Coeliac Disease Brisbane Northside
What is Coeliac Disease?
Coeliac disease, a genetically predisposed autoimmune disorder, occurs when gluten is ingested and damages the lining of the small intestine. One in 100 people worldwide are estimated to have coeliac disease. Additionally, individuals with first-degree relatives who are afflicted with coeliac disease have 1 in 10 risk of developing the disorder.
When people with this condition ingest gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, the immune system reacts and mistakenly attacks the small intestine. As a result, the small finger-like projections called villi are affected harmed, which results to malabsorption of nutrients in the body.
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What are the Symptoms of Coeliac Disease?
Some individuals who have coeliac disease report that they do not have symptoms at all but show positive results during a blood test. There are others who have negative results on the blood test show positive results on intestinal examinations. It is important to correlate the results of the tests and the symptoms of the patient in order to come up with the right diagnosis.
Additionally, adults are less likely to have digestive symptoms compared to children. Here are the most common symptoms of Coeliac disease:
- Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)
- Fatigue, bone or joint pain, arthritis
- Premature osteoporosis
- Live and biliary tract disorders
- Neurological symptoms (peripheral neuropathy, seizures, migranes)
- Reproductive issues (missed menstrual periods, inferility, miscarriages)
- Dermatological symptoms (skin rashes, canker sores)
- Depression or Anxiety
How is Coeliac Disease Diagnosed?
Many of the symptoms exhibited by patients resonate with the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Additionally, the occurrence of Coeliac disease and IBS is so common that many individuals both have the disorders. Often, it is quite challenging to isolate which symptoms are caused by Coeliac disease and which are caused by IBS.
A blood test is the first step in identifying the presence of Coeliac disease in a patient. The anti-tissue Transglutaminase antibody test (atT test) is administered. However, there are issues of inaccurate diagnosis of Coeliac disease because of its varying and inconsistent results.
Another suggested test is the tissue-typing test, where tissue DQ2 and DQ8 are observed. However, positive results from the blood test do not necessarily confirm the presence of Coeliac disease and negative results does not rule it out.
Coeliac disease would also require confirmation through histology by taking a biopsy through endoscopy. It would still be best to check with a general physician (GP) for interpretation of results and for proper diagnosis.
How is Coeliac Disease Treated?
There are no known treatments for Coeliac disease yet apart from having a life-long strict gluten-free diet as small amounts of gluten can cause inflammation to the small intestine. Foods that contain wheat, rye, and barley should be avoided. Gluten-free foods are low in fiber and high in fats or carbohydrates.
Working with a dietitian on a meal plan would be helpful in identifying food groups that can be taken on a regular basis.