Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that causes inflammation and damages the lining of your small intestine.
Celiac disease is a medical condition diagnosed by the NYC gastroenterologist that damages the lining of your small intestine. If you have celiac disease, eating gluten — a protein found in wheat, oats, rye and barley — triggers an immune response that irritates your small intestine . Over time, the irritation causes inflammation. As a result, your body can’t absorb certain nutrients. Celiac disease is very different and much more serious than what is called gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance is when there is a adverse reaction to gluten and cause symptoms but it does not cause damage to the intestines. This is an important distinction that your doctor should help you make with an accurate diagnosis.
Celiac disease can cause bloating, weight loss and diarrhea. Although many conditions can cause this. It can lead to malnourishment of your brain, nervous system, skeleton and vital organs. Many of those affected by celiac disease don’t even know it. Often, they attribute the symptoms to other causes. Sometimes, their doctors don’t consider celiac disease. Our doctors are top NYC GI doctors (gastroenterologists) and they consider every possibility when weighing the evidence. If celiac disease is suspected, you should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan and to exclude a serious illness or condition.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★My experience with Dr. Tsynman was fantastic. I didn’t have to wait long to see him and he showed real concern. He’s very sweet. He asked all the necessary questions and then listened to what I had to say about all of my symptoms. For once, I feel like someone is finally paying attention to my lower GI issues and, God willing, I’ll finally have some answers.
How common is Celiac Disease?
Nearly 1 out of every 133 Americans suffer from Celiac Disease, according to a new study by the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research in Baltimore. The research indicates that Celiac Disease is twice as common as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis combined.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
Celiac disease affects people differently. Although the most common symptoms are unexplained weight loss and diarrhea, other symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Acid reflux and heartburn
- Anemia (from iron deficiency)
- Bloating and gas
- Itchy skin rashes
- Joint pain
- Numbness in your extremities
- Pale stools
- Thinning bone density
- Tooth decay
Causes of Celiac Disease
No one knows what causes celiac disease, including gastroenterologists. It may be partially genetic, but that doesn’t make a definitive case. When the disease is active, your immune system reacts to the gluten and attacks the lining of your small intestine. This action damages the villi or hairs on the inside of your small intestine. They flatten or dissolve, making it harder, if not impossible to absorb the nutrients from the food you eat. Because the symptoms of celiac disease can resemble the symptoms of other conditions, like Crohn’s disease or irritable bowl syndrome, our doctors will give you a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history. They’ll likely order a blood test as well, especially once he suspects celiac disease. Other tests may be needed to confirm the disease, including an upper endoscopy and a biopsy of your small intestine.
Even trace amounts of gluten or an occasional “indulging” can cause damage.
Treating Celiac Disease
Since celiac disease has no cure, the only effective treatment is to practice a strict gluten-free diet. Eliminating all forms of gluten from your diet can help manage your symptoms and promote healing in your small intestine. Even trace amounts of gluten or an occasional “indulging” can cause damage. “Gluten-free” means to be entirely off of it and we are happy to offer you nutritional counseling in this area. In addition to changing your diet, our doctors may recommend that you take supplements. You will need to discuss this with your gastroenterologist.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult a GI doctor about your specific condition. Only trained, experienced gastroenterologists like our doctors can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
As best in class NYC gastroenterologists, our doctors provide highly personalized and comprehensive care. For more information about the celiac disease or to schedule a consultation with one of our GI doctors, please contact our Union Square/Chelsea, Midtown or Upper East Side NYC offices.
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