Celiac disease relates to the intestine’s intolerance towards gluten. An early diagnosis of the disease can protect the small intestine from further damage and prevent other celiac-related ailments like bone weakness, tooth enamel loss, and digestive organ disorders.
When testing an individual for celiac disease, a physician will:
• Question the patient about his or her medical history; celiac disease is a hereditary genetic disorder.
• Collect information about a patient’s symptoms; common symptoms of the disease include diarrhea or constipation, abdominal bloating and cramps, general weakness, and weight loss.
• Perform certain blood tests that help to identify celiac disease. Tests may be done to measure any of the following: Albumin levels, alkaline phosphatase levels, clotting factor abnormalities, cholesterol, blood count, liver enzymes, and prothrombin time. If these tests signal a positive diagnosis, a physician will order antibody tests.
• If antibody tests point to the presence of celiac disease, an upper endoscopy is usually performed to biopsy a piece of tissue from the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum. The biopsy may show flattened villi, or hair-like structures that help absorb nutrients, in parts of the intestine below the duodenum.
• A doctor will prescribe a gluten-free diet for those diagnosed with celiac disease. Gluten-free foods have recently become very popular and easily accessible.
For more information on celiac disease, see below
Celiac Disease Common in Kids With Type 1 Diabetes
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