There is no beating around the bush. Celiac Disease has some pretty awful symptoms. Diarrhea, chronic gas, and constipation are not topics we want to discuss with anyone, even our doctor. The problem is that there are a number of other diseases and conditions that have similar signs, so it can easily be misdiagnosed. Don’t give up. Let’s explore Celiac Disease symptoms and how GI doctors can help.
Gluten Seems to Be the Villain
Most doctors believe Celiac Disease is the body’s reaction to gluten, a component in wheat, barley, rye, malt, bulgar, and graham flour to name but a few. The body’s immune system goes into action to ward off the gluten by damaging the tiny projections inside the small intestine known as villi.
Many doctors also think it could be genetic. If you have the gene, you can develop Celiac. There may also be an association with gut bacteria and gastrointestinal infections. To ensure you get a proper diagnosis, you should seek the guidance of an experienced gastrointestinal professional like KU Wichita Gastroenterology in Wichita, KS.
Living With Celiac
All the symptoms of Celiac Disease make for an unpleasant existence. Those with Celiac experience loose stools which can be foul smelling, bloating, constipation, nausea and vomiting, plus gas and abdominal pain.
The tricky part is that you may not have these symptoms all the time which can make you think it’s just a stomach virus.
Beyond the digestive issues, those with Celiac Disease can also experience fatigue, joint pain, anxiety and depression, dermatitis, canker sores, dry mouth, and headaches and balance issues. Your nervous system can be affected as well with neuropathy.
To make the situation even more confusing, there are other products that contain gluten you would never consider, including:
- Vitamin and mineral supplements
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Toothpaste and mouthwash
- Food preservatives
- Communion wafers
What to Do
Make an appointment with KU Wichita Gastroenterology and be tested for Celiac Disease if you suspect you may have it. Our experienced GI doctors will conduct several tests to make a diagnosis and suggest a treatment plan.
A Word of Caution
Don’t try to reduce or eliminate gluten from your diet before you see a GI specialist. That will make it more difficult to get the right diagnosis.