Celiac disease or coeliac disease is an where the small intestine is unable to correctly recognize and gluten, a prolamin commonly found in wheat. The body’s immune system starts to treat the gluten as “dangerous” and tries to eliminate it. This causes inflammation in the small intestine, along with severe abdominal pain, distress, diarrhea, among other symptoms.condition
As with many autoimmune diseases, this is your own body attacking itself, and as such, it is very difficult to cure. Celiac disease is often associated with other diseases like enteritis and colitis, as well as various other autoimmune diseases that often result from non-treatment or lack of awareness of a celiac condition.
The disease does not have a known cure, and the only way to alleviate the painful condition is to restrict your diet to gluten-free for the rest of your life. Fortunately, the amount of restaurants and stores that now have gluten-free items available is dramatically increasing the scale, and therefore, this disease is increasingly understood.
Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
The following are serological and genetic markers that are used by medical professionals to correctly diagnose celiac disease:
- Family medical history test: For the diagnosis of celiac disease, your doctor will first take a family medical history test, where they will determine if this disease is present in any other member of the family. The doctor will also test for type 1 diabetes, liver ailments, thyroid problems, or any syndrome like Turner, Williams, or Down syndrome.
- Test for gluten intolerance or celiac disease: The doctor can also directly and accurately test for gluten intolerance or celiac disease by keeping you on a gluten-filled diet for 8 weeks. Other tests include blood tests, such as serology test, in which they look for an elevated level of in your blood, and genetic tests like the HLA to check for the human leukocyte antigens. These tests help in ruling out any or all the chances of a celiac disease.
- Endoscopy: Your doctor may also do an endoscopy to check if there has been any damage to the small intestine.
- Biopsy: They will take a little sample tissue from your small lining and then send it for biopsy. This procedure involves a tube that is inserted through your mouth towards the esophagus and then down the intestinal tract.
On the basis of the above tests, they will give you a positive or negative diagnosis.
Treatments for Celiac Disease
There are different treatments for celiac disease based on the specific condition:
In the case of itching and rashes, your doctor will also prescribe you medicine for the same. This may include creams such as Dapsone and a gluten-free diet.
Refractory Celiac Disease
When you are suffering from refractory celiac disease, then your small intestine is beyond healing, that is to say, it cannot be treated. This is a serious condition and requires immediate medical attention, even though it doesn’t have any proven treatment. Oftentimes, steroid therapy, which includes topical budesonide or , are used for the treatment, while, other times, medicines that are commonly used for other treatments may be prescribed by your physician.
Home Remedies for Coeliac Disease
These are home remedies or lifestyle modifications to prevent celiac disease from ruling your life:
Perhaps the most obvious home remedy for celiac disease is a complete overhaul of your diet to eliminate anything that contains gluten such as wheat products. Gluten is added to thousands of different food items as additional bulk, or space-filling material. It is found in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt. This means that it is in almost all bread and grain products, as well as imitation meats, ice cream, ketchup, desserts, baked goods, soy sauce, and hundreds of other foods. It is also used as a stabilizing agent for foods like mashed potatoes. By checking the labels on all of your food items, exploring gluten-free brands, and always asking at restaurants for a gluten-free menu (more of these exist every day), you can safely eliminate gluten from your diet. Eating foods like vegetables, fruits, meat, and poultry are usually safe; the more processed or unnatural a food is, the more likely it is to have gluten as an ingredient!
Papain supplements can stimulate the enzymes in the small intestine to properly identify gluten, thereby reducing the immune system response. These are available at most health food stores and are gaining in popularity from those who don’t want to drastically check their gluten intake with a complete change in diet. However, some people still suffer from mild effects of celiac disease when taking them so it is best to consult a doctor.
Fish oil acts as a coating for your intestinal lining to keep your small from becoming inflamed. Therefore, it can prevent a painful flare-up of celiac symptoms if you accidentally consume some gluten.
Yogurt is known to stimulate beneficial bacteria and promote the healing of the digestive tract, so celiac patients are often encouraged to increase their intake of yogurt. This is extremely beneficial to people who may have been unaware that they have celiac disease for many years, which means that their intestinal villi are badly damaged, and their nutrient absorption is poor.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
If your doctor detects any deficiencies, they will prescribe you supplements including calcium, iron, vitamin D, K, and B12, zinc, etc. These supplements should be gluten-free and should be given through injections, as pills can cause further damage to the intestinal tract.
Goldenseal and olive leaf extracts are commonly used in the treatment of celiac disease because they help to regulate and protect the immune system, thereby reducing the autoimmune effects on the small intestine. Chamomile is another good herb to reduce the digestive inflammation and upset stomachs that are associated with celiac disease.
Horsetail tea reduces the inflammation of the digestive tract and the intestines, while also boosting the strength and durability of the digestive system, so your system is less sensitive to gluten.
If you suffer from celiac disease, there is a good chance that your body is slightly deficient in various essential nutrients since your intestines haven’t been properly absorbing them. For this reason, it is a good idea to regularly take dietary and nutrient supplements to ensure that your body gets back on track. Some celiac patients continue taking nutrient supplements for years as a way to make up for some of the nutrients they will lose due to their selective diet. Luckily, it is becoming much easier in recent years to maintain a well-balanced diet without consuming any gluten, and without spending an exorbitant amount of money!
Having celiac disease isn’t the end of the world, you just need to be a bit more careful with what you eat and you should be able to live a normal and happy life.