What Is Celiac Disease? How Is It Treated?

Frequently present in foods, like barley, wheat, rye, pasta, and breakfast cereal, gluten has the potential to be a prominent part of a person's diet. But for patients with celiac disease, consuming gluten could lead to detrimental health challenges. The single effective remedy for gluten sensitivity is the elimination of gluten from the diet. If you suspect you could be suffering from celiac disease, it is important to visit a gastrointestinal (GI) physician who can detect and treat your gluten sensitivity. At Digestive Health Associates of Texas, our Dallas, TX team can help you learn about celiac disease and work with you to develop a treatment strategy to manage the condition.

What do I need to know about celiac disease?

Known as an inflammatory autoimmune disorder, celiac disease is a condition where the ingestion of gluten causes deterioration of the small intestine. People can develop celiac disease no matter how old or young they are. It is estimated that about two million patients in the U.S. have developed celiac disease and that almost two-thirds of them are not diagnosed or improperly diagnosed. If treatment is not sought, this condition might cause major health complications.

Signs and Symptoms of celiac disease

A person who has celiac disease could experience one or multiple of these signs and symptoms after consuming gluten:

  • Constipation
  • Dental cavities
  • Rashes
  • Discomfort, prickling, or poor circulation in the feet
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loose stools
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal bloating

If you or a member of your family are seeing these typical celiac disease symptoms or signs, reach out to our Dallas, TX facility to book a consultation with a GI physician. Receiving great medical attention can help improve your general wellness and your digestive health.

How is celiac disease detected?

Gastroenterologists commonly detect and treat celiac disease. Your GI doctor might carry out one or both of these celiac disease diagnostic tests to determine if the condition is affecting your health:

  • An HLA genetic test detects the HLA-DQ8 and HLA-DQ2 alleles. While this exam cannot diagnose celiac disease, it can indicate that the condition is not present.
  • A tissue transglutaminase (tTG)-IgA test is a blood panel that is generally reliable at detecting celiac disease.

The next step in identifying celiac disease is to do an upper endoscopy. To complete this diagnostic procedure, your GI doctor will check your small intestine for abnormalities by placing a thin scope with a camera into your esophagus. Endoscopy is generally a quick procedure and is completed as an outpatient service at Digestive Health Associates of Texas.

How our team manages celiac disease in patients

While celiac disease is a long-term illness, it can be managed by developing a diet of gluten-free foods. For the majority of people with celiac disease, following a gluten-free lifestyle may serve to mitigate issues and even encourage the healing of the small intestine. Patients who have the disease who follow a gluten-free diet usually experience improvements to their digestive health after several weeks. Eliminating gluten from the diet is likely to feel complicated at first. However, with the help of an experienced dietitian and a GI doctor at Digestive Health Associates of Texas, people in Dallas, TX who have celiac disease can change their diet and enjoy healthy lives.

Think you might have celiac disease? Get in touch with our Dallas, TX team

Celiac disease does not have to impact your health and interfere with the way you live your life. To find out more information about celiac disease and how to treat this illness, reach out to Digestive Health Associates of Texas to schedule a treatment consultation. Our experienced Dallas, TX gastroenterology team is ready to help you improve your digestive health.