Celiac disease occurs in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten — a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye — triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine. This damage impairs nutrient absorption, leading to various complications.
Causes and Risk Factors
The exact cause of celiac disease is unknown, but it's believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include:
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
Symptoms can vary greatly and may include:
Some people with celiac disease may have no symptoms, which can make diagnosis challenging.
Diagnosis and Testing
Diagnosing celiac disease involves several steps:
Treatment: A Gluten-Free Diet
The primary treatment for celiac disease is a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet, which allows the intestinal lining to heal. This involves:
Managing Celiac Disease
Living with celiac disease means more than just dietary changes:
Complications of Untreated Celiac Disease
If left untreated, celiac disease can lead to:
Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder that can have a significant impact on one's life. However, with proper diagnosis, a strict gluten-free diet, and ongoing medical care, individuals with celiac disease can lead healthy and active lives. Awareness and education are crucial in managing this condition effectively. If you suspect you or a loved one has celiac disease, seek medical advice for proper testing and diagnosis.
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