What Should I Understand About Celiac Disease?


Do you experience gastrointestinal (GI) issues after eating gluten-containing items? GI effects that arise after consuming gluten, such as diarrhea, greasy stools, bloating, and stomach pain, can result from celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that triggers an abnormal immune response to the protein in grains known as gluten. An immune response arises when gluten is ingested, resulting in unpleasant effects. Though there is presently no method for curing celiac disease, the gastrointestinal doctors at GI Alliance of Illinois help individuals in Chicago, Hinsdale, and the surrounding areas detect and address celiac disease symptoms.

How can celiac disease impact a person's body?

People who believe they may have celiac disease should always seek a diagnosis and medical care from a skilled gastrointestinal physician. Celiac disease can cause harm to the body by going undiagnosed and untreated. This digestive disease can produce a long-term impact on the small intestine, where most nutrients are absorbed by the body. When gluten is absorbed in the small bowel, it stimulates an immune reaction. Your body then releases a host of antibodies to destroy it. These antibodies may harm the lining of your small bowel, impacting your digestive tract's ability to absorb nutrients from food.

Other possible long-term effects of celiac disease involve:

  • Occurrence of new food intolerances
  • Higher risk of cancer in the intestine
  • Ulcers or scarring in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Liver disease
  • Compromised immune system

How is celiac disease treated?

Overall, the ideal approach to treating celiac disease is to eliminate gluten from your diet. Once you’ve been tested for and diagnosed with celiac disease, you should be able to fend off further symptoms once you stop eating gluten. With time, the intestinal lining should heal and once again be able to sustain nutrients. Given that there is no known cure for this disease, those with the disease will most likely have to eat a gluten-free diet in order to avoid damaging the small intestine even more. Some treatments that could be helpful include:

  • Nutritional supplements
  • A good follow-up care routine
  • Medication
  • Corticosteroids

If you need celiac disease treatment in Peoria, Arlington Heights, and surrounding areas, the team of gastrointestinal doctors at GI Alliance of Illinois are available. While the main form of treatment for is a gluten-free diet, it is crucial that you are diagnosis of celiac disease before you cut out gluten completely to find out if it even negatively affects your body.

Celiac disease vs. gluten intolerance: Are they the same thing?

To many, celiac disease and gluten intolerance might seem the same. They cause disagreeable GI symptoms after consuming gluten. However, the similarities end there. As previously mentioned, celiac disease is known to cause an atypical response in the body that can have a negative impact on the GI system in time. Gluten intolerance, though uncomfortable, should not lead to long-term damage to your GI system. It can usually be alleviated by supplementing digestive enzymes that are known to reduce symptoms. The symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease symptoms are basically the same, which is why if you notice symptoms after eating gluten, you should be be assessed by a GI doctor to establish which gastro condition you are experiencing.

Get support for celiac disease in Illinois

The team at GI Alliance of Illinois is dedicated to raising celiac disease awareness. About 1 in 133 people is diagnosed with celiac disease. Celiac disease can alter how you live, typically for the better. Once you’ve removed gluten, your body will start to heal from damage caused from gluten. With a healed body, your risk of having any of the above-mentioned long-term effects decreases. To request an appointment, get in touch with a GI Alliance of Illinois location. You can rely on our Illinois gastrointestinal doctors to address your digestive wellness.

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