From an upset stomach to achy joints, a gluten intolerance can cause a wide range of symptoms. If you’d like to get tested or treated for celiac disease ― or you suspect a gluten-free diet might be right for you ― the expert physicians at Southwest Gastroenterology in Goodyear, Arizona, can help.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to interfere with the proper function of the small intestine, making the body unable to tolerate gluten ― a protein found in foods that contain wheat.
When you have celiac disease and eat gluten, the immune system responds by damaging cells and destroying the lining the small intestine. Celiac disease is both an autoimmune disorder (because the immune system hurts the body) and a disease of malabsorption (since the body can’t absorb the nutrients it needs).
Research suggests that people who test negatively for celiac disease may still suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. These people may experience symptoms similar to celiac disease when they eat gluten but show no signs of intestinal damage.
For people with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, symptoms can vary widely from one person to the next.
Common symptoms of both conditions include:
Symptoms can come on suddenly or can appear a few hours or days later. If left untreated, celiac disease can create life-threatening health complications.
If you suffer from celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you can manage it by avoiding foods and personal care products with gluten. In most cases, if the intolerance hasn’t caused extreme intestinal damage or other complications, you can fully recover.
It may also be necessary for someone with a gluten sensitivity to focus on healing the intestinal tract after long-term exposure. Doing so may include taking certain supplements or medications or altering your diet to support a healthy gut.
If you think you might have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, the expert gastroenterologists at Southwest Gastroenterology can help. Book a consultation today using the easy online scheduling tool and find out if gluten is causing your symptoms.