Coeliac Disease – Disease of Many Faces

Coeliac disease is a chronic gastroenterological disease, but not a lot is known or discussed about it. Many of the affected people aren’t even aware that they have it and yet, if the disease isn’t cured, serious health problems may arise. Despite all health risks only about 3% of people affected with coeliac disease is treated properly. Usually it takes about 11 years until an appropriate diagnosis of the disease is confirmed. A lot of people die due to consequences of untreated coeliac disease. Numerous and unique symptoms of coeliac disease, in combination with lack of information about it, often lead towards serious health problems. Better knowing of this disease and the ways it is treated will make it easier for everyone affected to cope with it more successfully.

Gluten-free Diet

Gluten-free diet suggests excluding products from the diet that include even the slightest amounts of gluten. Hidden sources of gluten need special attention, such as additives, conservatives and all kinds of different stabilizers that can be found in industrially produced food, drugs and some products for oral hygiene. Damaged intestine of the person suffering from coeliac disease disturbs absorption of nutrients from the food. Damage done to the mucus of the intestines disappears with gluten-free diet quite successfully. Coeliac disease then transforms into a state where your organism can’t stand gluten. If treatment with proper and strict gluten-free diet is initiated in time, the patient can be as healthy as anyone else, under the condition of staying away from gluten in diet. It is a disease of many faces and chameleon in its behavior.

Typical and atypical forms of disease

Symptoms of typical coeliac disease include long term diarrhea, heavy, fatty, foaming stinking stools, loss of body weight, loss of appetite, belly swelling, psychological displeasure. Children can get it from their 6th month of life to 2nd year of life. The child will gradually transform into a frog-like shape with big belly and thin extremities. Some researches show that this typical intestine disease becomes prominent in only about 50% of coeliac disease cases.

Atypical symptoms, which are a result of reduced absorption of the nutrients are anemia due to lack of iron, low height and osteoporosis. An intestine type of coeliac disease can be manifested with common belly aches, vomiting, fatty liver, and increase in liver enzymes without any other causes for this symptom to be obvious and similar. There are other types of this disease that are presented on other organs and organic systems. Skin coeliac disease becomes obvious with tiny bubbles appearing on elbows and knees. Other symptoms may include infertility, impotence, delayed puberty, as well as some of the central nervous symptoms in origin: epilepsy, cerebral ataxia, neuropathy, depression or irritability, behavioral disorders etc.

Silent type of coeliac disease

This is the asymptomatic type of coeliac disease. With this type patients appear to be completely healthy. They have no disease symptoms, but with histological analysis of the biota, mucus of the intestine discovers its damage. These patients are usually discovered among relatives of the patients dealing from clear symptomatic coeliac disease.

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