An estimated nearly two million people in the United States have celiac disease. However, many people may not know they have it. Without proper care, celiac disease damages the digestive tract, affecting overall health and well-being. Gateway Gastroenterology in Chesterfield, Missouri, specializes in diagnosing and treating celiac disease. To schedule a celiac disease consultation, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestine. Normally, the immune system protects your body from outside invaders. However, with celiac disease, the immune system attacks and damages the small intestine when it comes in contact with gluten.
Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, and rye. Any food containing these grains has gluten, causing an immune system reaction in people with celiac disease.
When left undiagnosed and untreated, the immune system may cause so much damage to the intestinal lining that it affects nutrient absorption, leading to malnutrition.
You are at a greater risk of developing celiac disease if it runs in your family. You can only develop this autoimmune condition if you carry the gene that triggers the reaction.
Symptoms of celiac disease vary greatly. Some people may have severe symptoms, while others have no symptoms.
Common symptoms of celiac disease include:
Poor absorption of nutrients may cause other health problems like anemia or osteoporosis.
If you have these symptoms and have concerns about celiac disease, schedule a consultation at Gateway Gastroenterology,
Gateway Gastroenterology conducts a comprehensive history and physical to better understand digestive issues and concerns. If your gastroenterologist suspects you have celiac disease, they may run blood work to look for the antibodies associated with celiac disease.
The gastroenterologist also performs an upper endoscopy to evaluate the first section of your small intestine and takes a tissue sample for a lab to confirm a diagnosis. They may also do a capsule endoscopy to look at your entire gastrointestinal tract, looking for signs of damage.
A gluten-free diet is the primary treatment for celiac disease. After confirming a diagnosis, your gastroenterologist at Gateway Gastroenterology reviews the basics of the gluten-free diet and may refer you to a registered dietitian for a personalized nutrition care plan.
Gateway Gastroenterology may also recommend nutritional supplements to address any nutrient deficiencies from malabsorption.
To schedule your celiac disease consultation at Gateway Gastroenterology, call or request an appointment online today.