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    What are the effects of celiac disease?


    Scott Adams

    Untreated celiac disease can be life-threatening.


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    Celiacs are more likely to be afflicted with problems relating to malabsorption, including osteoporosis, tooth enamel defects, central and peripheral nervous system disease, pancreatic disease, internal hemorrhaging, organ disorders (gall bladder, liver, and spleen), and gynecological disorders (like amenorrhea and spontaneous abortions). Fertility may also be affected. Some researchers are convinced that gluten intolerance, whether or not it results in full-blown celiac disease, can impact mental functioning in some individuals and cause or aggravate autism, Aspergers syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and schizophrenia. Some of the damage may be healed or partially repaired after time on a gluten-free diet (for example, problems with infertility may be reversed).

    Celiacs who do not maintain a gluten-free diet also stand a much greater chance of getting certain types of cancer, especially intestinal lymphoma.

    Untreated celiac disease can cause temporary lactose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products. To be digested it must be broken down by an enzyme called lactase. Lactase is produced on the tips of the villi in the small intestine. Since gluten damages the villi, it is common for untreated celiacs to have problems with milk and milk products. (Yogurt and cheese are less problematic since the cultures in them break down the lactose). A gluten-free diet will usually eliminate lactose intolerance. However, a number of adults (both celiacs and non-celiacs) are lactose intolerant even with a healthy small intestine; in that case a gluten-free diet will not eliminate lactose intolerance.

    Celiacs often suffer from other food sensitivities. These may respond to a gluten-free diet--or they may not. Soy and MSG are examples of food products that many celiacs have trouble with. However, it should be noted that these other sensitivities, while troublesome, do not damage the villi. As far as we know, only gluten causes this damage.

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    I have run copies of this article for my family to help them better understand what this condition is that I have to thank you so much for your time and effort that you have put into this site for all of us-God Bless You!!

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    I completely agree. Thank-you so,so much. All of this info has really helped me. I'm understanding this complicated disease much easier now with this very helpful info. It has all the answers people are looking for, all in one place. I don't have to look everywhere now. Thanks a million.

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    I really like this website...thanks.

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    Guest brandon

    Posted

    I'm a 15 year old kid as of my 22/08 and my whole one side of my family is severely prone to being celiac. I have lived in fear thinking I might become celiac. I have thought about what you said about celiac and lactose intolerance. I've had this for a while and I thank you for this information. I really do thank you.

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    I'm a 16 year old kid, I learned I had Celiac about two years ago.

    And I've never once been "Gluten-Free"... it's hard to do when the rest of your family continues eating "regular" and don't buy you special foods.. Is it true that if I don't start living a gluten-free life Celiac Disease can become dangerous?

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    I'm a 16 year old kid, I learned I had Celiac about two years ago.

    And I've never once been "Gluten-Free"... it's hard to do when the rest of your family continues eating "regular" and don't buy you special foods.. Is it true that if I don't start living a gluten-free life Celiac Disease can become dangerous?

    Yes, there are over 250 negative effects of gluten on the body of a celiac, including stomach cancers, diverticulitis, yeast infections, diabetes, etc. I recently found out I am also a celiac and I can feel the effects of gluten on my body as opposed to how I feel when I'm not consuming gluten. It would be a wise decision if we both abstained from gluten for the rest of our lives, I know sounds difficult but after a few weeks you won't want to destroy your body with something that is virtually poison.

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    Thank you it was really useful to my school work.

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    Guest Josephine Bell

    Posted

    I have had celiac and DH since I was 11, I am now 58. I have been on Sulfapyridine 500mg daily all these years. Allergic to Dapsone. I have had a rough life because of it, many medical problems, from the medication, but unable to function without it.

    This article was great, I'm glad I'm not alone, although I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I've had the worst of the worst and every side affect known. Thank goodness none of my children or grandchildren have it.

    The store bought gluten free products are just expensive for me.

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    Guest Dennis

    Posted

    I am very concerned about the article on cognitive impairment. I had no idea that this could be a complication from celiac disease. I am 67 years old and have been gluten-free since I was 62.

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    I did get some answers when I read this posting.

     

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    Guest sumit

    Posted

    It's better and benefited me. Thanks for the advice!

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    Guest Hailey

    Posted

    I am twelve years old and I have had celiac disease since I was four. I am writing an essay about celiac disease and this website has really helped. THANK YOU!!!!

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    Guest Diane Lizzol

    Posted

    I discovered that I had an allergy to gluten back in 2004. I have experienced side effects such as weight gain, PCOS, asthma, Iron deficiency, diverticulitis, constipation, adult acne, rashes on my body, hair loss, and various hormonal imbalances due to my immune system reaction to the gluten.

     

    Whenever I stay away from gluten for several weeks, I see and feel the difference. One year off of gluten caused PCOS to subside and I lost 20 pounds without dieting. It's hard to resist pastas, pizza and cake. Usually I have no immediate side effects from a little bit, but if I eat a little bit of gluten for about a week, the symptoms come back. It causes a horrible chain reaction of problems that took years of research and journal writing to discover that gluten really is POISON for my body.

