What is Celiac Disease?

Statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that approximately 3 million Americans struggle with an celiac diseaseautoimmune disorder called celiac disease. It is a condition that is related to diet and food allergies and is often inherited. Learn more about celiac disease, the potential triggers and symptoms, and how a Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ gastroenterologist at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists can help treat this issue.

What Is Celiac Disease?
Patients who are diagnosed with celiac disease experience chronic symptoms that can be disruptive to a normal lifestyle. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestines. Some of the symptoms include:

- Uncontrollable and chronic diarrhea (or constipation in some patients).
- Excessive gas that urgently needs to be released at inappropriate moments.
- Bloating of the stomach.
- Unexplained weight loss due to lack of food absorption.
- Fatigue during the day even after having a full night of sleep. Also, depression may be related to this condition.
- Skin rashes that may form after consuming certain foods or coming in contact with other allergens.

Celiac Disease Triggers and Causes
Doctors believe that celiac disease is caused by an allergic reaction to gluten. Gluten is a protein that can be found in certain foods that contain wheat, barley, and rye. Those foods include some breads, pastas, beers, and cereals. When affected patients consume this protein, it irritates the small intestine and prevents foods from being absorbed properly. Some patients live for years with no issues, then suddenly begin to have symptoms after a significant life event, like severe stress, childbirth, or a surgical procedure.

Treatments for Celiac Disease
Your Flemington and Hillsborough gastroenterologist will ask you questions about your symptoms, including family history, and run tests to determine if celiac disease is the diagnosis. The first step toward healing is to completely eliminate gluten from your diet. Your doctor will consult you about dietary changes and vitamin supplements. Abdominal exams and follow-up tests are needed to ensure that your digestive system is back to normal.

Call Your Gastroenterologist Today
If you have the symptoms of celiac disease, help is available at Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists in Flemington and Hillsborough, NJ. Call (908) 788-8200 today to set up an appointment with Dr. Anubha Sinha.

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