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While Coeliac disease was fairly unknown not too long ago, it has recently surged in the number of sufferers due to its relationship with gluten intolerance. However, while gluten intolerance and Coeliac disease do have some things in common, both disorders are very different, have different implications and need to be addressed differently as well. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly Coeliac disease is, its symptoms and what the treatment options are.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 3 million people in the US. It affects your body when you eat gluten, which is a substance that is often found in grains and grain products containing rye, barley or wheat for instance.
Gluten is what gives dough it’s elasticity and makes bread more “doughy”. In people suffering from Coeliac, the body will react to the protein abnormally which will have the effect of damaging their villi, which are small finger like protrusions found in the small intestine. This affects the intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients, which then eventually leads to malnutrition, miscarriages, bone density loss, infertility, and even more serious issues like cancers or neurological disorders.
Coeliac disease is different from a gluten allergy and the symptoms will be different as well. If you simply have a gluten allergy, then your eyes may itch or become watery or you might experience breathing issues. But if you’re suffering from Coeliac disease, you might start experiencing abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, anemia, fatigue, mouth ulcers, low bone density, or general fatigue and headaches.
Weight loss and ulcers are also some common symptoms associated with Coeliac disease. Note that intestinal issues are more frequent in children than in adults and may include swelling around the belly, bloating and steatorrhea, which is characterized by a particularly foul smelling and pale stool.
Unfortunately, Coeliac is a chronic disease, and there is no actual cure or medication that you can take to counter it. The only thing you can do is lay off gluten completely. So not only will you have to eliminate bread, cakes, and various other baked goods, you’ll also have to eliminate things like beer, cereals and even some types of toothpastes.
If you feel like you may be suffering from Coeliac disease, then it would be wise to visit a professional so that you can get tested and see if it is the case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best allergist in New York.