It is an autoimmune disease where the person has sensitivity to a protein called gluten, so this disorder is also known as gluten sensitivity disorder. When gluten is ingested there occurs an immune reaction in the small intestine which over time, if the consumption of gluten continues, damages the villi present in the small intestine resulting in malabsorption. There are many symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, poor growth in children and delayed puberty, abdominal pain, constipation, nausea and vomiting, bloating etc,. If left untreated with the course of time it causes anemia, weak bones, skin rashes, mouth ulcers and poor overall health.
There is no specific cause for this disease, but it can occur at any age throughout the life as adults and children are equally affected. However some infections, surgery or pregnancy can act as a triggering factor for the development of celiac disease.
Though in common culture it is said to be incurable and the only way to keep it in check is having a gluten free diet, homeopathic medicines have proved to be very effective in this autoimmune disorder and greatly affect the prognosis. Both adults and children can benefit by using homeopathic treatment in case of celiac disease.
To get a deeper insight into celiac disease please read the following content.
The symptoms of celiac disease can range from mild to severe. They can change over time, and they vary from person to person.
Some people have no symptoms or only experience them later in life. A person may not know that they have celiac disease until they develop a nutrient deficiency or anemia.
Children are more likely to develop digestive symptoms than adults. These symptoms include:
- abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea or constipation
- pale stool with a foul smell
- fatty stool that floats
Symptoms of celiac disease that are not digestive can include:
- weight loss
- depression or anxiety
- joint pain
- mouth sores
- a rash called dermatitis herpetiformis
- nerve damage in the extremities, called peripheral neuropathy, which can cause tingling in the legs and feet
People with celiac disease may develop nutrient deficiencies as damage to the gut gradually limits the absorption of nutrients such as vitamins B12, D, and K. For the same reason, a person may also develop iron deficiency anemia.
Beyond malnutrition, celiac disease can also cause damage to the large intestine and more subtle damage to other organs.
Symptoms in children
When celiac disease limits or prevents a child’s body from absorbing nutrients, this can lead to developmental or growth problems, including:
- failure to thrive, in infants
- delayed growth and short height
- weight loss
- damaged tooth enamel
- mood changes, including impatience or annoyance
- late-onset puberty
Switching to a gluten-free diet early can prevent these issues. Intestinal damage can begin to heal within weeks of removing gluten from the diet.
As time goes by, children may experience spontaneous remission and remain free from symptoms of celiac disease until later in life.
What to eat and avoid
Gluten occurs naturally in wheat, rye, and barley. Most cereals, grains, and pasta, as well as many processed foods, contain gluten. Beers and other grain-based alcoholic drinks can also contain it.It is crucial to check labeling because gluten can be an ingredient in some unexpected products.
Foods that do not contain gluten include:
- meat and fish
- fruits and vegetables
- some grains, including rice, amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat
- rice flour
- cereals such as corn, millet, sorghum, and teff
- pasta, bread, baked goods, and other products labeled “gluten-free”
If left untreated for a long duration, celiac disease can lead to certain conditions as:
- Malnutrition. This occurs if your small intestine can’t absorb enough nutrients. Malnutrition can lead to anemia and weight loss. In children, malnutrition can cause slow growth and short stature.
- Bone weakening. Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D can lead to a softening of the bone (osteomalacia or rickets) in children and a loss of bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis) in adults.
- Infertility and miscarriage. Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D can contribute to reproductive issues.
- Lactose intolerance. Damage to your small intestine might cause you abdominal pain and diarrhea after eating or drinking dairy products that contain lactose. Once your intestine has healed, you might be able to tolerate dairy products again.
- Cancer. People with celiac disease who don’t maintain a gluten-free diet have a greater risk of developing several forms of cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and small bowel cancer.
- Nervous system problems. Some people with celiac disease can develop problems such as seizures or a disease of the nerves to the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy).