Health and MedicineDiseasesWhat are the symptoms of celiac disease to know if I am...

What are the symptoms of celiac disease to know if I am celiac?

Celiac disease is a chronic disease that causes a series of specific symptoms. Knowing them will help you discover whether or not you are celiac, especially if you doubt if you can be.

It is very common to confuse celiac disease with gluten intolerance. And it is that while gluten intolerance is a reaction caused by a food that contains gluten that does not affect the immune system or cause tissue damage but does cause gastrointestinal symptoms, in the case of celiac disease it consists of an intestinal disease, which it affects genetically predisposed individuals when they consume and eat foods containing gluten.

In other words, celiac disease is permanent gluten intolerance, but unlike just intolerance, when celiac disease occurs we are faced with a systemic disorder that not only affects the intestine, it is mediated by the immune system in genetically modified individuals. Predisposed and that causes an atrophy of the villi of the small intestine that affects the ability to absorb the nutrients that we obtain through food.

This means that the ingestion of gluten in people who have celiac disease, even in very small amounts, causes an immune reaction in the small intestine that in turn causes chronic inflammation, in addition to other symptoms.

We must also differentiate allergy to gluten, which is a response of the immune system (that is, it is an immune response of the body), considering food with gluten as harmful to the body, when obviously the reality is that it is not. Its main difference is that it improves over time, so that after a few years the person can go back to consuming foods that contain gluten.

What symptoms appear when you are celiac?

Did you know that, in reality, it is stimulated that the number of patients with celiac disease but without diagnosis can reach 75%? This is because the symptoms tend to appear slowly and heterogeneously, especially when compared to gluten allergy. On the other hand, these symptoms may vary depending on how old you are.

As a general rule, the symptomatology of celiac disease includes chronic diarrhealack of appetiteprominent abdomenwhite and frequent stoolspalenessgeneralized weaknessdecrease in adipose tissue and changes in character.

Symptoms of celiac disease according to age

  • In infants and children: diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, growth retardation, weight loss, brittle hair, bloating, asthenia, irritability, leukopenia, coagulopathies, dental enamel defects, autism, hyperactivity, dyslexia, and thrombocytosis.
  • In adolescence : abdominal pain, malabsorptive diarrhea, constipation, iron deficiency anemia, hepatitis, bloating, atopic dermatitis, headaches, epilepsy, delayed pubertal growth, late menarche, juvenile chronic arthritis, short stature.
  • Adult: constipation, irritable colon, early menopause, ataxia, peripheral neuropathies, epilepsy, infertility and abortions, irritability, depression, asthenia, loss of appetite, weight loss, arthritis, fractures and iron deficiency anemia.

What to do if I have any symptoms or think I is celiac?

Celiac disease can manifest in the second half of the first year of life, which is the ideal time when foods containing wheat are included in the infant diet.

However, in most cases celiac disease remains undiagnosed, or it is not detected until certainly advanced ages, since in many cases it can present as an asymptomatic disease.

For this reason, the most appropriate thing is to go to your family doctor, who will inquire about the symptoms and prescribe an appointment with the most appropriate medical specialist. Or go directly to the consultation of the Digestive specialist.

Regarding the diagnosis, although it is possible to carry out a blood test as a way to have a first diagnosis of gluten intolerance, for the diagnosis to be definitive, it is essential to carry out an intestinal biopsy to help determine the atrophy of the intestinal villi.

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