Celiac disease is a disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged. It occurs due to gluten sensitivity, an immunological reaction towards eating gluten found in foods like barley, oats, and wheat. Damage of the lining of the intestine prevents absorption of nutrients from foods. Patients with celiac disease are affected by gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease can occur at any stage of life. People who have a family history of celiac disease are more likely to be affected. Celiac disease patients can suffer from symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, or intestinal cancer among others.
Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Symptoms of non-celiac gluten sensitivity are so similar to celiac disease that diagnosis becomes difficult. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity differs from the type of immunological response that occurs in the case of celiac patients. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity patients suffer from gluten sensitivity but there is an absence of the antibodies involved in celiac cases.
It has been observed that non-celiac gluten sensitivity includes innate immune response while celiac cases include adaptive immune response. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity cases are less severe as those of celiac cases.
Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Similarly, there is confusion between symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome like diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain, which may appear to be celiac cases. According to EverydayHealth.com, 5 to 15 percent of celiac cases are identified as those of irritable bowel syndrome. Gastrointestinal signs indicate irritable bowel syndrome, which may not be the case with every celiac patient.
Celiac patients suffer from problems other than those faced by irritable bowel syndrome patients. Irritable bowel syndrome affects bowel movement while this is not the case with celiac patients. To avoid being wrongly diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, patients should not change their diet before visiting the doctor. This can help in differentiating between irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
Symptoms of celiac disease vary in children and adults. These symptoms are often confused with that of gluten sensitivity and irritable bowel syndrome. Some patients may not experience any signs or symptoms. Diarrhea and weight loss are common symptoms. Symptoms of celiac disease in children include digestive problems. Some of the symptoms in children are:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased appetite
- Growth-related problems
Symptoms in adults are:
- Deficiency of calcium
- Deficiency of iron
- Mouth sores
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
Complicated cases may include infertility, miscarriage, weight loss, diarrhea, edema, or muscle spasms.
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