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Celiac Disease, Causes, Symptoms and Complications

Celiac disease is an immune-mediated disease that occurs due to an abnormal response of our own immune system against a dietary protein called gluten. It is found to affect patients all across the globe with the greatest prevalence rate in Finland. Like any other immune-mediated diseases it is common in females as compared to males.

How is Celiac Disease Caused?

The immune system is normally aimed to protect us against diseases mediated by viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Celiac disease occurs when our own immune system elicits an abnormal response is against a protein normally found in our daily diet.

Gluten, a protein obtained from the different dietary sources such as rye, barley and wheat is normally absorbed and utilized in the body just like other nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, and other proteins. In the case of patients with celiac disease, the immune system regards gluten as something foreign. Thus the body starts producing antibodies in order to get rid of this mistakenly labeled foreign body.  These antibodies start attacking the inner lining of the intestine, tissue that mediates the absorption of all the nutrients obtained from food, thereby interfering with the whole process of absorption and leaving the patient malnourished and vulnerable to all the complications occurring secondary to it.

SymptomsCeliac Disease, Causes, Symptoms and Complications

The commonly associated symptoms noticed with the celiac disease are

  • Loose motions
  • Abdominal distention and pain
  • Excessive gas production
  • The inability of the young kids to thrive
  • Numbness and tingling sensations
  • Fits
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Menstrual problems
  • Muscular cramps
  • A rash that is usually severe

Complications of Untreated Celiac Disease

Growth Failure in Kids: The absorption of nutrients from the small intestine required for the proper growth and development of the kid is reduced significantly in case of celiac disease, leading to their deficiency, thus causing problems associated with growth failures.

Osteoporosis:  It is important for us to absorb calcium contained in the diet in order to maintain adequate blood calcium levels for keeping the bones strong and healthy. Thus as the absorption of calcium is reduced, over a prolonged period of time celiac disease may lead to the development of osteoporosis if left untreated.

Infertility:  The research conducted so for regarding association of celiac disease to infertility indicates that the fertility rate in patients suffering from the celiac disease is comparatively low as compared to the normal population. The mechanism of why it happens is not fully understood at the moment.

Birth defects in neonates: Amongst many other nutrients folic acid is of utmost important for a pregnant lady, for the proper development of the nervous system of her child. This if a pregnant mom is suffering from this disease, she may give birth to a child with an underdeveloped nervous system.

Fits: The risk of developing seizures is also high in the patients suffering from celiac disease.

Patients suffering from celiac disease are also at increased risk of developing other immune mediated diseases such as thyroid dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis and SLE as well.

Do you suffer from celiac disease? Come to Century Medical and Dental Center (Downtown Brooklyn, Gravesend, Flatbush, Fort Greene and Midtown Manhattan) to discuss a treatment plan.


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