If you experience digestive symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and/or gas after eating gluten products, the odds are high that you might be one of 2.5 million Americans who have undiagnosed celiac disease.
Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is a digestive and autoimmune condition in which your immune system reacts to gluten – a group of proteins found in cereals such as barley, rye, wheat, and more. This causes inflammation in your gut, which can damage your gut over time and limit its ability to absorb nutrients from your food, leading to nutritional deficiency.
If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease and are wondering how it can be treated, keep reading. In this article, we’ll talk about the various treatment options for celiac disease and where you can go for celiac disease treatment in Westlake, OH.
Celiac Disease Treatment
Typically, celiac disease is treated by excluding gluten-containing food from the diet. This will not only prevent the immune system’s reaction to the gluten but also prevent damage to the intestine linings as well as associated symptoms such as stomach pain and diarrhea.
Your gastroenterologist will advise you to stop eating all sources of gluten immediately. Here is a list of common foods that contain gluten:
You must check the label on the food product for additives that contain gluten, such as modified food starch and malt flavoring. Be careful when buying medications, herbal and nutritional supplements, toothpaste, mouthwashes, etc. as gluten can be found in many products besides food.
Generally, people find relief from celiac disease symptoms within a week of starting a gluten-free diet. However, it may take up to two years for the digestive system of an adult to heal completely, while the digestive system of a child may take up to six months to heal. It is important to visit your gastroenterologist for medical follow-up at regular intervals to ensure that your symptoms are responding to the gluten-free diet.
It’s pertinent to mention here that if you have celiac disease and you keep eating gluten, over time you will be at an increased risk of developing more serious complications such as bone loss and infertility.
People with celiac disease are more likely to develop anemia and nutritional deficiencies because the gut inflammation associated with the condition can result in damaged villi. These tiny, finger-like structures line the intestines to absorb nutrients from the food you eat. If your gut damage is severe and does not fully heal, you may be at high risk for nutritional deficiencies or anemia. As a result, your gastroenterologist and dietitian might recommend you take supplements, including:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B-12
You can take these minerals and vitamin supplements in pill form. However, if your digestive system has trouble absorbing them, your doctor might recommend them by injection.
Medications, such as steroids, are recommended to control inflammation in people who have severely damaged small intestines or have refractory celiac disease. These medications ease the inflammation of the intestine while it heals. Commonly prescribed medications for celiac disease include budesonide and azathioprine.
Celiac Disease Treatment in Westlake, OH
If you experience digestive problems after eating gluten-containing food and think you may have celiac disease, visit our gastroenterologists at North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Centers for a thorough evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. After making a diagnosis, our gastroenterologists will work with your dietitian to develop a comprehensive plan to manage your symptoms and treat your problem.