Treatment for Celiac Disease


celiac disease treatment

Gluten intolerance, in general, is becoming more common in today’s society so the celiac disease is more of a possibility than you might think.

If celiac disease is suspected, the first step is to visit your doctor and let them know that you think that celiac disease could be a possibility. Then, they will conduct some tests and ask you questions about your diet.

The celiac panel usually includes:

TTG IgA (tissue transglutaminase antibody, celiac specific)

Endomysial IgA (EMA or EmA)

Total serum IgA

If the celiac panel results come back positive, then genetic testing will be ordered to see if there is a celiac disease susceptibility gene. Genetic testing would involve looking for abnormalities in HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8.

The celiac disease diagnosis can also come from a biopsy of the small intestine: the normal appearance on the surface of villi must be maintained and there should not be any infiltration by lymphocytes, plasma cells, macrophages, and neutrophils. A celiac patient has villous atrophy and crypt hyperplasia with a flat surface.

In celiac disease, the celiac-specific antibodies have been found to be replaced by IgG anti-gliadin antibody production. This is why celiac disease is also associated with gluten sensitivity.

Celiac disease treatment includes a strict gluten-free diet for life, but if celiac symptoms persist or recur even while on a gluten-free diet then immune-suppressive drug therapy should be considered. Treatment of celiac disease must remain lifelong in order to prevent intestinal damage from recurring and malnutrition from returning since it has been found that relapse rates decline after 2 years of diagnosis.

Since celiac patients often lack nutrients due to malabsorption, they should take vitamin B12 supplements, calcium supplements, and vitamin D. Since celiac patients also have an increased risk for developing osteoporosis, they should take calcium and vitamin D supplements or be screened for celiac disease-associated osteopenia/osteoporosis.

What happens if celiac disease is left untreated?

A close up of a snow covered ground

If celiac disease is left untreated it can cause chronic damage to the small intestine which will eventually lead to cancer; celiacs are at an increased risk for thyroid cancer since the undetected celiac disease can sometimes mimic autoimmune hypothyroidism. If celiac antibodies are positive then you must get endoscopic biopsies of the duodenum every 2-5 years to see if celiac lesions are present.

Gluten intolerance, in general, is becoming more common in today’s society so the celiac disease is more of a possibility than you might think.

FAQs

A person lying on a bed

Q: Can celiac disease be cured?

A: No, celiac disease is a lifelong autoimmune disorder that requires celiac disease treatment.

Q: Can celiac disease be treated with medication?

A: No, celiac disease can only be treated with celiac disease treatment which is a lifelong gluten-free diet. Treatment of celiac disease must remain lifelong in order to prevent intestinal damage from recurring and malnutrition from returning since it has been found that relapse rates decline after 2 years of diagnosis.

Q: How do doctors treat celiac disease?

A: Doctors treat celiac disease with celiac disease treatment which is a lifelong gluten-free diet. Since celiac patients often lack nutrients due to malabsorption, they should take vitamin B12 supplements, calcium supplements, and vitamin D. Since celiac patients also have an increased risk for developing osteoporosis, they should take calcium and vitamin D supplements or be screened for celiac disease-associated osteopenia/osteoporosis.

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