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    Guest Anita DeMunck

    Posted

    Thanks for the valuable information. I am 75 years old, and just discovered I was celiac when the doctor did testing to find out why I am losing iron. Found this out when I tried to donate blood and was told my iron was too low. When I tried the second time a few months later - after taking iron tablets - the iron was even lower. That's when I was sent for testing, removal of upper GI polyps, and biopsies. Fortunately, the polyps were not malignant. Now I am in the process of trying to learn to convert to gluten-free eating. It's not easy. I am already sick of no bread, no pancakes, no cake and pastries, no pizza. When I inquire of places why they can't provide at least one gluten-free meal, they say it requires an entirely separate kitchen. Therefore, a pizza place would have to double their kitchen set-up, etc. I believe more and more people are becoming celiac, and there has to be a reason. Meanwhile, I'm hitting the gluten-free button of my life HARD!

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    Guest laura hallmeyer

    Posted

    This helped me so much at 68 years old. I am now finding out age is just a number and it is never to late to be well.

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    I'm almost 20 years old, and been celiac for 19 years. I was diagnosed when I was ten months old. If anyone has any questions or concerns, feel free to message me.

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    Guest Angelica

    Posted

    I'm almost 20 years old, and been celiac for 19 years. I was diagnosed when I was ten months old. If anyone has any questions or concerns, feel free to message me.

    I get delirious from my celiac condition. Is being delirious from celiac disease the norm? Please email me, I need help with information.

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    Guest rick gillmore

    Posted

    Thanks for the valuable information. I am 75 years old, and just discovered I was celiac when the doctor did testing to find out why I am losing iron. Found this out when I tried to donate blood and was told my iron was too low. When I tried the second time a few months later - after taking iron tablets - the iron was even lower. That's when I was sent for testing, removal of upper GI polyps, and biopsies. Fortunately, the polyps were not malignant. Now I am in the process of trying to learn to convert to gluten-free eating. It's not easy. I am already sick of no bread, no pancakes, no cake and pastries, no pizza. When I inquire of places why they can't provide at least one gluten-free meal, they say it requires an entirely separate kitchen. Therefore, a pizza place would have to double their kitchen set-up, etc. I believe more and more people are becoming celiac, and there has to be a reason. Meanwhile, I'm hitting the gluten-free button of my life HARD!

    It is my personal belief that viruses cause changes to occur in the body. I did not have celiac disease until I was 26 years old and I clearly remember the first attack. Of course, I thought it was food poison that first time. The doctors had no idea what was my problem over the years that I sought help. It was my wife, a nurse practitioner, that finally found a book that explain the disease. As I read the first chapter I felt that the doctor/author was talking about me as the case history. I had two bouts of Barr-Epstein disease, a Herpes virus, with the first time occurring when I was 24 years old. The second bout of Barr-Epstein caused the Celiac Disease to really effect me. The first thing that happened after I stopped eating wheat products was the migraine headaches stopped and the bloating stopped. Since I went over 25 years undetected, I dealing today with several minor problems like temporary itchiness and temporary muscle pains all over my body. These muscle pains move about my body and the itchiness to different areas like the legs, back, and scalp. Since my new doctor, Dr. Levine, who did my interior testing proved that I had Celiac Disease, all the other medical people are now treating me with respect; and not like I am crazy. However, some of my so-called friends and business associates till think that gluten-free is fake. A way for me to get attention.

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  • About Me

    In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I founded The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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  • Related Articles

    Scott Adams
    There is no typical celiac. Individuals range from having no symptoms (asymptomatic or "latent" forms of the disease) to extreme cases where patients present to their physicians with gas, bloating, diarrhea, and weight loss due to malabsorption.
    In between these two extremes lie a wide variety of symptoms that include:
    Diarrhea Constipation Steatorrhea (fatty stools that float rather than sink) Abdominal pain Excessive gas Any problem associated with vitamin deficiencies Iron deficiency (anemia) Chronic fatigue Weakness Weight loss Bone pain Easily fractured bones Abnormal or impaired skin sensation (paresthesia), Including burning, prickling, itching or tingling Edema Headaches* Peripheral Neuropathy* (tingling in fingers and toes)
    Individuals have reported such varied symptoms as:
    White flecks on the fingernails Fuzzy-mindedness after gluten ingestion Burning sensations in the throat
      In children, the symptoms may include:
    Failure to thrive Paleness Querulousness, irritability Inability to concentrate Wasted buttocks Pot belly with or without painful bloating Pale, malodorous, bulky stools Requent, foamy diarrhea   In addition to all of these, dermatitis herpetiformis, a disease in which severe rashes appear (often on the head, elbows, knees and buttocks) is related to celiac disease.
    Reactions to ingestion of gluten can be immediate, or delayed for weeks or even months.
    The amazing thing about celiac disease is that no two individuals who have it seem to have the same set of symptoms or reactions. A person might have several of the symptoms listed above, a few of them, one, or none. There are even cases in which obesity turned out to be a symptom of celiac disease.

