There’s no one symptom that can be used to diagnose Celiac disease. The condition, which simply can be described as a form of gluten intolerance, is a combination of symptoms. In fact, there are many cases where the disease has been misdiagnosed because the symptoms it shares with other digestive and allergy-related diseases. Among the symptoms that manifest in children include abdominal pain, diarrhea, not gaining weight, nausea, anemia, mouth sores, lack of appetite, hair loss, bloated abdomen, not growing in height, dermatitis, and behavioral disorders. In adults, it is common to exhibit fatigue, depression, osteoporosis, irritability, and lactose intolerance. The importance of diagnosing celiac disease is getting to the root of the problem to diagnose it properly.
As we all know, celiac disease is a condition where the inner lining of the small intestines gets inflamed due to the contact with gluten. Gluten is a protein that is commonly found in wheat, barley, and rye. Once inflammation of the small intestines occurs, the body is unable to absorb the necessary nutrients from the food you eat. So no matter how much you gobble up food, you will still experience malnutrition. And because you’re not receiving the right amounts of nutrients, your body will get weaker and becomes more susceptible to other diseases.
Diagnosing the condition is somewhat troublesome due to the fact that the exact cause of the disease is still unknown. Research and studies, however, have proven that the disease is genetically based. So this means that if someone in your family has it, there’s a chance that you can have it as well.
Tests and diagnosing the disease can be done through laboratory analysis of blood samples. What doctors will be looking for is the high levels of antibodies, more specifically anti-gliadin, anti-endomysium, and anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies, in your blood. It has been found out that people with celiac disease have high levels of these antibodies in their system. These antibodies identify gluten as a threat to the body and try to get rid of it just like the immune system trying to get rid of viruses and bacteria.
However, there are times that the levels of these antibodies were found to be normal, and yet patients still exhibit symptoms of celiac disease. Only once gluten is removed from their diet did they only started feeling a lot better. The disease is really a tricky one to diagnose but through observations and laboratory analysis the task is not impossible.
If left undiagnosed, the disease can potentially lead to complications and other more dangerous diseases. Some risks the people with the disease have to be ready for include lupus, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, microscopic colitis, and autoimmune thyroid disease.
Of course, malnutrition will be a starting point for deficiencies in vitamins A, B-12, D, E, and K which can cause anemia and weight loss. The body will be lacking in calcium as well which greatly affects the bone density. The damage caused by the disease can also result in developing other allergic reactions from foods that don’t even contain gluten, such as lactose.
So it is really important that people who exhibit symptoms of the disease get some medical attention get to the root of the problem. And if the doctors found out that the disease is not celiac, then that’s still good. However, leaving everything as it is will never turn out good.