Celiac disease is a common gastroenterological condition which impacts many people in Texas and around the world. People with celiac disease are unable to process gluten, which is a common protein found in many types of foods, including wheat, rye, and barley.
When someone with Celiac disease consumes foods that contain gluten, their body mistakenly treats this gluten as a foreign invader, and launches an immune response that attacks the small intestine. This attack damages the small intestine, limiting the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
Celiac disease is a genetic condition which is hereditary. It is estimated to impact about 1 in 100 people worldwide. It can develop at any age, and over the long term can lead to serious health problems. Because celiac disease limits the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from foods, people suffering from the disease may become chronically malnourished.
There are many other potential symptoms and health consequences of celiac disease, including digestive problems, seizures, growth problems in children, iron deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, and more. Because of the potentially severe health issues related to celiac disease, it is important for you to seek medical help as soon as possible if you think you may be suffering from this condition.
When you do visit a gastroenterologist, he or she can take many steps to diagnose your condition. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history. Your doctor may also perform a variety of tests, including a blood test, a stool sample, and a biopsy. These procedures can all help to determine if you’re suffering from celiac disease.
If you are found to have celiac disease, the only real treatment available is to maintain a gluten-free diet. You will probably have to continue with this diet for your whole life. This can mean avoiding many common foods, such as pastas, breads, pizza, and more. It will also require you to research your diet carefully and plan meals more extensively.
However, fortunately there is a large community of gluten-free dieters online who have developed substantial resources for celiac sufferers to eat a healthy and delicious diet. By working with your doctor and performing your own research, you can work to create an eating plan that fits your lifestyle.
If you think you may have celiac disease or any other gastroenterological condition, it’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. If you’re located in the DFW area, the team at AGS Texas is available to help you understand and treat your GI issues. Contact us today to learn more about our clinic and book an appointment.