Celiac Disease & Other GI Issues

fcn-feature-celiac-gi-disordersWhat is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disease that impacts the body’s ability to process gluten, which is the protein found in wheat, barley, rye and some other grains. As a result, food remains in the intestines, damaging the microvilli and leading to malabsorption of nutrients.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease vary from person to person and often are subtle or mild, making self-diagnosis difficult. If you believe you’re suffering from Celiac Disease, it is important that you have a blood test to confirm diagnosis since improper treatment and misdiagnosis of the disease can lead to serious consequences, including debilitating illness and even death.

Some Symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach aches
  • Vomiting after eating
  • Delayed growth in children
  • Delayed puberty
  • Extreme Irritability, especially in children
  • Severe fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headaches, Migraines
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weight gain, especially “water weight”
  • Anemia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Causes

It isn’t yet clear what causes Celiac Disease; however, there are several factors that can impact a person’s likelihood of contracting the disease, including genetic predisposition and environmental triggers. Research continues to explore the interaction between these contributing factors and how they lead to an abnormal immune response to gluten.

Related Diseases

Those who have Celiac Disease may also suffer from the following conditions:

  • Food allergies
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Iron Deficiency
  • Folic Acid Deficiency
  • Osteoporosis
  • Down Syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Osteoporosis

Treatment

The main treatment for those diagnosed with Celiac Disease is a strictly gluten-free diet that eliminates wheat, barley, rye and the all gluten-containing grains. It also means avoiding some personal-care products including some lipsticks, soaps, and toothpastes. This is the best way to recover from damage done to the intestinal villi and malnourishment due to lack of dietary absorption.

Removing gluten from your life can be overwhelming. Implementing changes gradually can help make the process more manageable, and our practitioners can counsel each patient on ways to make this transition as smooth as possible. It may also help to talk about the many emotions that arise with this type of dietary change.

Celiac Disease Treatment Resources in Green Lake, Seattle

There are a number of excellent resources available. Everything from specialty foods, advice blogs, to informational sites exist to help in making a smooth transition to a gluten-free lifestyle. Tailor-made detailed handouts, counseling, and lists of additional resources can be obtained from our practitioners at the time of diagnosis. Patients will be walked through the process of dealing with this disease and will NOT be left to figure it out alone!

Many patients with Celiac Disease have sought medical care from in-office appointments to emergency hospitalizations without accurate diagnosis. Diagnostic tools have significantly improved in the last 10 years, making diagnosis easier, more accurate, and allowing people to improve their quality of life sooner. Celiac disease can be mild and irritating in its symptoms, but it can also be debilitating. In the end, Celiac Disease, if left undiagnosed and untreated, can predispose patients to developing further autoimmune diseases, and more seriously, cancer.

Our practitioners can help confirm diagnosis and provide treatment options—there’s much more to do than avoiding gluten! Many Celiac patients who only stop consuming gluten take years to recover function. Naturopathic Medicine provides much better results! Call our office at (206) 535-8867 to schedule an appointment.

Other GI Issues

If you have other GI issues, or your celiac test comes back negative, our practitioners have years of experience diagnosing and treating other causes of GI difficulties.