The tribulations and challenges of celiac disease can be overwhelming and tough to navigate, but the expert gastroenterologists of Illinois Gastroenterology Group can help you manage your condition and improve your wellness and quality of life. In Elgin, Illinois, the collaborative and experienced medical group offers patient education on healthy lifestyle changes, medications, and other treatments to make life with celiac disease more manageable. At Illinois Gastroenterology Group, you have support to protect your digestive system. Call the practice today or book your appointment online.
Celiac disease, sometimes called gluten-sensitive enteropathy or celiac sprue, is an immune reaction to eating gluten. Gluten is a protein found in certain grains: barley, rye, and wheat.
If you have celiac disease, when you eat gluten it triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction can damage the lining of your small intestine.
Some of the symptoms include:
Over half of the adults with celiac disease show symptoms unrelated to the digestive system, including:
You can also experience balance problems and cognitive impairment.
The precise cause of celiac disease isn’t known. Certain things might play a role in celiac disease:
If your body’s immune system overreacts to gluten, your reaction damages the tiny, hairlike projections lining your small intestine (intestinal villi). The villi absorb your vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from your food. Damaged villi prevent you from getting enough nutrients, causing malnutrition.
To diagnose celiac disease, your provider will order blood tests to check for antibodies in your blood or for genetic testing.
If the results of these tests indicate celiac disease, your provider can order additional diagnostic procedures like an endoscopy. During an endoscopy, your provider places a long tube with a tiny camera down your throat to view your small intestine and take a small tissue sample to analyze the villi damage.
Capsule endoscopy can be used in some cases. You swallow a vitamin-sized capsule containing a tiny wireless camera that takes pictures of your entire small intestine as it travels through your digestive tract. The pictures are transmitted to a recorder.
To treat your celiac disease, your provider usually recommends a lifelong gluten-free diet. Your provider helps you map out a healthy nutritional plan and figure out the easiest, best, and most practical ways to avoid gluten.
Remember, gluten can be hidden in unexpected foods, nonfood products, and some medications and supplements.
Removing the gluten from your diet will significantly reduce the inflammation in your small intestine.
Your provider might recommend nutritional supplements to treat an associated nutritional deficiency or certain medications and other lifestyle changes like stress management.
Let the caring providers of Illinois Gastroenterology Group assist you in managing your celiac disease. Call today or schedule through the website.