Celiac Disease can be difficult to diagnose and treat effectively. It’s important to work with a physician who specializes in the condition. This article is all about Celiac Disease – it’s definition, diagnosis, and treatment options.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a small bowel disorder characterized by mucosal inflammation, villous atrophy, and crypt hyperplasia, which occurs upon exposure to dietary gluten and which demonstrates improvement after withdrawal of gluten from the diet.
The classic celiac disease or gluten-sensitive enteropathy includes the following three features:
- Villous atrophy
- Symptoms of malabsorption such as steatorrhea, weight loss, or other signs of nutrient or vitamin deficiency
- Resolution of the mucosal lesions and symptoms upon withdrawal of gluten-containing foods, usually within a few weeks to months
Patients with atypical disease exhibit minor gastrointestinal complaints. They can display anemia, dental enamel defects, osteoporosis, arthritis, increased transaminases, neurological symptoms, or infertility.
Who Should be Tested for Celiac Disease?
Here is a list of patients who should be tested for celiac disease:
- Those with gastrointestinal symptoms including:
- Chronic or recurrent diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Abdominal distension or bloating
- Irritable bowel syndrome or severe lactose intolerance
- Individuals without other explanations for signs and symptoms such as iron deficiency anemia, folate or vitamin B12 deficiency, persistent elevation in serum ALT, short stature, delayed puberty, recurrent fetal loss, low birthweight infants, reduced fertility, persistent aphthous stomatitis, dental enamel hypoplasia, idiopathic peripheral neuropathy, nonhereditary cerebellar ataxia, or recurrent migraine headaches.
- Patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, and first-degree relatives of individuals with celiac disease if they have signs, symptoms, or laboratory evidence of possible celiac disease
Diagnosing Celiac Disease involves blood tests, and small intestine biopsy.
Management of Celiac Disease
Here are some recommendations for managing Celiac Disease and its symptoms:
- Consultation with a skilled dietitian
- Education about the disease
- Lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet
- Identification and treatment of nutritional deficiencies
- Access to an advocacy group
- Continuous long-term follow-up by a multidisciplinary team
Chaska Celiac Doctor
At Bhatti GI clinics, we provide individualized, compassionate care to each and every patient. While many GI conditions can be scary, you can rest assured that you are in good hands with Dr. Bhatti – who has performed over 40,000 advanced gastrointestinal procedures over his twenty years in practice. Dr. Bhatti is also one of the only GI doctors in the state of Minnesota to specialize in the treatment of liver disease. Whether you need to schedule a routine colonoscopy, or you’re experiencing severe stomach pain, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today at our Edina or Chaska clinics to set up your appointment with Dr. Bhatti.