Celiac disease, which is also known as gluten-intolerance enteropathy or celiac sprue is basically a kind of immune reaction caused by consuming gluten. Gluten is the protein we find in the rye, barley, and also wheat. In gluten-sensitive people, having this protein can trigger an immune reaction in the small intestine. Thus, with time, this reaction causes large scale damage to the lining of the small intestine. It also does not let the small intestine take in nutrients. Large scale intestinal damage results in fatigue, diarrhea, bloating, and anemia and weight loss. Children who suffer from malabsorption generally do not grow properly. As far as the disease is concerned, there exists no cure for it.
Nevertheless, experts suggest following a regular gluten-free diet can help in managing the symptoms and in promoting intestinal curing.
Causes Of Gluten Sensitivity
To be very specific, the immune system in a human body protects the body from all kinds of foreign invaders. Celiac sufferers who resort to consuming foods containing high amounts of gluten can damage their intestine. Thus, having gluten-rich foods means there are antibodies to gluten formed in the immune system of the sufferers. These antibodies attack the intestinal lining resulting in villi damage and also swelling. Villi are the hair-type structures found on the small intestine lining. These structures carry out the task of absorbing food, and once they are completely damaged, an individual is not able to absorb nutrients from the food he consumes. Other important causes of gluten intolerance include:
- Diseases like viral infections
- Medical processes like childbirth, pregnancy, and surgery.
- Type I diabetes
- Microscopic colitis (collagenous colitis or lymphocytic)
- Autoimmune thyroid disease
- Turner syndrome or down syndrome
- Addison’s disease
Long-Term Health Effects Of Celiac Disease
Individuals who suffer from the disease are highly susceptible to developing coronary artery disease and small bowel cancers. Availing treatment for the same can result in renal disease. Nevertheless, if celiac is not taken care of in the right way it can result in other autoimmune problems such as multiple sclerosis, Type I diabetes, anemia, infertility, dermatitis herpetiformis, miscarriage, and osteoporosis. It can even cause different neurological issues, such as migraines and epilepsy. Other conditions caused due to a compromised intestine include heart diseases, intestinal cancers, and short stature. Untreated Celiac can also result in bone weakening, especially in children. Others with this disease have greater chances of developing issues like seizures or problems of the nerves in the feet and the hands. This is called peripheral neuropathy.
Treatment For Celiac Sprue
At present, the one and the only cure for Celiac Sprue is adhering to a strict and balanced gluten-free diet for one’s entire life. Individuals who are sensitive to gluten should make it a point to avoid foods containing barley, rye, and also wheat. Such foods include beer and bread. Ingesting even very low quantities of gluten such as crumbs from toasters or cutting boards can also trigger the damage of the small intestine.
Now that you have an idea of the causes of Celiac Sprue, it is time for you to consider them and understand whether you are sensitive to gluten or not.