What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease, also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy or celiac sprue, is an immune response to eating gluten, which is a protein that is in wheat, rye, and barley. Individuals with celiac disease can experience an immune response that is triggered by gluten, which affects the small intestine. Over time, the immune response causes damage to the small intestine’s lining, which leads to the inability of absorbing some nutrients. When the small intestine is unable to absorb some nutrients, this is known as malabsorption. The damage caused to the small intestine can lead to diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, anemia, bloating, and other detrimental health issues.
For children who have celiac disease, malabsorption can result in growth and development issues, in addition to other effects that are seen in adults with celiac disease.
Currently, there is not a cure for celiac disease; however, those who have celiac disease should follow a gluten-free diet in order to manage symptoms and help with their intestinal healing and consult with a gastroenterologist in Thousand Oaks.
What are Symptoms of Celiac Disease?
There are a wide range of symptoms of celiac disease and they can vary tremendously and be different in children and adults.
Adults with celiac disease can experience digestive problems, as well as other issues that are unrelated to digestive symptoms, such as:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Osteoporosis or osteomalacia
- Skin rash
- Mouth ulcers
- Joint pain
- Nervous system injuries
Children who suffer from celiac disease are more likely to experience digestive issues, as well as other problems, such as:
- Swollen belly
- Foul-smelling and pale stools
- Weight loss
- Inability to thrive for infants
- Growth and development issues
- Learning disabilities
- Tooth enamel damage
- Neurological disorders
When to See a Doctor
As an adult, if you are experiencing digestive problems or diarrhea for more than two weeks,
then it is important to consult with a doctor. If your child is experiencing paleness, irritability, failure to grow, swollen belly, or foul-smelling large stools, then consult with your child’s doctor.
At the Gastroenterology Center of Thousand Oaks, our team specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal treatments, including celiac disease. If you would like to get in touch with an experienced gastroenterologist in Thousand Oaks, contact our team to learn more.