How To Manage Celiac Disease
Celiac Disease Symptoms And Diagnosis
Celiac disease symptoms are often confused with the less popular condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome, since they are similar and caused by almost the same mechanisms. While one is a genetic condition, the other is of unknown cause.
Celiac disease is a genetically determined hypersensitivity to gluten in the diet. Gluten is the primary protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Celiac disease is also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy and sprue. The condition affects the small intestine lining, affecting its ability to absorb nutrients after digestion.
Celiac disease symptoms can be classified into the ones which affect the digestive system and others that are found outside the intestinal tract. The major symptoms of the condition include:
1. Weight Loss
One of the most widely described celiac disease symptoms is weight loss. People suffering from the condition have a reduced appetite leading to loss of weight. Because they are unable to absorb nutrients and minerals, the lack of adequate nutrition leads to a catabolic state which manifests in the form of weight loss. Infants and young children are more likely to be diagnosed with celiac disease on this basis than adults.
2. Diarrhea and Fatty Stools
The capacity of the intestine to absorb nutrients including fatty acids is impaired in celiac sprue. This leads to undigested waste being expelled from the body more frequently, causing diarrhea and increased fat in the stools. The condition is known as fatty stools and manifests as soft, pale and bulky stools that float and appear greasy.
3. Stomach ache and Bloating
Another consequence of the poor absorption of nutrients and digested food is the increase in gas production within the intestines. This causes a chronic ache in the belly and a sensation of feeling bloated. There is increased flatulence. Peristalsis of the small bowel is also interrupted in celiac disease.
4. Skin rash
Typical of this condition and setting it apart from others with similar clinical symptoms like leaky gut syndrome is the occurrence of a skin rash in 10% of patients. The rash is usually itchy and creates blisters over the knees, buttocks and elbows.
5. Bone problems
Vitamin D is one of the important nutrients that is not properly absorbed in sprue. As a result, bones are weak, malformed and brittle. Fractures are more frequent in children with the condition. Vitamin D and calcium supplements are often required to prevent this from happening.
Lack of energy is the effect of poor nutrient and mineral absorption from the gut. This feature is common in all gastrointestinal problems including leaky gut syndrome and gluten intolerance. Anemia as a result of iron deficiency further worsens the situation and leads to a chronic fatigue syndrome.
All of these celiac disease symptoms are indicative but not conclusive for a diagnosis. It is important that the correct diagnosis be made early so that treatment can be started and complications may be avoided.
Learning more about leaky gut syndrome and the various options available to prevent and treat it is therefore very important. "Leaky Gut Cure" is a nice little guide to understanding what's at stake and how to prevent ill effects from this poorly understood condition.