Celiac disease is a condition in which the immune system attacks the body's tissues when gluten is eaten, which damages the intestines, so the sufferer cannot eat the nutrients, according to the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain.

Celiac may cause a range of symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating.

The cause of celiac disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system (the body's defense against infection) mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.

In celiac, the immune system mistakes the substances inside gluten, and considers them a threat to the body and attacks them, and this damages the surface of the small intestine, and disrupts the body's ability to absorb nutrients from food.

It's not entirely clear what causes the immune system to act in this way, but a combination of genes and the environment appears to play a role.

Gluten is found in:

  • Wheat.

  • barley.

  • jaguar.

Gluten is found in any food that contains these grains, including:

  • pastries.

  • Breakfast Cereal.

  • Most types of bread.

  • Certain types of sauce.

  • Some takeaway.

Symptoms of celiac disease

According to the Cleveland Clinic, when people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune systems attack the lining of the intestine, causing inflammation (swelling) in the intestine and damage to the villi, the hair-like structures on the lining of the small intestine.

The villi absorb nutrients from food.

If damaged, the patient cannot absorb nutrients and ends up malnourished, no matter how much he eats.

Eating foods containing gluten can trigger a range of gut symptoms, such as:

  • Diarrhea, which may have a particularly foul smell.

  • stomach pain.

  • bloating;

  • Indigestion.

  • constipation;

Celiac can also cause general symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue from not getting enough nutrients from food.

  • Malnutrition.

  • Unintended weight loss.

  • Itchy rash.

  • pregnancy problems

  • infertility;

  • nerve damage;

  • Peripheral neuropathy.

How do I know that my son has celiac?

In addition to the above symptoms, children with celiac may not grow and may have delayed puberty (delayed puberty).

Celiac disease treatment

There is no cure for celiac, but a gluten-free diet should help control symptoms and prevent long-term complications.

Even if you have mild symptoms, it's still recommended to change your diet, because continuing to eat gluten can lead to serious complications.

This may also be the case if tests show that you have some degree of celiac disease, even if you do not have noticeable symptoms.

It's important to make sure your gluten-free diet is healthy and balanced, and the increase in the range of gluten-free foods available in recent years has made it possible to eat a healthy and varied gluten-free diet.

If you have celiac, you cannot eat any foods containing gluten (including wheat, rye and barley), and you will be encouraged to see a dietitian for official diet instructions.

Dropping gluten from your diet usually improves the condition within a few days, and then symptoms of the disease finally go away.

However, the villi usually require months to years to complete healing, so it may take two to three years for the intestines to heal in an adult, compared to about 6 months for a child.

You will need to have regular medical follow-up visits (usually after 3 months, then 6 months, then every year) and you must remain on this diet for the rest of your life, and eating even a small amount of gluten can damage your intestines and return the problem.

Following a gluten-free diet means you can't eat a lot of "essential nutrients," including pasta, grains, and many processed foods that contain gluten.

There may also be gluten in ingredients added to food to improve texture or flavor, and in some medications.

Some less obvious sources of gluten may include: ice cream and salad dressings. Another common source of gluten cross-contamination is when gluten-free foods accidentally come into contact with gluten.

And if you suffer from celiac, you can still eat a balanced diet.

For example, bread and pasta made with other types of flour (potato, rice, corn, or soybean) are available, and food companies and some grocery stores also sell gluten-free bread and products.

You can also eat fresh foods that have not been industrially processed, such as fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, because they do not contain gluten.

Celiac complications

Complications of celiac only tend to affect those who continue to eat gluten, or who have not yet been diagnosed with the condition, which can be a common problem in mild cases.

Possible long-term complications include:

  • Osteoporosis.

  • Iron deficiency anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • Anemia caused by folate deficiency.

  • Less common and more serious complications include some types of cancer, such as bowel cancer, and problems that affect pregnancy, such as low birth weight.

What is the difference between celiac and a non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)?

Celiac causes damage to the small intestine, and there are specific blood markers that help confirm the diagnosis.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity causes symptoms that may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue, and "brain fog."

These symptoms may be mild or severe, however, gluten sensitivity does not harm the intestines and there are no specific signs in the blood, but the diagnosis is made with improvement in symptoms after following a gluten-free diet, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

What are the symptoms of silent celiac?

The Cleveland Clinic says that some people have "non-classical celiac disease," as when the only symptom is anemia, non-classical celiac has become more common.

Others may have "asymptomatic celiac", a disease in which a person has no symptoms at all.

Celiac Diagnosis

If your health care provider thinks you may have celiac, they will perform a thorough physical exam and discuss your medical history with you.

The provider may also do a blood test to measure the levels of antibodies to gluten. People with celiac have higher levels of certain antibodies in their blood.

Sometimes a genetic test for celiac in the blood may be necessary.

Your provider may do other tests to look for nutritional deficiencies, such as a blood test to check for iron levels.

Low iron (which can cause anemia) can occur with celiac, and your provider may take a biopsy of your small intestine to check that the villi are not damaged.