    Scott Adams
    Among celiacs and their relatives, there appears to be a higher incidence of other disorders related to the immune system. A partial listing of these includes insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (type I), Graves disease, Addisons disease, scleroderma, chronic active hepatitis, myasthenia gravis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Sjogrens syndrome.
    In addition, a gluten-free diet appears to have helped some individuals with autism, chronic fatigue syndrome (myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME, PVS, post viral fatigue syndrome or PVFS), attention deficit disorder (ADD), and ADHD; though it is by no means a cure for any of these.
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    Scott Adams
    Karoly Horvath, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics; Director, Peds GI & Nutrition Laboratory; University of Maryland at Baltimore: The biopsy is a small piece of tissue, such as from the inside lining of the intestine, that has been removed to look for diseases. The biopsy itself is not painful, because there are no pain-sensitive nerves inside the small intestine. An intestinal biopsy can be done in either of two ways depending on the age of the children and the tradition of the institution. Sometimes a blind biopsy procedure is performed by a biopsy capsule. This is thin flexible tube with a capsule at the tip, which has a hole and a tiny knife inside the capsule. This capsule is introduced into the intestine under fluoroscopy (X-ray) control. Alternatively, with an endoscopy the doctor can see inside the digestive tract without using an x-ray to obtain biopsies. The biopsy specimens are processed and viewed under the microscope to identify or exclude celiac disease. An important basic rule is that the biopsy should be performed safely. For a safe procedure children (and adults) should be sedated. There are two methods of sedation: unconscious (general anesthesia) and conscious sedation. During both kinds of sedation the vital parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation) of patients are continuously monitored. The method of choice depends on the child.
    Conscious sedation is performed with two different intravenous medications. One of them is a sedative medication (e.g. Versed), which causes amnesia in 80-90% of children, and even older children do not recall the procedure. The second medication is a pain-killer type medication (e.g. Fentanyl), which further reduces the discomfort associated with the procedure. In addition, the throat is sprayed with a local anesthetic in older children, which makes the throat numb and prevents retching at the introduction of the endoscope.
    During general anesthesia the anesthesiologist uses sleep-gases (e.g. halothan) and intravenous medications and then places a tube into the trachea. Children are completely unconscious. This is a safer way to perform endoscopy, because the patients are fully relaxed and their airway is protected. However, the anesthesia itself has certain complications.

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/17/2018 - What can fat soluble vitamin levels in newly diagnosed children tell us about celiac disease? A team of researchers recently assessed fat soluble vitamin levels in children diagnosed with newly celiac disease to determine whether vitamin levels needed to be assessed routinely in these patients during diagnosis.
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    Source:
    BMC Pediatrics

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    Jean Duane
    Celiac.com 07/13/2018 - I went to a friend’s home for dinner.  A few days before, she called and asked me what I could eat.  I asked her what she was planning to make, and she said she was grilling meats with side dishes.  I said, “Great.  Please just grill a piece of chicken for me with salt and pepper, and I’ll be happy to bring a side.” She said, “No need to bring a side.  I’ve got this.” When I arrived, she greeted me and said, “I spent all day cooking tonight’s dinner so you can eat it. Hey would you just check this salad dressing to see if it is OK for you?” I looked at the ingredients and it contained gluten and dairy, both of which I cannot eat.  Then I glanced around the kitchen and saw evidence of wheat cross-contamination, including buns being toasted on the grill, and gluten-containing barbeque sauce spilling on the grill where my “clean” chicken was cooking. She had other guests to tend to, and I couldn’t offer instruction or read the ingredients of everything she used in the meal. 
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/12/2018 - Previous research has shown that the oral administration of Bifidobacterium infantis Natren Life Start super strain (NLS-SS) reduces of gastro-intestinal symptoms in untreated celiac disease patients. The reduction of symptoms was not connected with changes in intestinal permeability or serum levels of cytokines, chemokines, or growth factors. Therefore, researchers suspected that the reduction of symptoms might be related to the modulation of innate immunity.
    To test that hypothesis, a team of researchers set out to assess the potential mechanisms of a probiotic B.infantis Natren Life Start super strain on the mucosal expression of innate immune markers in adult patients with active untreated celiac disease compared with those treated with B. infantis 6 weeks and after 1 year of gluten-free diet.
    The research team included Maria I. Pinto-Sanchez, MD, Edgardo C. Smecuol, MD, Maria P. Temprano,RD, Emilia Sugai, BSBC, Andrea Gonzalez, RD, PhD, Maria L. Moreno,MD, Xianxi Huang, MD, PhD, Premysl Bercik, MD, Ana Cabanne, MD, Horacio Vazquez, MD, Sonia Niveloni, MD, Roberto Mazure, MD, Eduardo Mauriño, MD, Elena F. Verdú, MD, PhD, and Julio C. Bai, MD. They are affiliated with the Medicine Department, Farcombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; the Small Intestinal Section, Department of Medicine and the Department of Alimentation at Dr. C. Bonorino Udaondo, Gastroenterology Hospital and Research Institute at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    The team determined the numbers of macrophages and Paneth cells, along with the expression of a-defensin-5 expression via immunohistochemistry in duodenal biopsies.
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    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol