that meet regularly. They are a great place to exchange celiac recipes, get tips and ideas and make new friends.
  • National charities and organizations like the Coeliac Society can be a great resource to draw on for recipes and research.
  • Make a plan. Determine how you will become gluten free over a short period of time by choosing one meal a week to focus on. Week one try to eat gluten free for every breakfast. Week two, incorporate gluten free menus for lunch as well. Week three, tackle gluten free dinners. Within a month you’ll be eating gluten free without the stress of doing it all at once.

Gluten sensitivity is treatable. Once you get into the swing of things you’ll find that gluten free eating is easy to accomplish and is just as tasty – but without the uncomfortable side effects!

What is Celiac Disease?

Unless you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or know someone who has, it’s very possible that you’ve never heard of it. Most of us are familiar with the term gluten intolerant, but what does it really mean? In this article we’ll define gluten intolerance and celiac disease, take a look at some of the most frequently reported symptoms of celiac disease, and cover some of the basic treatment recommendations. By the end of this article you’ll have a better understand of celiac disease along with a few tips on how to combat it.

What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease, also sometimes referred to as coeliac disease, is a disease of the intestines. When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten their body has an autoimmune reaction where the intestines become irritated and swell. This swelling can damage the intestines leading to an inability to absorb nutrients. In severe cases celiac disease can be life threatening.

Celiac Disease Symptoms
Before we share with you the list of common symptoms, it’s important to note that not all those suffering from celiac disease exhibit all, some or even any of these symptoms. One of the most difficult parts of diagnosing celiac disease is the variance in symptoms. Some people suffer from almost all the symptoms – others have no symptoms at all for many many years.

  • Fatigue
  • Foggy thinking
  • Abdominal pain or cramping, particularly after consuming wheat or gluten containing products
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Anemia
  • Other vitamin or mineral deficiencies
  • Elevated liver counts on blood tests
  • Weight loss
  • Osteoporosis
  • Itchy rash that comes and goes

If you have several of the above listed symptoms, or if you suspect that you may have celiac disease, see your physician right away. There are simple tests that can be done to diagnose this disease and treatment is possible. Don’t spend another day in discomfort.

Celiac Disease in Children
In children, the disease can be difficult to identify at first. Most infants with celiac disease are given a ‘failure to thrive’ classification. In toddlers and older children a symptom can be stunted growth along with some of the other symptoms found in adults such as fatigue, rash and abdominal pain.

Treatment
Fortunately, there is treatment. The only known way to treat celiac disease is with a gluten free diet. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and most oats. By removing the source of the gluten the intestines will no longer trigger an autoimmune reaction. Over time the intestines can heal and normal nutritional absorption can occur. It may sound daunting to remove all wheat from your diet, but there are many gluten free substitutes on the market today.

What is Sprue?

Sprue is a name given to a disorder where nutrients are unable to be absorbed and results in weight loss, diarrhea and can lead to emaciation and death. In this article we’ll talk about celiac sprue and how it’s different from other forms of sprue, give an overview of symptoms and the diet that is typically recommended for treatment. Sprue is the most serious of all gluten intolerance disorders and should not be taken lightly.

What is Celiac Sprue?
There are two forms of sprue – tropical and celiac. Tropical sprue is an infection that can be either viral or bacterial. While tropical sprue and Celiac sprue can have similar symptoms their causes and treatments differ greatly. In this article we will focus on Celiac sprue which is caused by a body’s reaction to certain proteins called gluten that are found in wheat, rye and barley. Both forms of sprue cause nutrient malabsorption and cause weight loss and can even lead to death.

Celiac Sprue Symptoms
Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the person. However, here is a list of the more common symptoms. Remember that not everyone has all the symptoms and some people do not present any symptoms at all.

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss or emaciation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas and Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • A severe, itchy rash
  • High liver levels in blood tests
  • Stunted growth or developmental delays in children

Celiac Sprue Diet
The only known way to treat celiac sprue is to follow a very careful gluten free diet. You may be wondering, what is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in certain cereal grains like wheat, rye and barley. At first it may seem that there is gluten in everything. And it is true that gluten can be found in a wide variety of products, particularly breads and baked goods. However, when you start to think about all the food available, you will begin to realize how much food does not contain gluten. All fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, oils and dairy do not contain gluten. There is also a huge assortment of gluten free food available as well as gluten free flour if you like to do your own baking.

Celiac sprue materially impacts the ability to absorb nutrients. When a body does not receive the nutrition it needs a host of illnesses and complications can arise. From anemia to diabetes – celiac sprue is thought to contribute to a wide variety of diseases and can itself lead to malnutrition and can even be life threatening. If you’re concerned about celiac sprue, be sure to consult your physician who can provide a diagnosis and create a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.

Understanding Celiac Symptoms

If you’ve just begun to wonder if you have some form of gluten intolerance, chances are the possibility occurred to you due to a symptom or combination of symptoms. In this article we’ll discuss some of the most common celiac disease symptoms in adults and children as well as give you some idea of the likely treatment options. When you’ve finished reading this article, if you feel the symptoms describe you or someone in your family, it’s important that you see your doctor for a complete diagnosis as soon as possible.

Celiac Symptoms in Adults
One of the tricky things about diagnosing celiac disease is that the symptoms aren’t always the same from person to person. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Nutrient absorption issues such as Anemia
  • An extremely itchy rash (also called dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Fatigure
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low protein levels in blood tests
  • Low calcium levels in blood tests
  • Elevated liver function in blood tests
  • Infertility and frequent miscarriages
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain, particularly after consuming gluten

Celiac Symptoms in Children
Celiac disease in children can be a bit harder to diagnose based on symptoms. In infants, doctors can call it a ‘failure to thrive’ which can mean an inability to gain weight or maintain a healthy weight. Celiac symptoms in toddlers can include delayed development and stunted growth as well as any combination of symptoms present on the adult symptom list. If you think that you have witnessed celiac symptoms in a toddler you know, it’s important that they’re tested and diagnosed by a qualified physician as soon as possible as celiac disease can be an extremely serious condition if not treated.

Celiac Disease Diagnosis and Treatment
The best way to be diagnosed is to ask your doctor to perform a series of tests. Blood tests can frequently determine whether or not you have celiac disease. Some doctors also perform a simple intestinal biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Once diagnosed, the only known treatment is to follow a strict gluten free diet. Some doctors also use a gluten free diet as a diagnosis tool. If a patient sees marked improvement in symptoms after eating no gluten for a length of time, usually 6 months, it’s a good sign that celiac disease is at work.

Celiac disease is a serious condition that can lead to significant health issues and can even be life threatening. Because gluten damages the intestines of those with celiac disease, it can keep nutrients from being absorbed. If you’re concerned that you may have celiac disease, don’t delay. See your doctor as soon as you can so you can get on the road to recovery sooner than later.