Symptoms of Celiac disease
Celiac disease also called gluten sensitive enteropathy is also called sprue or coeliac is an immune reaction to feeding on gluten. Anyone with celiac disease cannot digest gluten, eating gluten triggers a reaction in the small intestine.
The reaction is a self-destructive one as it causes the lining of the small intestine to be destroyed. It also prevents absorption of some nutrients into the body. This damage to the intestine causes several other reactions within the body.
In children, malabsorption can affect development and can lead to stunted growth and uneven development. And while there is no cure for celiac disease, the symptoms can be alleviated by sticking to a balanced gluten-free diet.
While celiac disease is a very dynamic disease in that it may or may not show symptoms in some particular people. But when and where symptoms are manifested, they include but are not limited to:
- Anemia: Usually resulting from iron deficiency, anemia is a very serious issue. Since the body cannot adsorb several nutrients necessary to keep up a steady supply of blood, the blood cell dies off. Leaving a shortage behind that results in weakness and debility.
- Loss of Bone density (osteoporosis) and Softening of bones(Osteomalacia): Gluten constitutes minerals that make up dense bones, it is also contains minerals that are precursors to important enzymes in the body. Thus, a lack of gluten will lead to loss of bone density and ultimately the bones get softened and they can easily be broken.
- Short stature: Failure to thrive early despite careful feeding habits can be a precursor to the fact that celiac disease looms. Particularly in early childhood, children with too steep growth curves must be paid attention to and evaluated appropriately to ascertain the absence or otherwise of celiac disease.
- Irritability and behavioral change: In adults or middle age people, heavy swing in behavioral change must be monitored. While slight changes take place from time to time, unprecedented overhaul in the entire behavioral pattern must be checked as this may be the key indicator in showing the onset of celiac disease.
- Joint pains: Once the bones, which houses the joints starts to lose weight and density, the joint in them become painful. The joints suffer the effects of what occurs in the bone too.
- Cognitive impairment: Since Celia disease is an immune system problem, cognitive impairment is certainly one of the symptoms. Simple reflexes like balancing the biddy to move forward becomes more of a hard work than a piece of cake.
In children under 12, symptoms may manifest as
- Abdominal bloating and pain
- Dental issues.
While none of the symptoms as a stand-alone factor is enough to judge anyone as having celiac disease or not, it will be much better if after finding people with two or more of these symptoms, they are encouraged to go for a celiac disease test to ascertain if they have the disease or not.